July 13, 2010

Post #2: Chest Feeling Heavy

Every time I go to sign into Facebook, I get this heavy feeling in my chest. It's been a side effect of this social media network for as long as I can remember. "Great, what drama am I about to discover NOW? What rude comment will I see next? Who will I notice has deleted me this time?" I don't understand any of it. Sure, I'm biased, but, for as long as I can remember, I've always wanted to include everyone. I'm not necessarily calling around to invite everyone and their brother to everything, but, for the most part, I think I'm always more than happy to have more people join along in whatever I'm doing with friends or family. I've just never been really exclusive. Probably the only time I ever am is if I'm really feeling a girls' night and don't want any of our boyfriends to rain on the all-female parade. But that's not anything personal against the boys specifically. I love all of them bunches. Plus, I've probably rained on a few all-male parades in my day. In fact, I'm sure of it. Sorry to anyone whose guys' nights I may have ruined in the past.

I've only ever deleted one person on Facebook that I can remember, and it was after the person was so incredibly mean to me that I realized it was the healthy choice to cut them out of my life as much as possible. Even then, I added the person back because I didn't want to cause any problems. Gosh, I hate Facebook. I hate it with a fiery passion. Yet I don't delete it. Rather, I delete it, and then sign back in again weeks later. Why??

Well, I'll tell you why. People start forgetting you exist and stop inviting you to parties and events. "Oh, sorry, I forgot you don't have Facebook. I used a Facebook invite." You start missing out on people's pictures, and you lose touch with friends who live far away or are on vacation. You know what, though? I keep in touch with my close friends regardless of whether or not we both have a Facebook page. Maybe some relationships are meant to fade over time. We're preventing that from happening, and I'm not so sure it's always a good thing. It's just one more thing keeping us trapped in the past. I love the past, trust me. I'm one of the most nostalgic people you'll ever come across. I have difficulty throwing things away, and I shop almost exclusively at second-hand stores. It's just that some relationships aren't meant to last, and that's okay. We can always remember them the way they were; we can even idealize them if we so desire...which I usually do. I just don't think we should drag them out. We ought to quit while we're ahead more often.

If some of the relationships we have with "friends" on Facebook were to be actualized as humans, they'd be total has-beens on celebrity reality shows that leave everyone screaming at their televisions, "Give it up already! No one cares who you are anymore! Your career died in the '80s!"

The point I'm getting at is: Why do I care if someone who treats me like crap deletes me as their Facebook "friend"? Why do I beat myself up over not inviting people to my wedding when I haven't seen them for months, or even years? Because I care too much! Because Facebook has led me to believe that I need to care what all of these people think about me! But I don't! It hurts to know that someone has gone out of their way to decide they would rather take the active steps to delete you from their online lives rather than passively allow you to maintain the title of "friend." But, you know what, what better way to find out someone is a petty, asshole piece-of-shit?

So I was wrong after all. Thank you, Facebook. Now I know who my REAL friends are! Sort of.