I can admit it. I’m not embarrassed. I love Facebook.
I love looking at pictures of my friends, their kids, my old students, people I barely knew in high school, people I used to work with, ex-boyfriends and their new girlfriends (I mean, I *never* do that), my cousins, and random friends of friends so random that I’ve forgotten how I even know them.
I love reading status updates that are joyful: “She said Yes!”, “It’s a boy!”, “We got a house!”, “I got a job!”, and the like.
I love reading status updates with great quotes that make me sigh and ponder the unknowable.
I love reading status updates that make me laugh, example: “My dog is afraid of his own farts – this continues to entertain me!”
I love being able to keep up with everyone even when I’m very far away.
I love getting a message from my husband that he Google translated into English because it takes him twice as long to message as everyone else and I think that’s sweet.
But, there are downsides. I mean, where do I begin?
There’s an event and you’re not invited to it.
Pictures get posted of you that are not flattering.
Who you did last weekend put you on blast for what you did.
People read your innocent comments with the devil’s tone.
People’s opinions upset you because they differ from yours or offend you.
You feel compelled to “like” something even if you don’t, or accept someone’s friendship even if you don’t want to.
I’m not friends with a lot of drama mamas, but Facebook can become a real issue in a relationship. My husband and I do not have our exes as Facebook friends. I don’t really care about his high school girlfriend. Why should I? It’s been over ten years since they’ve been together. But, does his most recent ex-girlfriend need to know all the details of our life? Nope. Lots of people feel differently about this. I think wherever you stand on this issue can be justified.
But, sometimes lines are crossed. For instance, IF my husband’s most recent ex-girlfriend should decide to post any of the following, I imagine my face could be mistaken for a beet and one could easily steam their slacks from what would come out of my ears:
“Hey! So good seeing you last weekend! You looked great!”
“Miss you! Hope all is well!”
“What have you been up to lately? We need to catch up!”
“Why haven’t I heard from you???”
“Thanks so much for _________! Good to know I can always depend on you.”
Now, maybe you’re an understanding wife or girlfriend, but any one of those five sentences would seriously irritate me. “You looked great!”?? Of course he did. I threw away all the ugly shirts you bought for him and now he dresses like he’s on the cover of GQ, but you don’t need to tell him that. “Miss you!”?? Do you miss him so much that you want him back? Because I will have that fight with you. I will throw my purse around a tree and we can handle this like proper fools. “We need to catch up!”?? He dumped you; he’s with me now. There! All caught up! “Why haven’t I heard from you???”?? Um, are you serious? He’s soveryou. “Good to know I can always depend on you.”? Is it? Because whatever it was that he did for you will be the last thing he ever does. My husband shall not be extending himself to any woman who used to do naughty things to him. And that’s final.
As I write this, I’m pretty sure my ulcer is acting up and the funny thing is that none of this has ever happened to me. He is not friends with an ex, so she doesn’t have the opportunity to write things like that. Even if she did, it might be completely innocent and as the jealous wife, I’d have taken it out of context. Also if push came to shove, I probably would only think the above comments; I highly doubt those words would be able to come out of my mouth and float in her direction. I hate confrontation.
Facebook can be a dangerous place. I’ve gotten into fights over Facebook for far less important things than my marriage (the most recent one that comes to mind is interpretation of a Bible verse).
My point that I’ve been rambling about is that Facebook can be destructive if we let it. We can’t control what other people put out into the universe, but we can control we put out and we can control how we let their garbage affect us. We can also control what we see.
Block a friend who always posts negative comments or foul language you don’t like.
If you see something you don’t like, fight against the urge to comment.
If you see something on your significant others’ page that you don’t like, deal with it like an adult. If it’s something he posted, confront him about it and remember to use “I feel” words instead of accusing “You + negative verb”.
If someone else posted something on your significant other’s page that makes you uncomfortable, you have to ask him to deal with the situation. When he does, smile and know that you’ve got a keeper who cares more about you and your relationship than some stupid social networking site.
If he doesn’t, well…maybe you should find someone who cares more about you than some stupid social networking site.
To conclude, Facebook is a great way to stay caught up with friends, but if it becomes one’s life, something you can’t live without, you need to evaluate your priorities and remember that there is no better way to put your best you forward than by doing it in person. Yourself should represent you, not your Facebook site.