The Feels Are Coming

Someone recently sent me a chain mail on Facebook (FB).  It was one of those that’s designed to give you “the feels,” while also quietly coercing you into forwarding the chain on to others, with a not-so-subtle challenge/competition thrown in for good measure.

Now, first off, I HATE those kinds of things.  I abhor each and every one of those memes that have phrases such as “Like if you have a heart,” or “I really need a hug.  Let’s see who cares enough to send me one.”  Things like that are designed to guilt-trip you into responding and/or forwarding this manipulative crap on to someone else.  I’m rebellious enough that I immediately scroll past any meme that has words to that effect in them.  I refuse to share, and I refuse to acknowledge that I’ve even seen it.

But it’s not just the manipulativeness about them that bothers me; it’s also that–while they’re an attempt to reach out and tell people you’re thinking about them–they seem SO impersonal to me.  99% of the time, the person who sends or posts one of those did NOT write it.  It just got sent to them somehow, and they decided to share it, or forward it onward.  So, something like that never seems genuine to me.  Throw in that some of them have horrible grammar and/or spelling mistakes (or worse, use text shortcuts like “u,” “ur,” etc.) and I just cringe all over.

So, when this meme was recently sent to me via personal message (PM), I wrote back to the person and asked that they not send me those kinds of things anymore.  I explained my reasons for why I don’t like them, and did so in a calm, point-of-fact manner (at least, I hope I didn’t come across as rude).

However, as I pondered it a few days later, I found myself trying to defend my position again (to myself, not the sender).  A bit of soul-searching helped me realize that–while it might not be the most personal message–at least the person who sent it had the thought to send it directly to me via PM.  That got me to reflecting on how bad I’ve been at keeping in touch with people over the years.  I have hundreds of “friends” on FB, and still more people not on FB that have meant something to me over the years.  Aside from holiday cards, postcards, or sending Birthday wishes to them on FB, I don’t stay in touch with most of these people.  Even though there’s still a fondness for them in my heart.

So I decided that I will make up for that in 2018.  It’s not necessarily a New Year’s resolution, but I feel like a hypocrite for refusing any sort of nice message from someone, just because I think the method is impersonal, when I haven’t been personal enough with people I care about myself.

Some people will get a long email or letter, while others might get a short but sweet note on FB via personal message.  A lot depends on the person and how much s/he has touched my life.  And, that’s not to say that a short note won’t be heartfelt, because I’m going to make sure to really express how much s/he has touched my life and in what ways . . . but some people have only been in my life for a brief time.  But everyone who has touched my life has made an impact, and I want to let people know that I feel that.

I don’t know if it will take me the full year.  I haven’t yet counted how many people I will be reaching out to.  But 2018 is going to be the year where I send the HELL out of “the feels” to the people in my life.

Get ready . . .

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