Since my best friend and my husband walked off in the sunset some four years ago now, I am realising I have felt let down by people ever since.
And so recently I have made some adjustments in my life to get rid of that feeling. I no longer chase people’s frienships for instance, I have also learnt to accept that people are people and so that’s just the way it is, deal with it.
The biggest change however was removing all the local people from my Facebook account, along with dead weights or highly frustrating people.
I got fed up with having people on there who clearly didn’t care about what was going on in my life, yet were very active on Facebook for instance. You know, if you put something out there on your wall, you are kinda reaching out to your “friends” for their input. If you never get any input then it’s like talking to yourself in front of everyone you know. Pretty pathetic. Sometimes even awkward.
That’s the thing about Facebook: the fakeness, the hypocrisy, the fear of upsetting someone with a comment, the self-righteousness, the passive aggressive, plain aggressive, sarcastic, or preachy comments, the selfies, the fishing for likes, the “not a clue what you are talking about” statusses or attacks, the provocations you can’t respond to as you know your “friend” would get really offended by your views……the list goes on.
When you start looking at it with a bit of recule, as I have because I have very little to do in my spare time (mainly out of choice though, turns out I am a very lazy person on occasions) and so can look into that world in depth.
After a major clear out, nothing much happens on my newsfeed these days and I am finding myself less and less logged into my account and that is not a bad thing.
There is one thing about Facebook that I really got into for a while now though: I love reading comments, and sometimes contributing if the occasion fits, on Facebook pages, especially the most popular ones – Lad Bible being one. I also profile-surf: check out someone’s profile if I like their comment, and sometimes find a whole new world of stuff I haven’t come across before. Real good fun. Some profiles are so open you can really get into those strangers’ lives, it’s quite fascinating, a bit like when you meet someone for the first time in real life and find out more about them. (Except of course, it’s all virtual)
I find it really entertaining, and very educational. It teaches me a lot about human behaviour, and also my own behaviour. It has taught me to look at every side of the argument before making judgments too.
But I came across two problems.
One, peeps on my friends list could potentially see one of my comments appear on their newsfeed (and some of the pages I post to can be quite rude or un-pc), and two, you are really exposed when you comment on those threads, I have seen many an attack on people and they are brutal. I kid you not, a lot of people out there are pretty scary how nasty they can get.
Basically, I started to realise Facebook was turning into a massive forum, except historically, you contributed to those under a username, anonymously mostly. On Facebook, you are opened to the whole world, even if your profile is locked down, your name and profile pic are still available to everyone. And I tell you what I have seen enough shit going viral that there is no way I want to open myself up to the whole world like that. I couldn’t handle it.
Sooo I decided to create another account for the sole purpose to contribute however I see fit on those pages, under a nom de plume (actually, not that clever, just an everyday jo(e)).
It took some adjusting – with no friends, it felt like being in a big empty room with no windows to start with – but now I have subscribed to a few choice pages, oh my god: I can be me, I can post/like whatever I want, where ever I want, I am allowed to make mistakes and not feel bad and I am loving it! I’m also starting to get likes from total strangers, for no other reason that they just genuinely liked my comment enough that they wanted me to know, how cool is that for the ego? 🙂
Being able to post what I want is extremely liberating. But do you know, it’s not quite as easy as it sounds. For, even if anonymous to others, their comments will affect the real you so if you are going to put your thoughts out there, you need to be prepared for what comes back. Afterall, these people are not your friends, so they too can be however they choose to be. So not only you need to learn to express yourself in a measured way, you also need to be able to handle any crap that comes your way. It’s a skill. I am very cautious still, I think long and hard sometimes before commenting, especially during difficult threads (threads that have escalated) but do you know, it’s not a bad skill to learn, to think before you talk…a rarity on Facebook these days!
I am not in it to troll though so I have managed to stay out of firing line. My purpose is not about getting flamed or pissing people of. My purpose is about learning more about myself, people, and just being able to be myself 🙂