This is part of a series I’m calling This Is Your Brain on Facebook. But perhaps a better title would be This Is My Brain on Facebook, as I acknowledge there may be less neurotic ways to approach social media. But I’m a writer. And an introvert. Neurotic’s my middle name.
Erev Rosh Hashanah is here, and I’m planning (always a last minute planner for holidays) and baking. Apple pie is one of the dishes I’ve decided to make. Last night, I made the dough, following my favorite recipe, placed it in the refrigerator, and now, this morning, I’m preparing the filling.
I slice a lemon and squeeze the juice of one half into my mixing bowl. I mindfully peel each apple, taking the skin off in one circular unbroken piece. I slice each apple – a variety of reds and greens – and place them into the large metallic bowl. My daughter sits on the table and “helps” by stirring the apple slices and helping me grind the nutmeg.
I’m loving every moment. The textures, the scents, the experience, the art of baking in my own amateur way.
Then, the following dialogue begins to take place in my head…
Inner Voice A: You know, you should really post a Happy New Year greeting on Facebook.
Inner Voice B: Huh. Maybe I will. Goes against my current posting rules, but it’s a holiday. It’s a nice thing to do.
Inner Voice A: Yes. And you can post a picture of the pie.
Inner Voice B: Uh… I don’t know about that.
Inner Voice A: Oh come on. It’s like a greeting card. Picture of an apple pie. Happy Rosh Hashanah. It makes sense.
Inner Voice B: Er….
Inner Voice A: And then, your friends will see this great pie you made.
Inner Voice B: Right. But why do they need to see it?
Inner Voice A: Well, what do you mean?! It shows what a great baker you are! And where besides Facebook do you get accolades for baking?
Inner Voice B: I don’t need accolades.
Inner Voice A: But they’d be nice…
Inner Voice B: But… but what about if people don’t like it? What if my pie doesn’t come out perfectly the way I want?
Inner Voice A: So then you won’t post it.
Inner Voice B: But then I’ll be thinking that. I’ll be thinking that I would have posted a picture, if it came out the way I wanted, but now that it didn’t, I’m not posting it.
Inner Voice A: So.
Inner Voice B: So. Then I’ll be feeling like not only did my pie not come out great, I’m ashamed of the pie I made, so much so I’m not posting it.
Inner Voice A: Oh come on. Shame is a strong word for not posting a picture of pie.
Inner Voice B: Maybe. But that’s the right word for hiding something you wanted to share.
Inner Voice A: You’re not hiding. You’re just not sharing.
Inner Voice B: Also, what about how seeing the picture will make them feel.
Inner Voice A: You’re not responsible for other people’s feelings. If they’re insecure, that’s their problem.
Inner Voice B: Maybe. But do I have to help? I mean, what if they see it and think, “Oh, what a yummy pie.”
Inner Voice A: Yes! They will! They will think, “Oh, I wish I had a yummy pie right now.”
Inner Voice B: Exactly!
Inner Voice A: Are… you saying that’s bad?
Inner Voice B: Well, it’s not like I’m inviting them all over for pie. So now they want something they can’t have, unless they make it themselves. And maybe they don’t feel like making pie. Or don’t feel like they can. Or don’t have the energy. Or don’t have the ingredients or time right now. And maybe they’re thinking that they wish they had thought of making apple pie and feel bad about the amazing meal they have already chosen to make. Or maybe they are even thinking how obnoxious it is of me to push my apple pie in their face.
Inner Voice A: You really over think things.
Inner Voice B: And there’s another problem.
Inner Voice A: Oh God.
Inner Voice B: As soon as the pie photo is shared, or even thought about being shared, the enjoyment of the pie is now attached to sharing it, which attaches it to the number of likes and comments the pie gets. The fewer the likes, the less wonderful the pie feels. I’ve just pulled down the pie-love with Facebook likes.
Inner Voice A: Whatever.
Inner Voice B: And another problem! Five minutes ago, I was deep into the experience of making the pie. I was feeling and touching and smelling and loving every moment. Now, I’m stuck in my head, thinking about sharing, thinking about rejection and acceptance, thinking about how my actions affect people who are not even in my kitchen right now.
Inner Voice A: …
Inner Voice B: Oh, and yet ANOTHER problem!
Inner Voice A: I’m so sorry I brought this up…
Inner Voice B: By taking a photo of the pie, I’ve just transformed my experiencing into something. And I’ve shared it. That discharges some of the creative and artistic energy from the moment. Maybe instead I could have written a poem, or an essay, or even just enjoyed the art of creating the pie, but now, that energy is gone, and the excitement is diminished, and everything has been reduced down to a Like-Comment-Dopamine Meter, and that sucks. Plus, I’ve spent the last five minutes in my head, instead of in the experience, which essentially eliminates any chances for this pie making to rise above itself! I can’t write about an experience that I never experienced.
Inner Voice A: ….
Inner Voice B: Nope, not sharing.
Inner Voice A: ((Goes off to pout))
Can you relate? Please do comment if you can! You can even share with me your inner voice’s thoughts. Come on, you can share. We’re all voice hearers here. 😉
And here’s to a happy, peaceful year, full of creative experiences and in-the-moment living!
Photo (c) User baikahl of Stock.XCHNG