Thursday, September 23, 2010

Get out of my Face, Facebook.

I've been reluctantly dragged in to Facebook because it's the only way to keep up with the relatives scattered from here to kingdom-come. It's a nice way to keep up with friends that I don't often get to see. So, I check in regularly, but I can't say that I'm enamored with the whole thing. It's a means to an end, I suppose. That's all.

A couple days ago, my friend Alan put up a comment. He said that he's learned a great deal from watching Bugs Bunny. Another fellow commented that his favorite was The Road Runner. I made a comment to the effect that he'd learned from that, too. Unless he was currently dangling from the jaws of a coyote. Guy flipped a gasket. Felt that he'd been 'slammed'. "Uh. No," I messaged back. "I don't believe in that. It was meant as a joke, sorry for any offense." I guess that's what happens though. You don't know who's on line. You don't know how your comments will be taken. I guess that is the thing that makes me uncomfortable with facebook, all the strangers lurking about. If I don't actually 'know' the person who's requesting to be my friend, I don't accept the friend request. It makes me feel a little guilty, but hey. It's how I roll.

I've recently had the 'opportunity' to watch facebook wielded as a weapon. An acquaintance sent me a friend request some time ago, and I agreed to it. Tim worked with her husband, I knew her from church. We both know her in-laws. Always visited with her a little when we saw her at the Walmart. Now the marriage is over. Or at least headed that way. She's posted some pretty shocking pictures of herself on line. I'd call them soft porn, to be frank. A recent posting stunned me. She's getting bored with the subject of Ted Bundy, and was looking for the name of another killer/rapist from Canada. The most recent conversation hinted at a very good and intimate time with "____". Immediately, Mr. _______ posted, using his own name and saying how fine it had all been. His ex-girlfriend commented, hurt and angry. He taunted her with the relationship. My 'facebook friend' thought it funny. It made me sick, to read it, the gloating and the rage and the hurt right there in my face. It was mean, like the popular kids in high school.

I was trying to think why. Maybe it's because Tim and I had our own hard time earlier in the year. We're okay. In fact, probably better than we've ever been. It wasn't easy. It required a lot of talking. The thing is, though, even when things were at their worst, we didn't hate each other. Our concern was almost always for the other person. Our hearts were breaking. The only thing that we knew is that neither of us wanted to divorce, but despite that, we seemed to be in a place where that was the only answer. It was devastating. The idea that one or the other of us would have gone on line to be critical of our spouses, or to flaunt our new intimacies in front of them, or to inflict pain on others, well. It was unthinkable. I knew that Tim was hurting, and I would not have wanted to make it worse. I'm pretty sure he felt the same way.

I don't know. Maybe I'm old. All I know is that really, I'm rethinking the whole facebook thing lately.

11 comments:

Caroline said...

Hi Debby

Did you know you can go way down to the bottom of FB and click on Edit Options. You can then remove some friends from your feed so you wont be forced to see things you don't want. You can then go back and put them back in your feed later on.

A Novel Woman said...

I am tired of Facebook and Twitter and Natter and the rest of it.

But maybe I'm old too. I prefer a good book, one I can hold in my hands and turn actual pages, lunch with a friend, a walk in the woods...

Kelly said...

Facebook is one of those things I swear I'll never do. (but then I swore I'd never get an iPhone, too) Seriously, I don't see the appeal.

Anonymous said...

Hi Deb, I know what you mean about Facebook. I once got a friendship request from a stranger who had a name very similar to one of my friend- thinking it was my friend I accepted the request. It became pretty obvious that this stranger was a glory hunter who wanted to be famous. I was inundated with hundreds of her ‘look at me', 'look at me', 'look at me' self-promoting updates. I ended up deleting her as a friend. Now I’m very selective who I accept as a FB friend- it has to be a current real life friend or a long lost friend that I would like to catch up with, or an online friend that I’ve known for years and trust –any request from anybody else is denied. And I must admit that my FB involvement waxes and wanes, sometimes I check it every day,other times I don’t check for weeks or months. Cheers, DavidM,

Lydia said...

I am so sad that these people are mis-treating themselves and others so badly. I guess if they didn't have Facebook to do it with, they would find another way. Damaged people will always find a way to damage others.

Mrs.Spit said...

Perhaps the saddest of all, in the whole face book mess, is that the internet never goes away. Years from now, someone will be able to see it and see the choices she made, and she will still have to live it down.

I wonder how often people really think about that.

Mikey said...

I hate Facebook. I had to make an acct so I could view my families' pictures, but I made sure to do it under an anon name, and I do nothing with it. I refuse to do it! I tried Twitter. Don't get the big deal...but fun to read other people's.
We don't have to participate in it. I just tell people "I don't Facebook" and they look at me like I grew two heads. Tell em "Look, I BLOG" lol.

BUSH BABE said...

Oi - my soapbox!!!

You know, FB is a regular culprit of this kind of behaviour, but it's more the acceptance of quick-release venting to the world at large that seems to be the problem to me. It can happen on Twitter, it can happen on messageboards and chatrooms and even blogs (I know!).

If ever I could teach people anything about blogging or internet communicating is that the EDIT and REVIEW and DELETE buttons are your best friends. If you wouldn't say it tomorrow, when you have cooled down, then DON'T say it now...

This kind of encounter happened to me recently with someone I thought I knew (using Twitter) - it saddened me, but I feel a bit wiser. I guess I decided that it really wasn't that far from my 'real life' response - I share what I think needs to be said, and I try to be gentle most times, but if it you don't like me, tough.

I don't understand the whole competitive 'who's got the most friends/followers' thing. Surely quality wins over quantity??
:-)
BB

Bob said...

As I wrote not long ago, I don't do FB. But it's not FB that's the problem, it's weird and sick people. If it weren't FB, it would be something else. They find a way.

quid said...

I have resisted FB (I love Bush Babe's comment!)... but I do want to see the movie about the college kid who invented it. Looks like good modern day cultural phenomena.

quid

deardarl said...

I've had a lot of "friend" request since joining a widowhood group, but I've realised that all we have in common is that our husbands are dead.
I've "unfriended" or hidden their feeds and it feels much better.