I said I wouldn't do it. I was rather proud of myself for not doing it.
Other were proud of me... for not doing it.
I'm doing it!!! I can't help it.
Facebook is an integral part of life for many of us. Those who don't get out often to lead normal social lives. Those who CAN'T get out to lead normal social lives. Those who are too busy or dead-set focused on projects to get out and party it up. Whatever your blend, Facebook, along with Twitter and Instagram, are nice to have around when a surrogate is necessary to feel connected with the world beyond your little box. Most of the time, these apps perform their task admirably. Of course, it has less to do with the service, and more to do with "friends" of yours sharing that service with you.
Yes... "friends". The word "friend" is (alongside "hate" and "love") perhaps one of the most consistently mis-used and misunderstood words in the english language. Speak to somebody at a get-together -- they're now your friend. Bump into Steven Speilberg at Whole Foods -- he's now your friend (and also now goes by the moniker "Stevie Baby" for some unknown reason). Share floor sweat at the Yoga Shelter for the Spiritually Awkward -- friend!
These are not friendships. They are, at best, acquaintances and nothing more. A friendship takes time to mold. Loyalty must be proven, and trust must be built, none of which can be accomplished over a latte and a chat about Rumi. Yet, many in society use this term as freely as the air we breath. But, when faced with adversity, this "friendship" falls to pieces, not sturdy enough to bear the weight of a wayward feather as it topples and disintegrates like a three-legged chair built of coffee-stir sticks bound with carmelized raw sugar.
Case-in-point. Yesterday, I snapped a pic of an event I honestly thought I'd never see: a man using a red gasoline canister to refill his stranded... PRIUS!!!?? I posted it, with some snarky haiku about the douchebag thinking it runs on ions. Many found the post slightly humorous. Save, that is, for one. We'll call this person SG asa reference. I read the comment, had absolutely NO idea what SG the FacebookFriend™ was going on about (I don't think that's a noun yet, so I'm taking it with a ™). The following comment, I handed the individual a couple of positive props and carried forth with my day.
Well, apparently another FacebookFriend™named FM (see that I'm no longer using the overused term "friend") decided to chime in with an extended sermon about yoga people, electric cars, hippies, and a ton of F bombs. I didn't notice it until later in the day. The problem is, SG viewed it first, and was clearly offended. How do I know this? Did SG counter FM's post with a comment or two? Did SG call me or message me, asking me to kindly delete the noted comment-of-disgust? SG was tagged in the pic, and can very easily have un-tagged themselves. Did SG do that? Nope.
SG sent me a curt FB message, about us having our "ups and downs". About not wanting to be rude, but "I'm going to unfriend you", then finishing off the note with "Take care" as though our real-life friendship is over, as well. I read it, and for the life of me couldn't understand what in the blue Hell SG was talking about. It HAD to be the Prius post, right? I doubled back to it, and there I found FM's expletive-fest adding color and flavor in all the wrong ways. You know, like icing a chocolate cake with puree-d sardines.
The very first thing crossing my mind was "But WAIT!!! Those aren't my words". This was the requisite knee-jerk reaction were are are prone to, and much of the time we wrongly commit to this reaction as our main course of "action". But this time was different. I took a breath or two, and uttered these exact words:
"Oh well. Their loss."
And just like that, I no longer cared, and in hindsight, I'm wondering if I ever did. I managed to see through the facade to reveal a hyper-sensitive, overly indulgent, quasi-stable human being. Yes, I can be cynical, slightly caustic, and a bit jaded at times. I'm a realist. I don't live on a steady diet of plastic joy, padded friendships, indulging self love, and the Bible-replacing rummagings of Rumi (Gumi the Sage, perhaps.... look him up on Facebook and you'll know what I mean). In addition, we we're NEVER really friends to begin with, but acquaintances and little more.
A true friend who actually gave a damn about the relationship would have extinguished all options, from un-tagging themselves from the photo to a comment rebuttal to a "please make FM go away" message -- which I did, by the way, soon after discovering it. Yet, SG's hyper-sensitive freak out mode jetted into Mach 5, and before I know it, not only do I have one less FacebookFriend™, but it appears one less real life "acquaintance" as well.
But that's why we call them an acquaintance. We know them, but not particularly well, as they appear and disappear with very little discernible alteration to our daily lives and happiness.
There. I did it. Now, for some coffee.
C'est la vie