Sunday, March 25, 2012

Facebook and misunderstandings

I decided to write this post in lieu of the whole Facebook era. I have been an avid FB loyalist since I tested it as a beta...years ago. Back then, it was really only games...I do believe the one that stuck out in my mind was some sort of vampire game. The status of people were short and to the point' for instance..."<--- is tired", or..."loving life". The friend list was mostly gamers...until we were allowed to start inviting people and then the word got out to EVERYONE and their mother! I now belong to many closed and secret groups...of which are my playgroups, moms boards and preemie boards that I belonged to while pregnant with many of my kids. My preemie groups are more from word of mouth from other preemie moms. I love and respect all of these ladies (and some guys) on all my groups.

I've reconnected with people that I've went to school with...uh...many years ago and love being a kind of voyer into the lives of people that at one point in my life, were there every day...through all my school years. It's been a blessing to actually reconnect with so many of those that I have missed and always wondered what happened to them. The miles and years don't seem so far away anymore. I have "been there" for my long lost friends and acquaintances for births, sicknesses, vacations, proms of their kids, and even deaths...of a family member and even a few deaths of my friends whom I still go to their wall and just remember their lives...

FB has been a blessing and a curse at times. Yes, I've gotten into some written heated arguments...and afterwords I laugh because...they're just written words. You can't really get into an argument when there is no expression to the words written...sure...YOU CAN USE CAPS to show that you are yelling, but honestly, it's still typed out words with no expression. One can easily take offense to pretty much anything typed or posted.
Yes, I've even lost family to this curse as well. You can try messaging them, but again, they are just typed words...not really any meaning to them.

I've come up with a list of things that will definitely get you defriended, blocked, or get banished to the "acquaintance" group (for those of you who don't know what this is, it is the politest way a "friend" can ignore you without actually hurting your feelings and delete your a$$. They won't see what you post unless they actually go to that list.)
And stuff that you SHOULD do as common sense as a friend or family member on FB.
It comes down to FB/Internet code of just dont delete family once you are "friends". You can hit the "hide all posts" button so you don't see any of the posts.

1) I've learned first hand that to express a belief that you are passionate about is a definite no-no. Do NOT post anything about politics, your views on abortion, or anything that is on the news....this includes entertainment know, stuff like Angelina Jolie and her husband live in partner, hottie Brad Pitt.

2) Games...sure they are fun to play but to some really ticks people off to no end! Getting a game request or seeing that you played a game in their news feeds really pi$$es some off...even though it doesn't bother me but heres an idea that is directed to those that are about to do the deleting or banishing because of this...there is a little hidden "x" in the upper right hand of the post that is bugging you like nails on a chalkboard...HIT will tell you to hide all said game updates. There is also a "hide game app" area in the privacy section...or is it the acct. section? Presto...problem solved! No need to delete a friend who enjoys a game or two in their spare time.

3) Here's a biggie for me. Because I tend to tell my whole life story online...if you couldn't tell...I have found that friends and even (believe it or not) family don't care about your bad luck, your PMS moments or anything negative.
Since I am guilty for all of these types of posts, I know that these are one of the main reasons why most of my 700+ friends don't comment very often. In defense to myself, I have FB to connect with people especially those close to me. To keep them updated on my crazy life of tons of kids and my beautiful special needs/chronically ill son. This is MY life. The day in and day out, continuous worrying about one thing or another. It's about weekly hospital visits, being up all night (and I don't even have a newborn), feeding issues, medicines, etc. I don't have the easiest life so If those friends and family can't handle the updated posts on any of these things, they are living in a fantasy world where everything in life is perfect. God forbid you ruin their day/life by posting your unfortunates.

4). Not posting anything at all...ever. Like you don't even exist. This one is pretty much self-explanatory. Not ever posting will get you deleted...if you aren't on FB, your taking up space.

5). Guilty by association. Again...this one is another self-explanatory. If you are friends with someone with whom another friend got into a written war with on FB or someone dissed someone in real life...a divorce, a family squabble, or anything WILL get deleted...eventually. Sometimes you will only be friends for a short time just to get information from...but believe me, deletion is on it's way.

I'm sure there is much more...but I wanted to cover some of the things that I've experienced. Now here are some ideas for the deleters...yes, you mean people that are making those you have deleted wonder and contemplate their own self worth and life...

1). you don't delete's the biggest no-no ever! It will only bring things out in real a party, a holiday or whatever. To be deleted as a friend while others in the family are still friends only will cause must sadness and misunderstanding. It's like deleting a friendship that you share in real life. Please rethink this. This one is very critical for everyone involved...especially if it was just some miscommunication...which is more likely what caused this in the first place.

2). If you don't like a post or feel strongly against the issue at hand...DONT respond...just keep scrolling past it. This way no one will get their feelings and emotions in a twist.

3). If you are drunk, depressed, arguing with a spouse, or suffering from PMS, it's better to stay off Facebook for a while...period! These moments in life tend to bring out the worst in one and you are apt to comment or post just to start with someone. It's almost like cyber road rage.

And to those who take a Facebook break by deactivating you account....good for you. I've done it and it is a sort of refreshing and needed break every-so-often. When you feel that life is getting out of hand. When you are at a low in your life and all you are seeing is good fortune in other posters...which makes you want to jump off a bridge, do yourself a favor and deactivate for a couple of days. no need for deletion of people. You will be hidden from everyone while you are one will be able to see you even exist until you return with a better outlook.

I just want to close by saying that Facebook has been a huge blessing in my life. I've been able to share my life with so many people. I have a great support system for my life as a mom of a chronically ill/special needs son. My life is not far and it is one of the ways I find comfort, support and inspiration from friends and family. It has picked me up when I was down. It has helped me share many triumphs and celebrations, and it has allowed me to enjoy a laugh or two, many memories and events. On my friends list, I have conservatives, liberals, straight, gay, ex-boyfriends, whites, blacks, and every color in between. I have many that don't live in the states, some rich, some poor, Catholics, Christians, Baptists, Jews, Atheists...and many more differences.
So before you decide to delete a friend, please remember we all are human and behind those words, ideas, opinions and deletions...we all have feelings!


JackieG said...

Thank you for this one Michele! You are so right on all counts here! I know because I myself have been guilty of deleting and then feeling awful that I did! Love you!

Cyndi said...

Well put. FB can be fun and frustrating but I am glad to connect with people I might not otherwise be able to "talk" to as often without it.

Tim said...

GREAT post Michele! I deleted my FB account prolly a year ago now and it was the best decision I ever made. My main concern were the security issues it presents. Dont need that.

Having said that, I agree with you that it is a great medium to connect with old friends, its just too bad that it comes with so many issues along the way that they arent even interested in addressing other than saying they are when they arent.

Hope all has been well with your family!

Love and Prayers,


Josie said...

You're right on all counts, Michele! What about ex-boyfriend's sister, mother, niece and friends? Think they're spying on me?