This is why I choose to add a French Flag Filter to my Profile Picture on Facebook

Customize_your_profile_picture_on_facebook

In the aftermath of Paris attacks of November 13, 2015, Facebook quickly offered the ability to add a filter covering your profile photo in a layer of the colors of the French Republic flag.

After thinking through, this is why I chose to do it:
there is a time of shock after events that you feel are touching you directly in who you are. After a death comes grief, but it comes with several stages, that need to be passed through before you can transform them into something constructive. I decided that until I had passed those stages, I would signal my state of grief by filtering my face behind a veil that represents a part of who I am, and that will signal myself as a mourner, or a person in mourning for those particular events. I will remove the veil when I feel ready to go back to the world… this is called bereavement, and nothing else.

Now, if it presents a vision of the world to anyone who would tell me it is limiting to a shocking reality excluding other valuable causes, I would reply that the world wide web is very vast, vaster than the sea of filtered faces you can see in Facebook’s timeline. If you see only filtered profiles, it may mean that your choice of friends is not diverse enough, that is all. This goes both ways.

 

I had also had to explain something that seemed obvious, but is always necessary to restate clearly:

Since we are all guilty of doing it, and I will always include myself in these faulty behaviors or speeches, I want to say that immediately after hearing of a terrible news, other than pronouncing conventional sentences, we may want to jump to very insensitive comments, that are spoken from a place of raw emotion.

I will not comment on top of these comments that social media have facilitated now. I will put myself in the place where I am: in shock and disbelief, in sadness and profound distress.

I know that whatever I will say or think is painted with where I come from and what my own experiences are. We are all part of what is going on and in need of trying to make sense in order to be able to move from the place of raw emotion that is too painful to bear otherwise.

My plea to everyone is to do what you feel comfortable the most with, whether it takes root in your belief system or political views, but also bear in mind that the noise we make has an impact, the words we say have an impact, the images we share have an impact. Let us all think before we react. Let us pause the time we are sure what we can do is going to be useful to someone else as well as to oneself.

And if too much thinking and pausing is making us look dumb or bizarrely shy or uninteresting, let us be thankful for being a worker of peace, a keeper of time.

Thank you for all your messages of love. Paris is where I was born and where I lived all my life until I moved permanently to the States at 40 years old, too old to become anything else than a foreigner in a foreign country, an adopter of a new land. The motherland remains strong. I do not want to hear any disparaging comment about the politics of the French. They are my countrymen and my allegiance will always be to the world of strong values that made me who I am. Paris will always be my hometown where every nook and stone I have walked and had adventures that those who are currently walking may feel and love or fear.

Let us be kind to each other and let us try to be patient when Time has been suddenly put in a motion that is scary.

My Year 2011 in retrospect

It’s been a very intense year.
I wanted to recap what personal events will stay in my mind as the touchstones of 2011. I listed ten of the most prominent themes that dominated my life this past year. What would be yours?

10.- [Facebook and other social networks ]

This is the year when I worked on reuniting all my online identities and reclaiming my narrative.

9. – [Moodscope]

Thanks to this simple tool, I have managed my depression and mood swings like never before. Also thanks to the fabulous friends who were my “buddies” with the system!

8.- [ Local News Retrospective in the Lewisboro Ledger ]

As the recap says it in the article, our town has been the theater of so many tragedies and other events, that touched people that were my neighbors and acquaintances. It has often been shattering and will leave long lasting traces.

7.- [Lose It!]

I happily lost all my “American weight”! the pounds that I had steadily gained since I started living in the States thirteen years ago. All gone! good riddance 🙂

6.- [A Creative Project in Progress ]

I am finally gaining enough self-confidence to feel creative again. I also regained enough liberty to find more time to devote to my projects thanks to my boys becoming more independent!

5.- [Beyond social networking, a blogroll]

Beyond getting the news of the world, I am keeping friendships alive and following their news, when they blog or write to me.

4.- [ Jewish Family Congregation ]

Our congregation is experiencing a crisis and I am devoting as much time as I can because I love it (and yes, there is an ambivalent meaning in this sentence, which is totally intentional!)

3.- [Snipets of family life in Westchester ]

This has still remained a priority focus: balancing my life so that I can be the best parent to my sons, and raising them to become the best they can. And they make me proud.

2.- [Angel Wings Web]

A new adventure, that will soon be one year-old, and that keeps me stoked and energized. I am also so proud of myself at last! This lean start-up will soon launch online, stay tuned! (and sign up for the news when it comes!).

1.- [Action for Happiness]

And it’s time to wish you all to be happy in 2012: and to know that it takes action, because it is an attitude, to work for!

Are you using Facebook’s new features?

Choose who sees your update on Facebook - friends, public or customSo Facebook is tweaking its vast array of choices and fine-tuning again. Now you can choose who will see a post or update you publish on your wall. You can decide for each of your statuses who will see it, the public, or your friends, or your friends’ friend, etc.

Are you using this new features? What do you think of it? Will it change your ways to use the platform? Did you know about it? I am curious.

When social media fails you

When social media fails you

I just went through the biggest shame with my use of my social networks.
I am being careful, especially on Facebook, to have groups, so that I can easily see updates from close friends instead of just being negligentely browsing updates that pop in my stream – I am not using Facebook so that it gives me all social media broadcasts that I can see on Twitter for instance… but many of my friends chose to broadcast – probably automatically – to all their networks, and I confess, I get distracted from that primary intention.

A friend and neighbor in my town, whose sister had suddenly been sick with brain cancer last March was using her Facebook status to update on her sister’s condition and fight against the tumor. There were weeks without updates sometimes. And more recently, some alarming updates, not spelling out a dreaded outcome, but clear enough for me to pay more attention, and try to keep my prayers and thoughts as active as possible.

Not active enough were my thoughts of checking the updates daily. I checked on Wednesday for the last time, and then never caught the passing stream with my friend’s appearing in, while I would stroll in the flood. And Thursday morning, she posted that her sister had passed. I was available to go to services, I was available to go to the funeral and to the cemetary. I just didn’t see the announcement. Until today when I caught a recent update with a picture that immediately alerted me to what I had missed.

Of course I feel guilty. Guilty of what we all do on our shiny walls and love for the excitement of social networks. We have many friends, but do we hear when they tell us something that we need to hear? I will not tell my friend that I feel guilty, because I feel mostly sad that I failed showing up, even for a brief farewell and extending my condolences, in a different way than a comment below a picture, a letter in the mailbox and a basket of fruit – I am not even sure they are at their home or at their siblings’ and because of my own guilt calling on the phone won’t do me any good, because it is not about me, it is about their bereavement, and they have other things to care about than the guilt of a lame friend on facebook.

This will serve me as a lesson. A lesson in my usage of social network, which I pride myself in being using properly enough to teach others how to do so.

Remember why you friend someone on facebook. And if you are among those that make a lot of noise too.

Clara Paschalina Recchia - April 14, 1963 - July 28, 2011