Thursday, March 08, 2018

How Social Media Ruins Friendships

I'm sure I could easily come up with at least 10 reasons why social media is beneficial for friendships, but my experiences over the past five months with Facebook and friendships have left me shaken, anxious, paranoid, angry and bitter. I won't go too deeply into the events that caused this reaction (you never know who is reading after all....although part of me wants to just put it all out there), but enough so you know what has caused this extreme reaction.

I've written about this briefly before, but in early October last year, I went to message a friend and my heart leaped as I saw the 'Add Friend' button on her profile. Since I consider this person a 'real life' friend, I messaged her via Messenger, asking what I'd done wrong. I considered maybe her kids had been playing with her phone, until I got the dreaded message. Yes, she'd done it. The reason? She 'didn't agree with some things I post'. I asked her to elaborate. This isn't someone from high school who I haven't seen in 18 years, so it could make any in-person encounters awkward. Last year I posted about how it's usual habit for many Facebook users to unfriend anyone who disagrees with them on anything! I tried to recall if I'd shared any controversial political articles recently. I eventually learned the reason.

I was unfriended because I was sick.

Yep, it was because I posted about this incident.

Then I was re-added by this person a couple of months later as if her actions hadn't had any effect on me at all! She knew I'd been upset about it, but I didn't mention the extent. That whole saga about being in hospital with abdominal pain meant I lost more than just my health temporarily. My parents didn't believe me and acted like it was a massive inconvenience for them, and now a friend of mine had unfriended me because they just didn't want to know (they said they cared too much, but I would never turn my back on a friend in need, even if I was worried about them). I even asked some other friends of mine (not mentioning this person's name) and they thought it was very weird behaviour.

So I still have a yucky taste in my mouth months later and I'm wary about what I post. But then the rebel in me, declares, Who cares what they think!
  • There is no Facebook/real life divide when it comes to friendships. I'm sick of people behaving waaay differently on social media to how they would in real life. If you're rude to me online, that affects our real-life friendship. I'm not just going to forget about what you said because you forgot I'm a real person behind a computer screen. I've seen people write, I'm doing a massive friend cull on FB, getting rid of negative people in my life, then declare that they still want to be real-life friends with the people they unfriended, and not understand why those people were hostile. Ummm yep, it IS personal, buddy. You shafted them out of 500 people and wonder why they're pissed off. And if they're so 'negative' online (which is usually code for they don't agree with everything their friend says or does), why do you still want them in your life?
  • If you're unfriending someone because you're jealous, then YOU'RE the one with the problem. Unfriending/unfollowing someone you're jealous of won't solve the problem, because it's raised heart issues for you that you need to deal with.
  • If someone wants to post 'personal' things, let them. If they want to post often, let them. I've heard people complain, "Mary posts so much on Facebook,". Well, how do you know Mary posts a lot unless you're always on there reading it?
  •  I've had enough of women using Facebook to be bitchy and exclusive. I get sick of seeing mutual friends post stuff about being 'best friends' with someone and liking one person's every post, while completely ignoring other people.
  • If you're don't like or are not interested in what someone else posts, just scroll on by. Unless you're really concerned about this person and what they're posting, just let it go. People like different things. Get over it! Life would be pretty boring if everyone was interested in the same things.

Related posts:
Facebook 'Friends'
Facebook Etiquette 

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