Just a few weeks in the past I accepted a pal request on Fb from an individual I haven’t seen in over 30 years. I hesitated in doing so questioning, do I actually wish to go there?

Nevertheless, I did discover he’d turn out to be ‘buddies’ with a couple of folks I do know and like, so towards my higher judgement I believed why not? I accepted.

My hesitation actually obtained me considering. Why did I hesitate?

One conclusion I got here to could should do with my age and the pre-internet & Fb world wherein I grew up.

Again then it was regular for some folks to soften away out of 1’s life. As soon as one left faculty, pursued careers, obtained married, moved away, or no matter, some folks had been by no means to be heard from once more, and fairly frankly in some circumstances, was that such a nasty factor?

Nevertheless, in in the present day’s social media world it’s a distinct story. We share photographs of our journeys, meals, children, vehicles, cute animal photographs, (gardens largely in my case), with folks, a few of which if we had been to be utterly sincere, we wouldn’t cross the road for to say good day.

I believe many people, particularly bloggers and writers do have one thing to say as a result of we truthfully wish to share data within the hope that it might be of some profit to others. However is that what we do on Fb? Is it one thing else?

There may be an insidious facet to social media.  It isn’t written about practically sufficient, particularly given the truth that it performs such an necessary half in tens of millions of individuals’s lives. When you consider it, social media may very well be a personality in a guide.

To additional that, I’d be keen to guess (with out proof I admit, however with some data of human nature, as I’ve all the time been eager on what makes folks tick) that almost all of individuals on social media, Fb particularly, are ‘buddies’ with individuals who they don’t truly take into account to be an actual pal, for no matter purpose, be they a boss, a colleague, an in-law, some poisonous particular person from their previous, or regardless of the case could also be.

Sharing one’s life in photos and posts appears innocuous sufficient, and it’s nice to communicate with household or anybody thought-about an actual pal, who lives close to or distant.

I can fortunately state that I’ve made actual buddies right here in cyber house, primarily by running a blog, with many individuals. With out the web age I’d by no means have met them & I’m grateful for that.

However there are additionally these people who find themselves referred to as ‘frenemies’. They’ll by no means ‘like’ your put up or photos, and should solely ‘buddies’ out of curiosity, or to control what you’re doing in the event that they see you as a rival, or they could want your assist with one thing down the highway. I put as a lot effort in to avoiding folks like that as I do Covid.

However that apart, social media and running a blog too, has additionally turn out to be a marvellous technique to study and witness the nice in our society.

It has additionally opened our eyes, particularly to an under-belly that hasn’t been uncovered, or a lot up till the final 10 years. We’re rather more knowledgeable in regards to the many atrocities taking place on the market, that lets face it, the knowledge that privileged, white-owned, mainstream media doesn’t usually expose.

With that in thoughts, my put up and level of being again in touch with a man with whom I could have recognized way back in our teenagers appears trivial, however maybe not.

I imply, Fb, if you happen to benefit from the absurdities in life like I do, has was one unending house film. Lots of people take & provide all types of selfies, which when you consider it, is only a unhappy seize for consideration. It’s the traditional narcissistic elephant within the room.

Is anybody actually serious about seeing somebody’s pet rock, new socks, or their pizza dinner? So I’ve to ask…  Did anybody actually wish to go to somebody’s home for dinner (again within the 70’s) realizing the night could be capped off by watching house motion pictures the place somebody’s Aunt Mabel is on a visit within the Nineteen Fifties visiting piles of stones with historic plaques on them?

I doubt it.

As a Gen X, in line with individuals who create these labels, again then, and even earlier than my time, it was the factor to do. Nevertheless, I keep in mind my dad and mom joking about house motion pictures and the way they wished they might make up an excuse to get out of going to certainly one of these evenings. I’m speaking about reel-to-reel days, when house motion pictures had been an actual cliché in society. Individuals like my dad and mom truly lived it and made enjoyable of it.

So, has Fb turn out to be that ‘house film’ everybody dreads however nonetheless reluctantly participates in!? It’s a distinct age however I’d nonetheless argue that the extra issues change, the extra issues keep the identical.

However on this age, issues are just a little totally different when you think about the truth that many are hooked on social media and to attention-getting. Possibly that is partially as a result of maybe we’re just a little afraid of being omitted.

And why is that? Is it as a result of folks share their newly acquired trinkets on-line main others who see them to say, “Gee I want I had that..”

Is Fb now the lens by which an acquaintance, or frenemy from way back, can view us, (or us them), a long time later, so egos can be ok with the place they ended up, and show it with photos smugly displaying success?

Not in all circumstances in fact, but it surely does imply these individuals who we might have usually have misplaced contact with in ‘actual life’ can now witness how great our lives are, or we are able to witness theirs, and with out them truly being part of it. Not everyone seems to be like that I do know, however everyone knows some people who find themselves precisely of that mindset.

There are individuals who actually over-share their life on-line. Possibly I’m quaint, however I see lots of this on-line and it’s referred to as ‘an excessive amount of data’.

