So a Facebook friend- someone I’ve never met in person or even particularly know at all, changed my viewing of her timeline from a regular friend to ‘restricted’. Something and nothing, no big deal, I feel no major loss in my life and it’s not exactly up at the top of my list of important issues… yet I felt a little upset and dare I say it, even hurt. Why?
Something so trivial and unimportant done by someone I barely know- other than her name, where she lives, a few selfies and what YouTube videos she likes to share, made me a little sad. Have I not been a good friend? I dutifully like and share the appropriate posts. I think I’m relatively unoffensive, I never post anything particularly controversial- and if I did, people could just unfollow my postings or even firmly put me in my place and unfriend. Why restrict? What doesn’t she want me to see?
I must admit, I have restricted some people’s viewing of my timeline in the past- me being a technical dinosaur and being relatively new to Facebook at the time, I didn’t know what I was doing. At that point I had recently left a group of friends where I had witnessed one woman be rather nasty about another lady who had previously been in her circle. Slamming every post she would put up and being generally horrible. I was petrified at how awful she could be to people and didn’t want that kind of negativity focused on me. I was hoping I could slip under the radar and I thought ‘restricted’ meant my future posts just wouldn’t flash up on her newsfeed. Was I naive? Was I stupid? Was I wrong? Yes, yes and yes..(Needless to say, that caused the situation to blow up. I was unfriended after I received a few unsavory texts and I promptly blocked her!) That was an act of self preservation though, I don’t think I can attribute my recent ‘restricted’ status by my Facebook acquaintance as that. I haven’t given any reason to install that level of fear or worry in to anyone.
Another Facebook friend of mine leads a very demanding lifestyle. Busy, busy, busy. Quite a lot of people want a piece of them- messaging, emailing, wanting their opinion, their advice and their time… That on top of the daily grind and keeping a house running and a family that they actually want to spend time with. They have quite a high social media presence and dedicates a lot of time to various social media sites, associations, groups, etc.
In the past they have recognised when they needed to take a break and taken a step back from time to time. Prioritizing, quite rightly so, their home life over their public life, when necessary. First time they did this, I didn’t see it coming. We had been texting and messaging away and it pretty much just stopped. I knew something wasn’t quite right, I was panicked and was really worried. Was everything OK? Had something happened? Thinking I had done something wrong or offended in some way.
Again, why? Well aware and rather embarrassed to admit that was a rather self- absorbed train of thought. Does the world revolve around me? No. Should I be other people’s first port of call when they make a personal decision? No.
Still, these were my knee-jerk emotions and initial reactions. Worry. I do try too hard to please. That is my personality and probably my biggest (of which I am sure there are many) flaws. I worry about upsetting people I care about and the people I let in to my world- including Facebook friends. I recognise that’s how I am and I don’t particularly want to change it. It’s me. I can be full-on and a bit too eager, but I would rather be like that and know it comes from a good place and be genuine, rather than pretending to be something I’m not and over analyzing everything I do, before I do it. This side of my personality is particularly difficult to deal with in social media life.
When something is typed and re-read by someone else it can be interpreted in many different ways. Sometimes something perfectly innocent can be taken as an insult. More often the things that aren’t said or done on social media are what causes the most turmoil and misunderstandings- ‘Why didn’t s/he like my post?’…. ‘Why didn’t they reply to my comment?’… Arguments, fallings out and forgiveness can all go on, entirely one-sidedly, with one party being completely oblivious to there even being an issue!
One thing I have realised is that everybody has their own issues and problems to deal with. Not everyone chooses to divulge that information to absolutely everyone they know. Some do. Some like to air their dirty laundry in public. Some do not. Not everyone is ‘need to know’ and ultimately people will only tell you what they want you to know.
Social media is a wonderful thing. I’ve connected with family overseas that I otherwise wouldn’t be able to keep in touch with, shared photos and personal little adventures with my nearest and dearest at the touch of a button, I’ve ‘met’ some wonderful people and I’ve been lucky enough to make some genuine, true friends. ♥
There is always a darker, more vicious side, as with anything. Certain people will always abuse it. We all know how cruel/rude/perverted some people can be.
With all of that in mind- take things for what they are. Although at times it can be hard, don’t take things personally. Don’t read too much in to how many likes or comments you have on your posts, why someone chooses not to accept a friend request, why some people don’t message and why others decide to step away. If people want to be in your life, they’ll make the effort to be. If they don’t make the effort, don’t be too quick to jump to conclusions, they may just have a lot of other stuff going on in their life. Give people- your friends!- the benefit of the doubt. There is always a hundred and one reasons as to why people act in a certain way or do/do not do something. Ultimately, they will be the one missing out on a rather spectacular friendship they could be having with you, because let’s face it, you’re awesome. ♥
Just try and be true to yourself, do what’s right for you in your own heart and by your own moral compass. Do your best by people and have a clear conscience. Don’t sweat what you have no control over…or what has absolutely bugger all to do with you too! 😉
With much love,
Miss Kimmy Cupcake xx