Friday, January 24, 2014

Let's Play a Little Game

"This is a Facebook game to see who reads and who just scrolls."
Okay, stop right there.  So...what you're saying is that your post is just a game to test the bounds of our friendship?  My initial reaction is...disgust.  Then a sort of wow-it's-not-worth-it.  And finally wondering if it's PMS or I really should be as annoyed by this post that is making the rounds these days as I currently feel.  I mean, wasn't I just saying how being positive always works out better?

The story here is that one of my Facebook friends, whom I have known since elementary school, posted something that is actually easily summarized in this one paragraph that she wrote:

"We will see who will take the time to read this message until the end. If you appreciate your friends from all over the world, go ahead and copy this into your status too, even if it's just for a minute. I'm going to be watching to see who takes care of the friendship, just like me."  ~Unnamed Facebook Pal

Anyone who's been reading this blog during January knows how I feel about social media and all the things that can and do go wrong on it.  While I still partake, I am becoming increasingly aware of how unhealthy some people's attachment to the forum is.

On occasion, the aimless negativity has gotten so bad that Meg is thinking of throwing in the FB towel, as it were, for good:
"We need a new social media platform.  It seems like every 5 years or so they just get really stale and are over run by....I'm not sure what...people that have no life?  It's like what once was fun and just routine.  The whole point of social media for me is to share and interact creatively.  I do real friendships and routine my life.  Not online."
I'm with Meg.  I'm not willing to be taken emotionally hostage by someone who hasn't been in my life physically for over twenty years.  There won't be any unfriending, but I'm also not responding to that post.  Not at all.  Referring to it as a game, followed by the assumption that it will prove one way or another if I'm a good friend didn't really help.  Of course, this wasn't a personal attack on me.  I'm just offended for everyone who has a message like that on their wall.  

Here is what I know of friendship.  I no longer live where I grew up, so I often go long periods without seeing most of my longtime close friends.  But when we do manage to catch up with each other, whether it's in person, by phone or thanks to Skype or FaceTime, it's like nothing changed.  The trust and love are still there.  I don't ask for them to prove anything to me, I know they're my friends.  I'm not bummed if they don't read my blog or post to my Facebook page.  Sure, it'd be nice, but they have lives that they're living and I don't feel that I get to make those kinds of demands of them.  Furthermore, I'm grateful that they don't make them of me.  

We are adults.  We are all living very different lives.  And we are secure in our friendships.  I am so thankful for them.  When one of my friends calls me out of the blue because they need something and they start apologizing for being out of touch, I always tell them that we're friends, we don't have to be living in each other's armpits to prove it.    

Maybe you have a different perspective on this and can shed some light.  I think Meg and I are both open to having a better understanding of this behavior.


  1. I cannot stand these memes and refuse to share, like, or comment. Ha!

    1. I am so glad I'm not alone in this!

  2. Agree. Last July I experimented with drastically cutting back my FB time. I still check in to see what's going on but I use it more as a news reader than for social interaction. Those types of 'Notice Me!' posts are such time wasters.

    1. Also agreed. Cutting back on FB is a healthy choice. I browse through once a day at least, mostly because so many of my close friends and family members live far away. But I have no desire to let it rule my life and those kinds of posts feel like an attempt to reel other people in and make them feel responsible. But you're right, they're really just time wasters. If you really care about your friendship with someone, there are a hundred better ways to show it - none of them generically sent to hundreds of people on the same website.


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