Friday, February 5, 2016
The complexities of facebook friends. . .
Facebook and social media in general is rather interesting to me. It's also rather emotional. I'm an emotional person. I can cry at the drop of a hat. It's embarrassing sometimes but that's the way it is.
I don't remember what year I joined facebook. What I do remember is that I had a MySpace. . . I signed up for facebook and didn't "get it". So I deactivated my account. It took me some time to come back and see what all the fuss was about.
There are many good things about social media. Personally for me I enjoy keeping up with friends that live far away. I enjoy seeing pics of their kids growing up. I feel like it's easier to keep in touch with the facebook interface. I like the groups I'm in. . . jewelry, purses, yard sales, horse sales. . . I love meeting people in those groups with the same interest as me. I like following companies on social media. I've even won a few things here and there. I like following new stations. In some ways I feel like I'm more informed as I generally don't take the time to watch the news on TV. I like following TV shows/ channels and artists. I need to know when that Hallmark series is going to return so I don't miss it! There are many many good things.
There are also negative things. Facebook specifically is a "highlight reel" of life. My life looks damn good on facebook. I look like I have a happy marriage and a good life. In reality the marriage is not happy and is very shaky. But I posted things that reflected that . . . well lets just say that's not good facebook etiquette is it? (Edited to add: often times I feel like people compare their lives and their relationships to what they see on facebook. When in reality you are just seeing the highlights. That's a good thing to remember every so often) Then there is drama. . . people reacting to things you said on facebook that came across wrong because it's typed and not spoken verbally. There are the people that use facebook to say "woe is me" and get attention.
About those misunderstandings. . . I once posted something in regards to "I hate to see a good person get taken advantage of". That was rather vague wasn't it? My sister in law freaked out and called my mother in law saying that I was talking about her on facebook! Was I? Who knows. But I guess the saying "if the shoe fits. . . " applies here. Clearly she had a guilty conscious. Maybe she was taking advantage of someone. I unfriended her. I unfriended most all of my husband's family. I don't need that drama. They all live close. If they want to know what's going on in our lives, just ask. To this day my sister in law is completely blocked on my facebook. I'm not playing that game.
But the unfriending goes both ways. . .
I have "met" some great people on facebook. Many that I have not met in real life. It's almost hard for me to believe that I haven't met them in person. I feel like I know them that well. There are a couple that I talk to almost daily via facebook messenger. I love facebook messenger. I'm addicted to it.
There were a few people though that unfriended me. . .
And I didn't take it so well. I often wonder if I'm super naive and too emotional. But I feel like I had genuine friendships with these people. .
One person I met via our love of jewelry and she got me into some purses groups and was the reason I bought my very first Coach bag. We chatted about *everything*. I had got some diamonds set into earrings and was debating about the end result and what to do about them cause I wasn't 100% happy. I talked to her about this and when I made a decision I went to messenger to tell her. And I noticed we weren't friends. What?!?! We'd been friends for a few years. I was super upset. I cried. No joke. Is that naive? I don't know. I asked mutual friends about it. No one understood it. She wouldn't answer my questions regarding what happened. Time passed. . . When American Pharoah won the Triple Crown I got an email from her. What? Did I want to reply? Did I want to open myself up to that? Ultimately I did and we are now "friends" (on facebook) again. . . but yikes. It's tentative and I don't talk to her in the capacity that I used to.
My wedding rings came from a company called Brian Gavin Diamonds in Houston TX. The sales person that I worked with was super nice. We had so much in common. We became friends on facebook. We'd chat about life and a million things not related to jewelry. Then one day we weren't friends anymore. She told me that the company instructed them to unfriend BGD clients. Ok I guess I get that. Maybe. That's a fine line to walk. I do understand that. But I don't get that she didn't tell me or explain it to me. To this day I miss talking to her. And I'm not sure it was the best business decision on the part of BGD. Why? Well because I considered her my "friend". And as such I was more apt to continue to purchase my jewelry from her. I was buying from a friend after all. Now I don't feel such a connection to that company and I've looked elsewhere for my jewelry needs. They do great and amazing work, but maybe I'm kind of cranky. Maybe I shouldn't take this so personally but I believe you form friendships even if they are over the internet waves. Just recently I came across her facebook. She's married now (she was engaged when we were last chatting) and she has a baby. I'd love to tell her congratulations but . . . it's a moot point. And I'm not a facebook stalker. Ha! At least I try not to be because in many cases that's unhealthy.
I don't really know why I'm talking about all of this. I think just to get it off my chest. I kind of treat this blog as a journal. I don't know who reads it but I do know not *many* people read it.
The amusing part about social media to me is when someone unfriends you on one platform and follows you on another. I've had that happen many times and in fact just this week.
Normally twitter sends notifications to my phone. Though maybe not for a new follow. I am rarely on twitter. I use it mostly to interact directly with companies. In which case it's mostly to complain! A couple days ago I opened twitter on my phone and saw a notification alert. I had a new follow. From someone that unfriended me last year on facebook. This person I know in real life. I photographed her kids. We talked camera stuff together. I know why she unfriended me. Her husband told me. He's still facebook friends with me. I miss her and I miss her kids. She never gave me a chance to explain what happened. So again, maybe our friendship wasn't what I thought it was. But why is she following me on twitter? I find that funny and amusing. Part of me wants to block her. If you can't be my friend on facebook or in real life since we live close and actually know each other, then you don't need to follow me on twitter. But then if she wants to stalk me and see what I'm up to, let her do it. I don't use twitter that much anyways. The most often I'm on it is when The Bachelor is on. Then I search the hashtags and see what people are gossiping about. It's kind of an addiction and one of the reasons I keep my account. There you go - I confessed. :)
All of this being said I have some flat out awesome and amazing friends on facebook that I've still yet to meet in real life. And I am so thankful for them. They enrich my life in ways I never expected. It's amazing how far the internet has come. I grew up during the evolution of the internet I suppose you could say. In grade school we had "computer class" and learned to type in that class. . . but only every other seat had a computer. The other seats had this little keyboard type device. Now the high school I went to is giving out chromebooks to students. It's simply amazing! My parents don't have internet at their house. The kids these days will know nothing other than the net and social media. They won't know what life was life before social media.
I often think I'd like to get a job in social media. I actually manage the facebook page of a glove company from England. I met the owner years ago at a horse event in KY. He is more my parents' age and is learning social media. I helped him set up the page and I post for him and teach him how it all works. He's learned a ton and is actually doing some of it on his own these days. I could totally work for a company and manage their social media. Maybe I should look into it.
In the meantime I continue to ponder the complexities of social media. . . friendships. . . and continue to try to stay amused by the whole thing.