Wednesday, July 1, 2009

A Tangled Web

Facebook. What a fascinating modern connective tissue... a web of people and relationships. I never dreamed I would be so addicted to reading status updates such as, "So-and-So is off to work and then to the gym!" or "This-and-So is going to the grocery store." I mean, why is this stuff so fascinating? I don't know...

I have been so interested to see how people are truly intertwined. I have looked through lists of my friends' friends and thought, "Wow. I never knew she knew him... and her, too." Nearly all my Facebook friends share a couple of friends with me. Even the most random people I seldom see or talk to. I have also enjoyed having the ability to keep up with friends and family in a quick efficient manner that might have been difficult to connect with otherwise. Now I can clearly see that my aunt is enjoying time with her grand kids and my best friend in South Florida enjoyed her last arrival from Netflix.

But there is a downside to Facebook. Like all the friends you feel compelled to accept even though they aren't really friends. And all the people who use Facebook to carry out the facade they live out in the real world. You know what I mean... those folks who are continuously trying to make their life look so freaking wonderful and jolly and perfect but that are living, breathing train wrecks. It's like high school, only without the lockers and homework and ugly PE get-ups. I'm just pointing out how easy it is for people to be fake on Facebook.

Of course, I think we are all a little guilty of being fake from time to time. You know, like right after you accept a friend request of someone you once went to high school with but haven't laid eyes on since the day you switched the tassel to the other side of your cap - we all leave sweet comments and tell them how it is good to see them and that their kids are cute. But is that really fake, or is it just the only thing you can really say to someone that you know but don't really know at all?

Now, anyone reading who is a Facebook friend of mine will now from some recent status updates that I have found myself in the middle of a Facebook Drama. And the whole story is a little too confusing and lengthy to try to relay here, but it involves a comment one of my real friends left on my wall and then one of my Facebook-only friends (which means not a real friend but rather someone I am somewhat acquainted with in real life) took that comment and called some of her real life friends that are also on Facebook and convinced them that comment was directed at them. Are you with me? Probably not, but this only proves how completely insane the whole situation has been. And so childish. Now, some week and a half later, I have been removed as a friend and ultimately blocked on Facebook by this person. And, just a little side note, if there's anyone in your past or present that you don't wish to reconnect with on Facebook, you can block them from seeing any of your comments to mutual friends or from finding your name in a search. I never knew that until the other day. Just file that one in your rolodex for future use. You never know when you might want to over-react to someone else and eternally block them from your Facebook existence. Cause that's definitely the best way to resolve conflict.

Anywho - the Facebook fiasco has really opened my eyes to just how slimy and deceitful people can really be. And technology only furthers the motives of this select group of people. Why some people think it is appropriate to post comments and slander other people and groups they are affiliated with is just beyond me. But I guess some feel empowered by technology - the anonymity provides a false sense of courage. It also provides a new way to give off false appearances about life. I had one friend on Facebook for a while (a wife and mother) that would post daily these spiritual notes quoting verses from the Bible and all the while was carrying on an affair with another man. I've seen statuses that I knew weren't true, pictures that I knew were staged for appearances, and just general untruths. Like I said, all are guilty of the occasional "Oh, everything is GREAT" when it's really not, but I am learning that there are those that carry out a whole fantasy world on their hard drive. And it's really quite sad.

So be careful what you believe. Be careful who you befriend. And always tell the truth or you'll get tangled in the web.


Rebecca said...

I am so sorry that you have had to go through that. I really am and not just saying that to be nice :) I am constantly amazed at how mean and hurtful people can be.

carrie said...

Are we back in high school? You mean on facebook I have to try to impress someone? I can't believe that you have had that ordeal. I had to worry about that stuff enough in middle and high school. If someone wants to befriend me, oh well! I am sorry you had all of that mess!

Erika said...

Well, I would try to block you too, but I know you would just hunt me down. ha ha Speaking of, I left Scott a comment the other day and he never wrote back! He is dead to me! Ah, the drama. BTW, I really want to come up there this year. Should we shoot for our November time?

Chelle said...

I'll be your friend on Facebook, we can share Erika and I totally promise not to hog her. also, I never post happy little updates about my day-I'm too busy scoffing at all the other people who are doing it ;)

Seriously though, I have more than a few of those "faux friends"- people I don't really consider "friends" so much as "one more person to add to my growing collection of Friends on Facebook, I'm over 100, yipee!" people.

I don't really connect with them in the real world and, I wish them well but, I'm really not going to be offended if they "accidentally" block me or somehow lose my information.

On the other hand, at least I know that, on the off-chance I run into them in the supermarket, I'll know that their son/dughter just got straight A's, their new boat is sparkly and wonderful and their husband/wife is a gainfully employed, washboard ab-ed, god/godess among men.

Even if they aren't.

Steph said...

I wish I could give you a "thumbs up" like on this post... it's so very, very true! I think fb is kinda ridiculous for all those reasons and then some but I also love being able to easily communicate back and forth with my real friends. By the way, I think we all know a few fb fantasy updaters. Insecure much? What a tangled web, indeed!