It’s true that Facebook can be super annoying. What with all the irritating posts and what not. Kind of like this one!! 😉 The reality is that Facebook has made the way we interact with other people very different from when I was growing up in the 70’s and 80’s. When I was a teenager if you got upset at someone, you would call their house 500 times and when they pick up you would make heavy breathing sounds or a deep scary voice until they ended up taking the phone off the hook. And we did that even before redial was an actual thing. On rotary phones!! That took some concentration and commitment. But now a days…it’s called trolling the Internet. Trolls go around leaving asshole comments on folks posts, and I think that is the equivalent to the prank calls we did in the 80’s. I would bet 90% of trolls are 12 year olds.
It’s no secret to anyone that Facebook can cause a lot of stress and strain on friendships and relationships. We mostly post what is important to us, and what we are into, and what we think is cool. I have always thought of Facebook as the narcissists playground. All of us can post pic after pic of ourselves and the people we like…and we can post all about who we are and what we do. We all have a bit of narcissism in us. I think it’s human nature. I mean, we are stuck with ourselves 24/7 in our own heads. Now Facebook has created a place where we can share all the stuff in our heads and the stuff we like and are into. The thing is, not everybody agree or sees everything the same, so this can cause a lot of turmoil among friendships. Our children have grown up in the Facebook era so I do believe that my kids handle this online life so much better than I do. They have always known how to manage these relationships online, because that is how it has always been for them. I still struggle sometimes though. I think we are all struggling to figure how to manage these friendships online.
There seems to be two types of people on Facebook. The kind that feel their Facebook is their own and they can post whatever they want, whenever they want and however they want! And they don’t care at all what you think about that!! Then you have the kind that feel you should keep it reined in. Only post certain things, and don’t overdo this or that. These people are not into the TMI posts or fighting posts. They also don’t want to hear about your relationships or see five million pictures of your kid or dinner!
I have decided that I fall somewhere in the middle between those two things. I do believe that anybody can post whatever they want, but at the same time, because we are openly posting on a public forum, you need to be aware that posting on a public platform means you should expect for opinions to come on what you are posting about. That’s really the whole reason for a public platform. Facebook is NOT a private diary! People will see what you post. I blog about shit all the time. It would be pretty stupid of me not to expect other folks to disagree with what I am posting about. The thing is….I don’t actually care that much which is why I go ahead and post it. At first I cared a lot. I hated when I would get trolls and assholes saying shit to me, but I realized that it means NOTHING! And it doesn’t change who I am and what I stand for. And there are people who connect with my posts and words and those are the ones I am posting for. But if there is something I do not want feedback on, I will not post it publicly!
There are so many positives to Facebook as well. For instance the birthday thing. I woke up on my birthday and got on Facebook, and I had over 200 people say Happy Birthday to me. It made me so happy. It made my day. In real life….I would never have had 200 people say happy birthday to me. It did make me smile. It did make me happy. And I realized that because of Facebook, I was able to make someone feel just as happy and loved as I did that day. If anyone even tries to say that all those Happy Birthdays on your day doesn’t make you happy…then they are lying!!
Facebook is a new era that is not going away anytime soon. I love many things about being on Facebook, and I yet there are still things that I have not figured out yet.
Like being unfriended still stings. I don’t know why. I guess because it’s so much in your face that this person no longer wants a connection with you. In real life when you are “unfriended”, it just happens naturally. You and a friend may no longer be connecting and naturally the relationship just falls away. You stop talking and usually just grow apart. But online….It’s a finality.
I’ve decided there are different stages of this online process as well. I mean, if someone just unfollows you, that is something that you don’t even know has happened. Most likely you will never know. The person that unfollowed you wants to stay friends but doesn’t agree with or like the thing you talk about. So it’s a very passive aggressive way of detaching themselves from you.
Then you have the unfriending. This is more in your face because you know it happened. You go to this persons page and you see the ADD FRIEND button and you know! You know they unfriended you. They no longer want to be attached to you on Facebook at all and they want you to know it!
The next step is much more sever. It’s the unfriending and blocking! Now you not only aren’t friends anymore, but you are no longer even alive to them. You have been erased from their online life all together. It’s not just a break up….but a death!! And you always know when you have been blocked because you will be commenting on a mutual friends post and see them outright talking to that person, but on your end it looks as if they are having a conversation with them self. So you think…hm that’s weird….why are they talking to themselves. And then they may use that person’s name in the comment and you realize…OH….okay…I guess I was BLOCKED! Erased from that person’s life. Which actually makes things uncomfortable if you run into them at Wal-Mart because now you can’t just fake the smile and act like you like them. You both know they have erased you, ..and the best thing to do is just duck behind the massive display of cheese balls and hope they don’t see you!! Because that interaction would be completely awkward now.
In my own personal online life, I rarely unfriend people. I have officially blocked only 2 people. I am sure I have been blocked by more than that, but I don’t actually give a shit! I am not one of these folks that posts the ” I’m cleaning out my friends list, so tell me how much you love me so I don’t delete you” type of person. I find that to be a tad bit attention seeking. I’m not judging… but if you want some online love, just straight out ask for it!! No need to do that fishing for compliments thing. I bet if you straight out said, “I’m sad and lonely, could someone send me a happy face so I don’t jump off a bridge” You would be surprised at how many people would send you love.
This online world is definitely changed the way we interact with each other. But I believe it has done wonderful things as well. Sometimes I have walked away from Facebook feeling awful! Feeling like I can’t measure up for some reason. And other times I have felt loved and appreciated by folks I rarely talk to. It’s a strange phenomenon.
I love Facebook!! I am most definitely addicted to it. I love commenting on posts and giving my two cents even though nobody cares. This is the way we communicate now. The Facebook era is here, and this is a sign of our times, and a sign of the future and how we will progress in communicating with each other. I’m totally on board!! Now Twitter….that’s another story all together!! No matter how many times my kids try to show me how to use Twitter, I just can’t figure it out. And who in their right mind can tell a story in 10 words or less anyway?!