I’m convinced it will be the death of us all. It is the demise of many of friendship and relationship. It is the unnecessary stressor in the parent/child relationship. It is the catalyst in many of family feud. It is the consumer of time from your day and the drainer of many a smart-phone battery.
Facebook is like that member of your family you can’t escape. She’s the one who is at every family function and knows everything you’ve been up. She is the one who is always smiling and agrees with everyone’s opinion. She’s also the one who “likes” everything that is going on in your life while she gossips about it to everyone she sees. She’s the one who spoils the next episode of a show that you haven’t managed to watch yet and the one who gives your information to people you’ve stayed away from for years because she “didn’t think you’d mind”. She is the one who says how great you look in embarrassing photos, just so it can be brought up for all her friends to see. She is the one who rarely shares the good you do but is quick to point out the controversial. She is the fly on the wall of inner insanity. She is Facebook.
I worked very hard to separate myself from members of my family and when Facebook was becoming popular, I wanted nothing to do with it. To me, Facebook was a way to bring things back in to my life that I had worked so hard to get rid of. It was a way for people to find me when I didn’t want to be found.
I was right.
And while I fought the system of Facebook for quite a while, I gave in after repeated invitations from my nephew and sister-in-law to join. These were people I didn’t mind speaking to. These were people living in another state. These were people we had just spent Thanksgiving with. These were my husband’s family.
And so our journey of Facebook began with sharing pictures of the kids with the in-laws. I say “our journey” because the hubby and I had a joint page. Not because either one of us couldn’t be without the other, but because our goal was to keep it impersonal and only share pictures of the kids for family out of state. It was a trap. See, how can we all get together for the holidays? Someone may mention that we have Facebook to someone else that we purposely didn’t add and then “awkward”. So we began adding one family member at a time, as needed, until the worry of the “awkward moment” was gone. The joke was on us because it never left.
So years later the hubby and I have separate Facebook accounts (this only recently) and my kids have their own too. Why do I keep mine? As a parent, sometimes you do what you have to. I am involved in all kinds of things with my kids and this gives me a connection to my kids and their activities. Trust me, if it wasn’t for that it would have been deleted LONG ago. I have witnessed many Facebook fights between friends and family. I have witnessed people taking sides in a feud, people having to choose between two friends after a breakup and a complete meltdown after the loss of a child (more on that to come ).
So what pisses me off the most? Well fuck…. how do I narrow it down?
~ What do you call those fucking posts where you like it or share it if you care about the abused animals and ignore it if you don’t? I don’t care what they’re fucking called to be honest, they piss me off. I know that there are abused animals out there and being an animal loving parent of 5 dogs, I truly do give a shit. But posting bloody dogs with clever captions of how someone should do something, doesn’t help anyone. Instead of spending the time coming up with the clever little captions, adding them to pictures and creating a post that you hope goes viral, go volunteer in an animal shelter or start a fundraiser because all you are doing is adding to my list of reasons to drink.
~ Harassment. If you send me a friend request and a message that says “Hey, remember me?” or “Long time no see” and I don’t respond, TAKE A FUCKING HINT. Repeating your message once a month isn’t gonna make me accept your request. As a matter of fact, it validates my reason for avoiding you. And if you send me a message that says “Is that really you?” and I respond with “NO”, you can take that as FUCK OFF. It’s not meant as a joke or to be funny. I stopped talking to you for a reason and I’m pretty sure that our losing contact was not accidental.
~ Confessions. What am I talking about? Here is an excerpt from one I received recently from a friend I used to be close to but haven’t seen in 7 years; “You are a beautiful woman and a good friend. I would have given anything to have been with you but obviously that can never happen. Sorry to lay all this out on you but I kinda needed to tell someone.” Needless to say, I never responded. If we are currently speaking and you have something to say to me, by all means please say it. But if you aren’t even on my friend’s list and you are messaging me a confession, don’t expect a reply.
~ Assholes. They’re like opinions, everyone has them so I’ll assume that you all have some on your friend’s list as well. These are the ones who never pitch in to support your cause, fundraiser or charity but get pissed when you don’t pitch in for theirs. These are the ones who send you game invites daily even though you’ve repeatedly said you don’t use Facebook to play games. These are the family members who pretend to be involved in your life even though they have no clue what you’re about or who you are. These are the ones who make it look to everyone else that you are two peas in a pod when you’ve only had a 2 minute conversation in the last 6 months. These are the ones whose comments heat you up and you’d love to shove the like button up their ass. Yep, assholes.
~ Excusers and Thumpers. While I have made it my point to never discuss religion or politics with friends on any forum, I’m breaking my rule. I am not a religious person but I am not ignorant either. I have read the bible a few times, have been to church, been to a Jewish temple and have concluded that it is not for me. Even in that conclusion, I appreciate this thing we call “freedom” and someone else’s right to religion. I expect the same consideration and my choice to not attend church. I have a few people on my friends list who are very religious and their status updates are reflective of that. These updates don’t pertain to me but don’t offend me either. I scroll through but am happy to read about their family updates and see pictures. They don’t preach to us “sinners” or try to convert us in any way. Its a mutual respect for other people’s right to opinion. What I can’t stand are what I call the Excusers and Thumpers. Excusers are the ones who excuse everything with religion. “I didn’t make it to the bank before it closed because God didn’t have that planned for me today” or “My son landed back in rehab because God is trying to teach me how to be a better parent to my children” (both are things I’ve actually seen on Facebook). How about you didn’t make it to the bank in time because you had to stop for gas or your son landed back in rehab because he has a fucking drug problem? What the fuck is wrong with you people? This is one of the problems that I have with religion. To some people, it’s become an excuse. And Thumpers? Thumpers are those who feel that we all need to be saved and whose EVERY POST ON FACEBOOK is something religious. They cannot say a thing without it involving God or their church and even let it trickle into their comments on your posts. I can disable notifications and take these Thumper’s posts off my Newsfeed but they still comment religious shit on my posts. What the fuck? Do the pictures of my tattoos of naked women and my lack of religious status updates not spell it out for you? To combat these Thumpers, I’ve started doing a little thumping of my own. Every time I get a religious comment on something I’ve posted, see a post from an Excuser, or see a fleet of thumping status updates I do a little “thump thump” myself. My status updates, while inspirational, are an attempt to break up the religious monotony on my Newsfeed and I do so with the ending quotes from Criminal Minds. My latest status update?
“Abraham Lincoln once said, “In the end it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.”
Facebook has given me the luxury of getting to know people in ways that I never would have otherwise. Case and point, my oldest son’s girlfriend. While I’d love to get into that story and what led to him deactivating his Facebook account, I’ll save that for my next post.