Facebook – I love to hate you

I can remember a time when parents, neighbors and grandparents weren’t on Facebook. I can remember a time when high schools weren’t on the social network even. But things are changing and while SNL has captured the delicate balance of “oh crap, my parents are online,” they’re merely scratching the surface of the love/hate relationship with Facebook users.

Correction: And overshare things in your life.

Once an Acquaintance, Always an Acquaintance

Hey, acquaintance who I knew in high school, this is going to sound shallow, because it is: I only became friends with you on Facebook so I could see the pictures of you and your little fat babies. This does not mean that I invite you to post comments to everything I write. We didn’t talk in high school. I don’t really want to talk now.

And before you get offended, I know you wanted to be friends with me so you could do the same thing.

But I wouldn’t mind talking with you if you talked like a normal person. No one says: “I too am a fan of cheese. O’ delicious, savory creamy cheese. Mind you, I’m not referring just to the cheeses of the cream variety like cream cheese, but all cheeses. They are, in general, very creamy good.”


Stop. Posting. On. My. Page.

I LIKE Things that are Uncool

Which brings us to the simple act of “liking” something. Por ejemplo, there’s a cool picture and so I “like” it. And so does everyone and their grandmother and I get 20,000 emails saying that they liked it too.

Uh, I used to like it but now that it’s popular I don’t like it anymore. Unlike.

TMI. Seriously.

I love Facebook so I can check in and see how you’re doing in your personal life. I’m talking about the milestones: got engaged, got married and now having kids. Mazel tov!

I do not, however, want or need to know every disgusting detail — got married, preggo but posts the C-section video, fights with new hubby online who’s not too shy about liking this other girl on the side.

With friends like these who needs daytime television?

Too extreme – positive or negative.

There’s always the one guy who’s so freaking positive ALL the time. Nothing bad ever happens. Ever. And, shocker, he’s selling feel-good seminars so you can be just as happy as he is for a reasonable fee of $500. Is that all?

Then there are those who are having a terrible, just no-good, rotten life. Every little thing bothers them. Especially the little things. And if Facebook changes their interface they’ll be the first to let you know how much they hate it.

Go ahead and think I’m petty OR enjoy the video again from SNL and check out the best Facebook has to offer that’s not in your feed.

That’s Not Mine

People. People and their drama. So you’ve got issues, sure whatever, we all do. I hate it when people click their gum, for example. But it’s OK if I do it. Double standard? Of course, but I’m working through it. But while I work on my collection of pet peeves, ticks and other emotional triggers, I have decided that I don’t need to collect more emotional baggage.

Here’s how I have begun to cope when people want me to take on just one more emotional issue.

That’s Your Issue

Being the social creatures that we are and how we value the efforts of a team, many of us work and play together. It’s not an uncommon experience to discover during one of these many interactions that people are just bizarre. And, naturally, we gravitate towards some people and away from others. A pattern develops and we, often, rationalize and clump people together based on very little information.

Example: “Her hair is blue. She’s a freak.”

If I had to take a stab at behavioral psychology, and I probably shouldn’t, I’m sure a statement like this is a defense mechanism in an effort to protect oneself from the “type” of person that has hurt them in someway before. But, my friend, you confide it in me. Trying to see if I can be clumped in your “ok in my book” group of people. While I’d like to join the in-crowd — I truly would — that’s your issue. Not mine. I happen to like the color blue.

Motivated by Guilt

I know guilt really well. I’ve personally sought him out for most of my childhood up to my teenage years. He’s kind of a prick and we don’t spend as much time together. Unfortunately, there are many people that I know and love that are still motivated by guilt.

Example: “My friend of so many years wants to spend time with me. He drives me nuts. I can’t stand the way he thinks and it won’t be fun. But I have to do it. He keeps asking me and I don’t have an excuse to get out of it.”

As one of the wonderful expressions my mother would say to me as I was just a child: “I could die tomorrow.” I didn’t get it then but I do now. This could be my last day on this earth because a meteor could come crashing down into my house and that’s it – ka-put! – so why would I spend time doing something I don’t want to do?

Well, maybe she didn’t mean the meteor thing or maybe she wanted me to be more appreciative of life and of her. So, maybe I didn’t quite get her exact meaning. Nonetheless, this is my interpretation and decision to not be motivated by guilt.

That’s Not Mine

A note to my loved ones:

Loved one, I care for you. I really do. And that crisis you’re going through, I’m here for you. To listen. Provide advice if you want it. And give you hugs if you need them. But I’m not carrying your emotional baggage around with me. Sorry. I’ve got plenty of my own.