Occasionally, sleep will sneak away from me in the middle of the night. I will try not to get my mind going because once it takes off, it will wear me out with all its thinking.
To avoid that, I’ll sing a hymn in my mind or just thank the good Lord over and over for the blessings of life. If an hour goes by and to sleep I have not returned, I will often pick up my iPad to read because I can do that without turning on the light and disturbing Tink or Dixie Dew.
I’ve never been a big Facebook person, but somehow I fell into the habit of looking at the news feed when I wake up like that. It’s akin to watch a soap opera. The things that people will tell on Facebook are astounding. Sometimes, I hear Mama’s voice in my head saying, “I don’t believe I’d told that.”
A moment later, after I read another post, I hear her say so clearly, “I’d be ashamed to tell any such. What will people think?”
Mama always worried about what people would think. Grass couldn’t be cut on Sunday or clothes hung on the line because people would think we were non-church-going heathens.
Boy, if she could read social media, she wouldn’t be able to turn her head away. Sometimes it’s like watching a train wreck.
If you don’t believe me, set your alarm for 3 a.m. and get up to read the news feed. It’s essential to get up in the middle of the night to read it because, by morning, they’ve come to their senses and taken down the posts.
One night, a woman wrote about telling off a co-worker. She spoke of the woman in the toughest of terms, yet she was proud that she had finally stood up for herself. She felt confident and liberated for having done it. By the time the office opened the next morning, the post was gone.
Another time, someone bared her soul for the trouble of her life, her depression, how friends had turned away and family cared no longer. She had lost her job, she said, for being with her family too much, and now they wouldn’t help her. Someone sharply rebuked her for her self-pity, saying, “I have my own trials and struggles but I don’t post them on FB for everyone to read.” That post, too, was gone the next morning.
One man posted that his sweet, young daughter was the only child in her second-grade class not to be invited to a classmate’s birthday party. They assumed it was a mistake, bought a gift and called to check on details, only to be told she wasn’t invited. The man concluded, “It’s because I’ve been in prison. That’s the only reason it could be. It’s not fair to her. She didn’t do anything. She shouldn’t suffer.”
“Prison?” I asked myself. That was a revelation to me. I didn’t know he had ever been in prison. He sure didn’t strike me as the kind to have known that kind of heartache. Nonetheless, that rant — and there was much more to it — was also gone the next morning.
Another woman railed and cried about a former classmate telling her how much weight she had gained and how changed she was. She carried on about medications and health problems and such. The next day, that post was gone and replaced with one that talked about the big meal her mama had cooked and how absolutely stuffed she was. “I ate like a pig. I couldn’t eat one more bite.”
The other day, a guy wrote, “You people share too much information and things I don’t want to see or know. I’m deleting some of you. Feel free to delete me if you like.”
For my part, I’ll quote Mama again. “There are some things you just oughtn’t tell.”
I wish Mama could post that.
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