Has Fb, and Twitter too, additionally paradoxically created this egocentric society, stuffed with raging folks hiding behind keyboards writing viscous issues to somebody they don’t even know, and who wouldn’t have the braveness to say such issues to face-to face?

Additional to that, isn’t {that a} large a part of the issue in in the present day’s world, this look-at-me selfie society together with a scarcity realizing tips on how to suppose as a substitute of being informed what to suppose? Simply have a look at the Kardashians for an instance. I don’t get it, however tens of millions do.

What I do get is that in some ways social media has created a few of these monsters in society, (for instance, the individuals who attacked the Capitol constructing in Washington), along with it changing into a mirror that on the identical time displays them? It has provided up an outlet for these folks’s anger and a pipeline for connecting them. That’s some severe irony.

Sensible previous owl?

However, purely talking from the attitude of a fortunately married, middle-aged lady, I could sound just a little smug to some, and actually don’t imply to. I’ve no pretense about myself on the age I’ve been fortunate sufficient to reach at.

With gray hair & issues aren’t that agency any longer, I’ve carried out/seen issues, and have recognized folks in life which have lead me to consider that at this level within the recreation, I’ve nothing left to show to anybody besides myself.

I’m awfully grateful for these life-lessons, each good and dangerous. I’m grateful to have rather less ignorance about human nature, with some credit score given to social media, not simply from narcissists, however from the many individuals in our society/world who’re struggling for thus many unjust causes. A put up for an additional time, and I digress.

The entire above ideas take me again to that one that requested we be ‘buddies’ on Fb, a couple of weeks in the past. It seems my unique hesitation to just accept his invitation was right. At all times go together with your intestine feeling!

I can’t say for positive if he thought I’ve been ready round for him these final three a long time, however regardless of the case could also be, he in a short time began sending me messages with innuendos, together with (what I’m going to name) ‘rest room selfies’.

Lavatory selfies are the sort one takes, (I suppose), in entrance of the toilet mirror with one’s cellular phone, (which by the way is one thing I don’t personal), and it’s that picture he selected to ship me on Fb.

Along with the picture, he needed me to touch upon how good his physique nonetheless seems to be! I imply, come on, lol.  A few of you’re experiencing an eye-roll proper now. 😉

Primarily, he was trolling for compliments. What an ego! I discovered it so absurd and ridiculous on so many ranges, particularly contemplating my age that I used to be glad he couldn’t hear me snicker out loud, which is what I did after being considerably greatly surprised by that type of communication. I imply, discuss cliches!

I ought to have unfriended him proper then and there, however determined to play good. Right here’s a life lesson. Simply block them. However I didn’t, so I wrote again, probably not believing I may enchantment to his higher nature however keen to attempt. It seems this man hasn’t modified in spite of everything these years & doesn’t have a greater nature. Usual standard.

Suffice to say I replied to his foolish message stating that I used to be fortunately married, and unsure why he despatched this, thanks however no thanks, and please don’t ship me anymore photographs.

That didn’t go over effectively. He wrote again telling me to recover from myself, that I used to be too high-and-mighty, & who the hell did I believe I used to be? Additionally, I couldn’t take a joke, yadda yadda yadda. Then he unceremoniously unfriended me, which truly saved me the difficulty! 🙂

Pure victim-blaming from a man who didn’t get the response or coddling he needed.

If I don’t wish to view his rest room selfies or praise him on them, then there have to be one thing improper with me, proper?

Improper!

Not precisely a #Me-too second, (which like many ladies, I’ve truly skilled in my life), however actually this man with a poisonous character to match, or lack-there-of, hasn’t matured a bit for the reason that Eighties. (Meow is what my Mom would say to that, ha ha).

However, I did nonetheless present the photographs to my husband, and sure we had snicker! Sure, we laughed at that man’s expense and I don’t really feel one little bit of regret, even tho’ I’m truly a pleasant particular person, and it was a snarky factor to do. Nonetheless, I’m not apologizing for that. 🙂

And, I’m not on this earth to appease some man from the previous’s a fragile sense or over-blown of self. Sorry, not sorry. And like I mentioned, it’s these absurdities the place one can discover probably the most humour in life.

Lately I’m not on Fb fairly often, tho’ I’ve not utterly minimize the wire as a result of like I mentioned, with household throughout the pond & a couple of far-flung buddies, I like protecting the strains of communication obtainable. For that finish I’ll keep, for now.

In closing, I do hope if anybody out there’s studying this, & is questioning whether or not or to not settle for some ‘pal’ request from an individual like I’ve simply described, hearken to your internal voice or intestine feeling. Or, if some poisonous particular person is trolling, bullying, or over-sharing, do really feel justified to un-friend and even block. Given the chance, these folks don’t add to anybody’s high quality of life.

Like Eleanor Roosevelt mentioned, fairly properly, & it actually fits some on social media, “Nobody could make you’re feeling inferior with out your consent.”

Take care, everybody! – Okay.S.

 

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