Their entire Facebook oeuvre is Disney-themed. On July Fourth, it's Mickey in a tricorn, waving a Betsy Ross flag. At Christmas, Mickey and Minnie dress up as Santa and Mrs. Claus. They post shot after shot of their latest trip to the Orlando land of make-believe. With Chip and Dale. With Cinderella. With Baloo the Jungle Bear. In a car screaming over the big drop at Thunder Mountain. They arrive at their weddings in a horse-drawn pumpkin carriage. They wear their mouse ears on the plane ride home.
Or it's ethnicity.Endless shamrocks, alcohol jokes and references to leprechauns, fairies and Catholic school from the Irish. Endless... Actually, only the Irish are like this!
Or it's sports. Selfies between innings at ball parks. Cooking steaks at a tailgate party. Booklets full of sports star autographs. Evenings spent in front of the television screaming at a bad play in a forgettable game in mid-season.
Or it's alcohol. Evenings and weekends drinking this, drinking that, drunkenly yukking it up with friends, Dancing to a too-loud rock band. Blurry cab rides home.
Or it's church. Inspirational posters of a dewy eyed, lovable Jesus. Anguished, crucified Jesus, Jesus with kids, Jesus on clouds welcoming souls to heaven. Promises of angelic visits, or miracles (if you share this post withing 3 minutes). Saints to pray to or to emulate. The latest bon mot from Joel Osborn or Rick Warren or that great sage "Unknown."
Or it's politics. Screeds against the president. Pleas for the return of a previous president. Pitches for candidates. Proofs that Democrats (or Republicans) are destroying America. Proofs that the same parties will save it.
Whatever world you project onto social media (and onto your long-suffering friends) is a reflection of the life inside our heads, of our passions and obsessions, fears and desires. It's so easy to get lost in our bubbles, to deny the value of other bubbles, to try to entrap others in ours. Bubbles are comfortable, giving us a safe retreat from life's complexities and ambiguities. But comfortable, sometimes to the point of making us oblivious to other bubbles, or even life beyond bubbles.The reality that we create and painstakingly maintain is such a small slice of the life that we have the chance to sample.
Pop your own bubble once in a while. Imagine what life might be like in another bubble. Visit another bubble. Grow your bubble. Watch a movie or read a book about other bubbles. Imagine billions of bubbles, some expansive and encompassing; others shriveled, mean and cold, some filled with millions, some with room enough for a solitary, shrunken soul. Imagine all being nudged into bumping into others, stretching their skins to breaking, darting, merging. Into the bubble of all bubbles, the very mind of God.