Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Matriculating with Middle-Schoolers
[though I am using a facebook example, I think all this goes for Twitter and blogging, too... but if I get all specific, I could write all day... I will use Facebook because it illustrates it well...]
So I had a friend post a question yesterday... see... somebody had unfriended him... then sent him a friend request. My friend knows he says some outrageous things sometimes, usually in the spirit of getting a lively debate going, but he was wondering, in all sincerity, how this person he'd apparently offended was now magically NOT going to be offended if he didn't plan to change how he was. Was it WORTH refriending?
So I thought I'd share what I think the biggest offenders are, and the rules I try to follow, just for full transparency... Because y'all know I don't like to keep any secrets from you.
“Well some people...”
The worst offenders of this are middle-aged women... and I gotta say... would you like some CHEESE with that whine? If you have your feelings hurt and want to send a private message to your 30 BFFs I am perfectly HAPPY to be included—it isn't the whine that actually bothers me, so much as the intent of public shaming... some people need to vent and I would hope I could lend an ear, a shoulder, a hug... or a rare moment of insight that might make it seem better. But that throwing out of trash to the world? Baby, it's undignified! (not that I care two hoots for dignity, but honestly, it usually just makes it worse)
Doing these cryptic public messages may earn a little sympathy... and honestly it DOES earn some from me... I care about my friends and don't want them so sad. But I promise, anybody who isn't a big mushy person is mocking you. It is just childish. I've seen so many “I'm DONE!”s... if it is followed by something specific—okay fine. Call it news. I can assume I'm in the close friend's 'who can see this' that's been drawn... I have a friend who has recently divorced and her ex is being an ass... she is FINE. I know she's not including say... HIS family on the matter... but without details, I gotta say it looks like just a temper tantrum.
Seriously... if you are naming names and there are mutual friends who can see... do it in private. You risk losing more friends than just the one who is being called out this way. In fact I gotta be honest... I am friends with some couples and a LOT of friend pairs, and I will always side with the person behaving better overall... and this public humiliation counts against whoever does it, so if you are doing this, you better make sure the other person did something a whole lot worse.
What, are we five? I remember in kindergarten hearing “I'm not gunna be your friend anymore” and thinking “I can decide who my friends are for myself, thanks”... but I was cheeky that way. Its opposite, “I'll be your best friend” was even stupider--Not if I don't decide that for myself, you won't.
Seriously... I HAVE unfriended people, but nobody I know in person, and ONLY when they attack my friends in my space after I ask them not to. I really try to maintain a courtesy rule. Whatever you want to express—you be your fabulous self in your space. In the rare case it offends me, I will HIDE someone. (which I've done like twice ever—more often I just hide the offending post). In MY space, I will moderate as I can—gentle reminders that I care about everybody present and expect civility, even in disagreement... and if someone I KNOW can't follow those rules, they won't see my posts anymore, but through hiding, not unfriending... that simple. (If I don't know someone in person, this level of maintenance is not worth it)
Now on this front, I think I may have accidentally unfriended at some point—hell, it's just a click... and I KNOW Facebook has glitched and unfriended me from people. I ALSO have people I talk to regularly that I think I'm friends with, only to discover all our conversations are on other people's posts. So there is PLENTY of reason to NOT point a finger if you notice you aren't friends with somebody and you WERE (or thought you were). Don't assume they unfriended you and get all pissy. You can either just go with the flow or ask. I have two high school friends I notice I've ended up 'unfriended from' and think maybe I offended their politics... but I ALSO think it may have been one of these other things, so I have never had a fit... if they say something on somebody else's post, I respond appropriately—liking, laughing, responding...
In short... I may be the naked chick, but there is no reason to stir up drama. Life is just too short to get worked up over superficial, silly stuff.
If you DON'T want it to bite you in the ass in the future, chances are you should keep it to comments on OTHER people's posts *shifty *
But seriously... public is public... people will remember us by how we handle ourselves. I will NEVER be a person capable of being 'strictly professional' but it can't hurt to err on the side of always being kind, or at the very least, polite.