Thursday, March 3, 2016

Just one "you suck" can wipe out 100 "atta girls"....

I have mentioned many times how crazy Facebook sometimes makes me.  I have written more than once that I should probably unplug from social media.  It's a huge time waster.  Although I do enjoy interacting with friends, old and new, the constant interaction can be taxing to a person's emotional state.

Maybe it's different for young people of today.  Today's young folks have had access to the Internet for most of their lives.  Maybe they're used to the constant feedback from others.

People my age went through at least half a lifetime with no Internet access.  We had to interact with people the old fashioned way, by meeting them in person, writing letters, and talking on the phone.  When the school or work day was over, a person could go home and recharge.  When I was a kid, I was bullied by classmates, especially when we were riding the bus home.  I survived the bullying, but it made life unpleasant for awhile.  The great thing was, when I got home, the bullying was over until the next day.  Nowadays, with everyone online all the time, I don't know that people always get the same reprieve from people who annoy or otherwise upset them.

Sure, I know you can log off the computer and go do something else for awhile.  Actually doing that is a challenge.  I try to take walks when the weather is good.  It's good for me.  It's good for the dogs. But even when I take my 40 minute walks, I bring my phone with me.   Why?  Because I might need it for something.  Suppose I fall and break my ass on some ice?  What if I get locked out of the house?  These are things that could happen and having a phone means I might be able to call for help.  But for most of my life, I didn't take a phone with me.  When I was alone, I was really alone!  To be honest, I rarely really need the phone anyway.  I never call anyone.  I use my phone more as a camera than for talking to people.

One distressing side effect of social media is how other peoples' comments and perceptions can affect a person.  Sometimes they bawl you out online for the whole world to see.  Sometimes they are insulting.  Or they simply delete or block you.

You might have 500 friends or more.  In the old days, you probably would have never bothered to count them.  In fact, you probably never would have considered that many people "friends".  It would be hard to keep up high quality relationships with that many people.  Now, thanks to Facebook's insistence on showing you exactly how many friends you have, you are actually aware of how many friends you have.  You also know when someone unfriends you.  And if you don't have a friend tracker, which I don't anymore, you don't necessarily know who did the deed.  So then, if you're neurotic like I am, you wonder what happened and you might find yourself doing something pointless like trying to figure out who bailed.

Then you start to wonder if it was something you said.  Like, for instance, I might wonder if I offended someone with my sex tape photo?

I can't imagine anyone who has been "friends" with me for long would be offended by this...  unless it was simply that straw the broke the camel's back.

Did the person decide to delete their account?  Usually, when this happens, you see they have "deactivated".  They are still counted as friends.  I suppose some folks truly do delete themselves, though.  Sometimes I give a passing thought to doing that myself.  But if I did do that, I'd probably go crazy with boredom.

Maybe the person has two accounts and has decided to delete one.  I do have at least three friends who have two accounts under the same name.  I have a cousin who has an account and just made a new one using his nickname.  Even though he's family, I hesitate friending him because I never talk to him anyway.  Besides, I think most of my family thinks I suck.

Is someone simply "cleaning house"?  Are they getting rid of people they don't talk to?  I do that every once in a great while, especially after someone unfriends me.  I find myself obsessively going through my friends list looking for the missing name.  Then I'll notice someone there that I don't know or don't like... or someone who has died or gone inactive.  I click the "unfriend" button.  I don't do that very often, though.

This brings me to my next point, though.  I might have 500 friends, but find myself obsessing over that one person who dumps me.  It's like that old saying, "Just one bad comment can erase mountains of praise."  As I write this, I realize it's ridiculous to feel that way, especially since 99.9% of the time, the person who dumps me is someone I don't even miss.  Sometimes, the person who dumps me is someone I'd been thinking of ditching myself.

I probably ought to explore Facebook's privacy settings a bit more and relegate more people to the acquaintance zone.   That way, they won't see so many of my posts, which I will admit tend to be salty and profane.  But as I sit here and ponder taking the time to do that, I realize that it was a lot nicer when a person could simply fade in and out of someone's life without being stuck on a list.  

*Sigh*...  I think it may be time to walk the dogs and think about this some more... or maybe not.  Maybe I will just enjoy the nature and forget about the Internet for 40 minutes or so. 

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