The Facebook Creep
Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath. Do not fret—it leads only to evil. – Psalm 37:8 (NRSV)
I have a confession.
I spent a large part of the 2010s as a Facebook creep.
You know the type. Facebook creeps don’t like or comment on anything you post, yet always seem to know your latest updates. They (we) lurk and observe without leaving record they looked at your page.
I think there is a healthy amount of Facebook creeping. (Then again, you’d probably expect a Facebook creep to say that.) Sometimes, you just want to know what’s happening. You want the updates but you don’t want the small talk.
But creeping can easily morph from a casual hobby to a not-so-casual obsession.
My Facebook creeping was anything but healthy. I was vengefully creeping. I searched for people who had wronged me or hurt me, and I looked at their pages hoping to get some indication they weren’t happy.
I felt relieved when I saw that a friend who had ghosted me seemed lonely. I felt superior when someone who had bullied me online seemed out of sorts.
My computer screen morphed from monitor to mirror. Spending all my time tracking the misery and toxicity of others made me a miserably toxic person.
I couldn’t unbreak my heart by wishing horrors on the people who broke it. I had to block, unfollow, and unfriend those who hurt me to start the journey of true healing.
Anger is a valid and justified emotion, yet stewing in it forever will eat away at your wholeness.
When I was ready to take my power back, I turned my focus away from those who hurt me and toward the Love that could restore me.
You said to follow you, and I listened. When news feeds and old hurts hold me captive, I know your love will set me free. Amen.
Marchaé Grair is a spiritual director, facilitator, and the Director of Public Relations and Outreach at the Unitarian Universalist Association. Follow her work at marchae.com.