Wednesday, August 12, 2015

How Facebook nearly made me falter on my search for JOY today…how about you?

I live in a great place, the most successful suburb in the Midwest, Johnson County, Kansas.  And yet, despite all my blessings, including the respite from too much rain, I keep noticing how little it takes to knock me off my game of living a life filled with joy.  Last weekend, with some uncertainties on the calendar, I set my deliberate intention to experience some pretty consistent happiness for three days in a row.  

My ‘mental FitBit’ average is about two days max.  I don’t wear a bracelet—I just pinch myself—and ask, “Am I happy?”  It’s very low tech.

Fitbit Flex Wireless Activity and Sleep Wristband
(haha, I'll figure out this margin thang eventually.)

This time I made it to four days—including a great outing across the state line to First Friday, not getting shot in Westport, discovering a great new Italian diner, getting my favorite table at Urban Table, buying a ProBook on for $214 and a glorious surprise visit from a friend. penquins

Perhaps four days was pushing it.  I finally launched this blog.  I found myself thinking the world’s most dangerous thought of expectation, “Surely THEN my life will work!”  Ha—do I never learn?  Father Alfred d’Souza said it best:

For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin—real life.  But there was always some obstacle in the way, some ‘thing’ to be got through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid.  Then life would begin.  At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life.

Ten hours after I launched, the reality set in, “I just birthed this thing.  This helpless, unclothed, barely formatted and not SEO optimized baby.  Now there’s just a whole lotta work to be done until it grows bigger and graduates—eg is bought up by Huffington Post, the Koch Brothers or Donald Trump and elChapo.  

I don’t know enough.  And the mean boys are already massing against me on Tony’s site, www., hating on me anonymously.”  (For the record, that pic was from a costume party.  I'm not that colorful when you spot me at The Aldi or The Costco.)

It is true: anonymous bad karmic acts and comments by others can take a psychic toll, even if one is like me.  I am not burdened by the usual High Affiliative Need-- to be liked.  Being the daughter of two critical parents was a blessing.  I ignore a lot of rejection.  I’m driven by the need to make a difference. Yet, the Butterfly Effect of global reaction remains a powerful vibratory force: actions on one side of the world make butterfly wings tremble on the opposite side of this planet.

Image result for image, blue morpho butterfly

Today I noticed something else: the power of Facebook to shake the leaves on my tree.  So there I was, reading a friend’s Facebook—announcing impending travel plans which  greatly saddened me. I fell out of joy.   For several hours, until I phoned my friend, I believed what I read.  Because Facebook said so! 

Now I am a Facebook virgin.  For five glorious years following a crippling telescoping Louisville ladder collapse, my lawyers had forbidden me to use social media.  Because jurors lie.  Despite every judge’s instructions, jurors Google or Facebook you.  During lunch or in the potty!  They don’t need to discuss with other jurors—Facebook just enabled them to form unshakeable biased opinions about the social causes you do not agree on.  That alone can often sink a verdict right there. 



Facebook is insidious and dangerous.  Using your permissions, it ferrets out travel plans and posts them-- not “thinking” to delete them when they change.  Not only can that make your home vulnerable to burglars, it can affect relationships, hurt feelings--or get you in serious trouble at work Facebook also lies—almost daily, to gin up your addiction to checking it.  It emails you: “Your friend XYZ just updated their status.”  Not true!  Made ya look; made ya look!   

If Facebook can create this much souris in Johnson County, Kansas, with their intrusive spying and sharing and annoying false notifications, just how disruptive are they being to the US economy?? 

Bear with me, JoCoPost readers.  I am on this roller coaster of life.  Just like you.  We won’t always agree, but my intention is to generate discussion, invite more input, and together maybe we can right some wrongs, fix some broken systems—including local government.  Celebrate good people doing neat things.  And be better informed and connected like we used to be when we had a newspaper and local media that supported our need to really KNOW what is shaking our trees.

Tracy Thomas, Publisher


  1. I'm reading you. Even if you scolded me once! Good luck with your new venture.

  2. Just once? Many men and women would tell you, sir: You got off lucky! Thank you for having a generous heart and a sense of humor.


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