Wednesday, 9 January 2013

social networking grievances

You all know I'm on Facebook; most of you are, too. Mostly I enjoy keeping up with friends and relatives, reading the cute sayings, and even seeing the cute pictures. But sometimes!!!!

One of my acquaintances has done something that I feel is not only morally wrong, but inconsistent with their own values. It just tears me up to read about it. But what do I do? If I reply to their post (which already has 20 "likes") in a negative tone, all their friends (most of whom I don't even know) will begin to argue with me. And if I try to so much as define my position there I am in the midst of an argument. Ugh. I almost quit Facebook because of the frustration, but several friends spoke up and said they appreciated my presence there. So I try to not get into things.  But!!! This is so frustrating that this person is doing something so stupid, and everybody's just "yay for you" about it.

So I try to put it in "real life" terms. Their post would be the equivalent of having a party in their home, where the announcement is made. In real life my reaction would be to sadly and quietly shake my head; if my friend noticed she would either dismiss me out of hand, or if she really cared about my opinion she might call me later and ask about it. Then, in privacy we could discuss my concerns and she could give her reasons. To comment on her post would be like standing up at the party and starting a scene. But there is no Facebook equivalent of quietly shaking your head.  There is the private message, but that would be like ME taking HER aside to express my concerns, which (in my world) would only be appropriate if we were pretty close or I was somehow responsible for her.

So I vent to Bob, and that helps. I do have the option of blogging about the issue, or just posting about it on Facebook however vaguely, but that would be like me then throwing a party, inviting my friend the original party-thrower and a bunch of my friends who probably don't know her, and then making a public statement to contradict her statements or actions in the hope of my friends backing me up and thus getting through to her.

So I vent about the fact that I can't vent, and move on.

1 comment:

Wil said...

In my opinion, that's not a good enough reason to leave Facebook. (There are plenty of good reasons, just not that one.)

I'm glad you were able to compare it with a "real life" situation; that often helps.

Off the top of my head:

* If the "something" was indeed against the person's own values, they'll likely see that in time. Perhaps they will overcorrect for it in future actions, or try to undo it.

I've often done/said things that went against my own grain (and people watching have surely noticed), but then I eventually realize it and work it out.

* If you're close enough (say it was me), then it's appropriate to express your concerns privately to them.

* If you're not that close (say it was a friend from grade school that you haven't seen in years, outside Facebook), then you have to learn to not take it personally when other people behave in such a way. (Difficult, I know.)

* Like you, I find it incredibly helpful to have a spouse who's on the same page as me (most of the time), so I can vent in private. :-)