It isn’t social. I get to see how other people are being social. I get to read stories about my so-called friends having fun with my other so-called friends. I get to see pictures of these same people having fun without me.
It hurts more when they ask me later – “How come we don’t see you anymore?” They think it has something to do with my husband – is he controlling? Abusive? It isn’t that at all. I ask “How come you don’t invite me anymore?” No answer. They don’t see me because they don’t think of me.
So should I post pictures of my good times? Will that make others feel left out? Maybe. Then why post them?
One longtime friend from high shool, one that I thought I got along well with, not only unfriended me but blocked me. No warning, no reason. Just gone. I thought about sending a message to a mutual friend but she had done the same. Apparently high school behavior isn’t just for high schoolers.
But then, I thought about it. If she didn’t want to talk about it, then I shouldn’t push. Perhaps I offended her and she has no words for it. Perhaps she “just isn’t into me” anymore. After twenty years.
I’ve unfriended and blocked people myself, sometimes without warning. Sometimes with. Sometimes people post things on my page that are inappropriate or low humor. Sometimes people don’t know what should be shared privately. Sometimes people overshare very personal things. Saying “trigger warning” doesn’t excuse some posts. Some posts are better for a therapist, not Facebook.
Some people I’ve unfriended and blocked are family members. I can’t really get rid of them, and telling them that they are overstepping boundaries is just going to make things uglier. Some people are just negative people – and not just to me. Telling them to quit saying “I disagree” to everything I post will just make them more negative. “Unfollowing” their paranoid posts was a start, but when they start sharing their paranoia on my page I have to put up walls. I could “unfollow” them and “hide” my posts for those people, but that just seems so passive-aggressive. Why even pretend we are still friends when we don’t see anything the other posts?
Facebook is a good way of getting to know someone you just met. It is the modern equivalent of hanging out in the hall between classes. You get a few minutes to share, and then you are off to something else. You don’t want to make a “date” with a new friend yet – you don’t know if you are going to want to commit to an hour or two together. But then you get to know them and you find out that they are really creepy or needy or annoying and you unfriend, or block if it is bad enough.
Then they get their feelings hurt. I actually had a coworker ask me why I’d unfriended her. I unfriended her in part because I wanted to write about work, right after work developed a policy saying we could only write about what we liked about work. I didn’t want anything I said getting out to the wrong person. I know you, but I don’t know who you know. I unfriended everybody who I worked with, just in case.
But then I wanted to talk about my crazy family – birth and in-laws. They got their feelings hurt. So I “hid” them. Then our mutual friends connected the dots, and they knew again. What a mess. If I can only post “nice” things then I’m not being honest.
So now I mostly post here, where strangers seem to follow me – if that. Sometimes I feel I’m just talking to myself.