Whenever there’s a big holiday, I find myself in a weird relationship with social media. Social Media is my family. For good or for ill, this is just the way my life has shaken down. Normally making biting commentary about normal life is fine, but on holidays most of my twitterfam is celebrating and sliding in with a comment about how no that 7 year old is not that great a singer and we shouldn’t be turning 7 year olds into trained monkeys who will blow out their voice trying to sing that way for too long is kind of unwelcome.
Social media is an illusion of family, no doubt. A commodified family. A family where we can all opt in or opt out of any given crisis and any given moment of time. A volunteer family. It works okay for me.
It’s hard to be alone on holidays. But frankly, even if I had people, I would be alone. I always left the party, hid away in my room, stayed in the kitchen to prepare, any of the little ways I could avoid people even in their company.
My most prevalent 4th of July memory as a child was sitting in an empty house while my parents and sister had all gone over to the neighbor’s outdoor grilling party, and I sat and watched TV. I didn’t want to go. I still don’t want to go.
Should they have forced me to go?
Would I have had fun?
Maybe and maybe. I’ve been forced to do a lot of things in my life. Usually just by the subtle weight of disapproval or confusion of others. Sometimes it’s okay. but usually I feel like if I could be left alone for a while, some force inside me would orient to the things I actually want to do and that would give me energy and I could go do those, instead of just sitting awkwardly slightly outside a circle of people who won’t move over to let you in.