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The Good Kind of Overwhelmed

So one thing social media did for communication was turn up the volume.  And I mean that both positively and negatively.  Silence on the Internet is a lot louder than silence in the face-to-face world.  Before the Internet, when we were struggling, if no one came by with a supportive word, it stung but we also reasoned that maybe no one knew.  Whereas now, when we post our struggles online, when they are ignored or passed over or our needs aren’t met… it’s loud.  It’s really loud.  It’s like a thousand decibels of static loud.

And then there’s the good, happy noise.  You have your birthday, and suddenly, you are not hearing “happy birthday” from a select few friends and family members who remember and contact you.  You are having birthday day wishes screamed at you all day.  It’s really overwhelming.  A good kind of overwhelming, but overwhelming nonetheless for someone who is sensitive to… bigness.  Big crowds, big noise.  It’s a happy, messy kind of overwhelmed.  It’s the best kind of overwhelmed to have.

By which I mean thank you for all of the birthday wishes: on Twitter, on Facebook, on the blog, in text messages, emails, phone calls.  It was a big happy noisy weekend full of words.

I really don’t want people to misunderstand when I talk about the volume being turned up.  Sometimes I want the music loud — like this weekend when I was rockin’ out, celebrating my birthday and having a good time.  Sometimes I like the world quiet, and those are the times I need to step away from the Internet, mostly because of its tendency to amplify — the silences and the noise.  But this weekend, I was on the Internet, enjoying being overwhelmed.  Thank you.


1 Justine { 06.03.13 at 1:57 pm }

I understand. And agree. 🙂

2 Amel { 06.03.13 at 4:47 pm }

You’re absolutely right about the silence on the internet. I’ve felt it firsthand as well and that kinda makes me sick sometimes – makes me want to just totally limit sharing online ‘coz it feels that it’s not “worth it”, but you’re also right that on the other end of the equation, sometimes it can be overwhelmingly loud in a positive way. 🙂

3 Battynurse { 06.03.13 at 6:32 pm }

I totally understand so much of this post. So fabulous as usual.

4 Pepper { 06.03.13 at 6:32 pm }

I agree. I also forgot to wish you a happy birthday. So happy birthday! I feel a lot of the same things each year on my birthday, but this year was a really good one. I hope you can say the same. 🙂

5 a { 06.03.13 at 6:58 pm }

That is a good kind of noise! Glad you enjoyed it…

6 Audrey { 06.03.13 at 8:59 pm }

I totally get this. I often pause when writing something or right before posting it and think about how many responses I might get because of the personal nature of the subject and then decide to just hit delete to avoid it all. Even though I want to, and need to in some cases, share these things..I also don’t want the attention. Mixed bag.

7 Lori Lavender Luz { 06.03.13 at 11:28 pm }

I wanted to call you but I figured you had sand between your toes and my song can wait 🙂

8 Kimberly { 06.03.13 at 11:41 pm }

You hit the nail on the head. And I hope you had a wonderful birthday 🙂

9 St. Elsewhere { 06.04.13 at 1:07 am }

Well, glad you loved the volume!


p.s. Someone stole the crickets. Darn it.

10 Tiara { 06.04.13 at 8:00 am }

So true! Glad you were so celebrated!

11 Amber { 06.15.13 at 1:15 am }

Happy belated birthday!

(c) 2006 Melissa S. Ford
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