Saturday, August 15, 2015

Feeling a little Facebooked out...

Last night, I dropped another local Facebook group from my list.  I had been in the travel group because it's fun to trade suggestions with people and get handy hotel tips.  But last night, as I was sitting there reading, it occurred to me that I was getting a bit annoyed.  I can't really put my finger on why... maybe it's because sometimes being in that group feels like a competition.  It's like people want to see who can be the most helpful.  So I decided to drop out.

One of my Facebook friends, someone I have not yet met in person, was having her own little Facebook drama yesterday.  Apparently, some random person she didn't know well decided to friend her a few days ago.  They'd had a chat about something they had in common.  My friend's husband suddenly died last winter and she's been trying to cope with the loss.  She posts about her experiences on Facebook, which I don't think she's wrong to do.

Anyway, this new "fake friend" my Facebook friend made apparently hacked into her account and posted a status update that made it sound like she was considering suicide.  My Facebook friend's real life family, Facebook friends, and offline friends naturally got very worried and upset. Of course, my Facebook friend had been sleeping, so hadn't seen the bogus status update and wasn't answering her phone.  Since she wasn't responding, people were concerned that she was going to hurt herself.   Someone ended up calling the police in her area, who came over to investigate.

Apparently, the police made my friend send her kids to sleep at another friend's house.  She said the cops had even threatened to put the kids in foster care.  And this was all over some asshole hacking her account and getting people worried about her.  Naturally, my Facebook friend is upset about what happened.  She isn't suicidal and had no plans to harm herself in any way.

Watching this drama unfold made me start thinking about my own Facebook habits and realizing that it's a site that brings much needless drama and even potential harm into my life.  It also wastes a lot of time and money, because I can't resist some of the stupid games, which you ultimately end up paying to play.

I started thinking about the stupid high school crap I've witnessed on Facebook and sadly been a part of recently, with people meeting offline and forming cliques.  And also another uncomfortable situation that arose for me just the other day...

Facebook also emboldens people to say things they might not say to someone's face.  The other day, I chatted with a man I met offline once or twice.  I have "known" him online for well over 10 years, but I still can't say I know him well.  Anyway, apparently this guy thinks I'm attractive and, the other night, told me so.  He's married and he knows I'm married.  We live in different parts of the world.  It still made me feel a little awkward.  I mean, I do appreciate the compliment and I do still like this person.  Bill is very obviously my main squeeze, though.  I couldn't help but think of the old days, when this kind of thing was less likely to happen.

I think the groups I've been dropping may be a sign that I may someday stop hanging out on Facebook.  I think what I'd like is a smaller place where I can just interact with people I actually know.  On the other hand, I have met some really cool people on Facebook.  I have one friend who I'm pretty sure would be an offline friend if we knew each other offline.  I met her playing Mafia Wars back in the days when you had to friend people in order to get them to join your Mafia.  I haven't played that game in over five years, but we ended up being friends anyway and regularly interact with each other.  I am glad to "know" her.

There are other people I met offline and have gotten to know better through Facebook, including some I originally met on RfM or Epinions.  And there are a few people I thought I knew and liked, but through Facebook I've found out that I don't actually like them that much.  It's not that they're bad people; they just rub me the wrong way, just as I probably rub them the wrong way.  Sometimes, that's a good thing because it leads to inflammatory blog posts.  Other times, it just raises my blood pressure.

Ah well... I guess for right now, Facebook is what everybody's doing.  I'll stick with it for awhile.  But it sure does get one to pondering, especially if you're old enough to remember life before the Internet.  It almost seems like the Dark Ages.



  1. dec. 2 is the day my brother and I collect 5k from mom doe not having done Facebook up to that point. i'll probably stay off until i'm in nthrugh my residency and have a job, but i can change my mind if i want to.


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