Don’t you just love this title?!?! 🙂
Last week I went through one of those unfortunate Facebook events – where someone “randomly” vents about something, but you’re left about 99.99% sure it’s about you (or your family). It was hugely ironic because what the person complained about I have done in the past, and in this case was supremely specific to not do it again. It required all the self control I had, so when she railed about “someone” doing “something” I was pretty sure it was me. Or DH. Either way it didn’t matter.
The damage was done.
Our friendship was hurt.
Did it need to be? Was I jumping to conclusions?
Maybe. DH was also sure based on this person’s patterns that it was us. He also didn’t remember making the offending remark, but we were sure it was us.
And it hurt me. A lot.
So, I prayed a lot. I whined to DH a little tiny bit. (OK, maybe a little more than that.) And I prayed more. I prayed about how I was to use Facebook in my life. I prayed about how to deal with this person and their family. I prayed a lot.
And one thing I was very convicted about was what role Facebook should haven my life.
I have taken FB breaks before, and I’ve hidden a lot of people, but I just felt that I really needed to look at why I use FB. What it boiled down to for me was that I love FB for keeping in touch with family that’s far away, my high school and college friends (I went to boarding school for high school and a military academy for college, so our ties are tighter than normal), and friends who have moved away from us or vise versa.
I also thought a lot about why I don’t like FB, and it boiled down to often feeling left out of local events, my kids being left out, wondering if I did something to offend someone and lead them to rant (oh yeah!), and petty things which local friends post that annoy me now – but wouldn’t if I lived 200 miles away and saw them rarely. Just being real here – ugliness and all…
So, I made a final warning post, gave it 12 hours, and then deleted nearly everyone who lives within 100 miles of me.
Who got kept? 2 dear, dear, dear lifelong friends of my inner circle who almost never post. That’s it. Everyone else was deleted. Not hidden.
And you know what?!
I FEEL AMAZING!!!! I enjoy FB again. It takes a fraction of the time to read and check the updates. It’s fun again. I see old friends and retirements, and my classmate’s kids starting college. I love it. I don’t lose any connectedness with old friends I don’t wasn’t to lose track of – and I don’t have any issues with offending anyone. I plan on SEEING and TALKING with local friends – and updating my status that way. I want to practice hospitality and work on relationships, not think I know what’s going on in someone’s life because of some FB posts. I want to be connected – for real. For me, FB is good for that in my long distance relationships, but I need to invest more in those local to me.
So, how do I handle the local situation that started all this? Well, with this event I am choosing to regard people by how they treat me in real life. I will be kind. I will be welcoming. I will keep a short record of wrongs. And if I am offended, I’ll either chalk it up to forbearance or approach it as Matthew 18 instructs. ANY other way is hurtful and counterproductive and this experience just reinforced that to me. And if anyone wants to vent about me – I won’t be able to read it anyway and I can move on without any offense ever having been taken. 🙂