It happened one night when I was sitting in Judy’s room, having just had my profile picture involuntarily changed to a rather embarrassing selfie. At first, half bemused and half exasperated, I didn’t notice that I had unintentionally deleted my original profile picture along with the frape. I clicked on my profile and was unexpectedly confronted not with a lovely photo of my mum and me in New York, but rather with a faceless man staring out at me from the space that we should have occupied. It was in that moment that I knew. I realised what had happened, and for several seconds, my mind was devoid of all coherent thought. I was suddenly just a physical entity, aware of nothing but the primal sensations that flooded through my body, threatening to engulf me completely: fear, dread.
According to the Kübler-Ross Model, there are five stages of grief. When I finally regained the ability to think rationally, I tried to find some way, any way to bring my photo back to life from the depths of the Facebook archives cemetery. Denial. It was unfair. Why did this happen? One click ago my beloved photo with all its likes and comments was there. Now it ceased to exist. My chest tightened; a wave of heat rushed through my body. I walked out of the room. Anger. Outside it was dark and cold but strangely refreshing. I found myself still holding onto that tiny thread of hope that I could somehow undo what had happened. Please, I would give up so much if I could only wake up from this nightmare. Bargaining. I started to run. No thoughts, no feelings. I wanted to shut out everything. I wanted to delete my whole Facebook profile, hell I wanted to delete the last few months of my life. My profile picture was gone forever. What were people going to think of me now? Depression.
I ran up the stairs to Nive’s room, walked in and curled up on her bed in foetal position. There have been very few times in my young adult life that anyone has seen me cry. Society has always influenced me to look condescendingly at those who snivel and sob, especially in front of anyone else. It is only in the last few years that I have realised that crying is not a sign of weakness and is actually a natural and healthy way of coping with pain. Nevertheless, it is still with much embarrassment that I admit to shedding a couple of tears with Miss Shankles. We talked and laughed at my ridiculous overreaction and after some time I began finally to come to terms with my loss. Acceptance.
Okay, so that was obviously a highly dramatized and somewhat satirical recount of events. However, I do (shamefully) confess that I actually was incredibly pained when I realised that I had accidentally deleted my profile picture (it’s sad I know haha). Obviously there is something not quite right in the world when perceived social status on Facebook, and popularity in general for that matter, can have such an impact on someone. Anyway, this silly incident has already wasted so much of my invaluable time so I won’t go into that. I suppose one positive of this whole experience is that I am now better able to appreciate that anything can cause a person great distress, no matter how trivial it may appear (everything is of course relative, and in the scheme of things, our thoughts and feelings are all insignificant anyway). Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I actually think that having my Facebook profile picture deleted is a serious tragedy, just another one of those silly irrational regrets that I have of infinitesimally minute occurrences. From a psychological perspective, it’s actually quite interesting (and often very amusing) to observe my own emotional reactions (and those of others) to particular events. Anyway, now that I’ve gotten all that out, it’s really time to GET OVER IT! Lol.