Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Facebook as Life

Social media has become such a part of our everyday lives that we often don't even think about it.

Well, I've been thinking a lot about it over the past few months. More than I should, really. Probably.

See, a few months ago, someone close to me took offense to something I did (or rather, did not do) on Facebook.

Something... small. Innocent. Harmless. But apparently not in their eyes.

By "took offense" I mean that they called me out publicly (via my FB wall) and privately (via email & text) for my actions, telling me how disrespectful I was and what a "horrible person" I was. Yep, "horrible person" is in quotes because those are their words.

Long story short, they eventually demanded that I delete my FB account, for something about their opinion of how awful I treat my FB friends. I responded by telling them that I was not deleting my account because of one person's opinion, but if they truly believed me to be that horrible (using their word), then perhaps they should defriend me.

They did.

To this day I don't know why they were so upset. They offered no explanation for their opinion, other than to hurl insults at me. The few people I have confided in about the situation, are just as confused. Two separate people even suggested the person might have been drunk at the time.

Who knows.

I do know that they have never apologized, nor attempted to re-friend me, and we both have limited contact with each other since then.

Because of my close relationship with this person, and our previous history, I've actually given this one, seemingly simple incident quite a bit of thought. Their reaction really got to me.

After much reflection, I can say that while I still don't believe that I did anything wrong, I can see how my actions, or lack thereof, could be perceived as a social media faux paus, a slip in etiquette.

Why such a misstep would cause such a large emotional reaction on this person's part, I still have no clue.

What I can say, is that there are some life lessons to be learned from this social media incident:

#1 - if you find someone's company to be truly "horrible", remove yourself from their company.
I might not understand the whys, and it may have been my idea, but it was a good choice on their part. You're not going to change someone, so you if you find them to be so unpleasant that are in emotional upheaval over their actions, simply removing yourself from their company is best for everyone, including yourself.

#2 - at any given moment, someone is watching what you're doing
Perhaps the most surprising thing to me is that this person essentially stalked my account*. Something they vehemently denied when I called them on it, but... it's the truth. They monitored not only what was posted to my wall, but what I responded to, made note of whom I responded to & whom I didn't, what I posted on mutual friends' walls, etc. Something I never suspected of any of my FB friends, and certainly not this person. But it goes to show, that especially in our day & age, we are being watched. In public, in the workplace, in parking lots, on the street... and of course, online. More than ever we should be careful of our actions and our words. One innocent misstep could be perceived as intentional offense by someone watching.
*note* my FB account has always been private, and for over two years has been viewable by friends only. I monitor my settings regularly, and only friend people I actually know.

#3 - you can't please everyone
'nuff said


Cyndy Bush said...

Wow....who has time for all that stalking? I don't get it, either. But it's definitely something to keep in mind!

Melissa said...

Wow, that person needs a life.

I didn't think too much about it until once at a birthday for my old great aunt, a cousin I see maybe once every few years mentioned reading about such-n-such on my FB. I was like, Oh.
She never posts on her FB, only reads, and so do alot of my other friends/family. It makes it easy to forget some of these people are out there reading my posts.

I agree with #1...I would have unfriended that person first.

#2 - Two things I keep in mind when making posts is 1) my Mother is my FB friend, and 2) the Law can get access to your page and misinterpret any and everything you've ever posted to make you look like a homicidal nutcase.

#3 - Absolutely!

BlazinMama said...

Amen! You don't need people like that in your life.

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