Where Did All Mah Peeps Go? Am I Being Abandoned? Did I Leave The Iron On?
I know I’ve done a lot of write-ups that appear to be “about” Facebook but honestly they’re more about behavioral psychology and what Facebook has tapped into when it comes to the human condition. I’ve been noticing a couple other things that have come up with Facebook and all of our behavior with it.
Being the socially whorish and obnoxious guy that I am, I have several friends and acquaintances that run the gamut of ethnicity, lifestyle, religion, sexual preference, socio-political opinions, apathy, workaholic, passive, aggressive, passive-aggressive, naivete, over-education to the point of pretentiousness, sensitive, tactless, creative, logical, lawless, and clueless…..the list goes on.
I’ve also noticed over the last few months that certain friends who I had connected with on Facebook from high school, places of employment from the past, etc…have un-friended me even though there was no negative incident or interaction with them that would be grounds for: “well screw you we aren’t friends anymore.”
They just…..simply……quietly……….with ninja stealthiness…….”unfriended” me. Where’s my WAH-mbulance?
Actually it doesn’t bother me at all….I’m about to tell you why….
In The Words Of The Great Philosopher Jackie Chan – “WHO AM I?”
(with hands in the air, insert cheesy echo from top of mountain here)
I realized after taking a look at the people that did “unfriend” me that they were probably offended by certain parts of Rich Harris (or just hated the fact that I filled up their Facebook feed, I’m cool with that). For example, I have some very right-wing fundamentalist Christian friends on here that I know would not be down with certain things I’ve posted, my sarcasm and openness to Buddhism, assessing it as probably borderline blasphemous. I know that I have some hessian metalhead friends that think I’m too emo. I have emo friends that think I’m sometimes too harsh and too much of a metalhead. I have blue collar friends that think I’m too geeky and dorky and geeky friends that think I’m too blue collar, gritty and rough around the edges for their liking.
Then, it dawned on me….I realized that I had established these relationships with these people on their terms, or what was comfortable for them. I had built that bridge from them to a facet of who I am but not who I am as a whole. One of my strengths is diplomacy, and dealing with small talk, total strangers, etc. So when I meet and relate with people it’s on topics that are comfortable or appropriate for that specific person. While I’m not dishonestly interacting with them socially or necessarily “hiding”, I am not revealing all of myself. Is this lying by omission about who I am or is it me being appropriate socially, showing tact, filters and self-control….and who the hell decides that definition?
What it comes down to honestly is at first I had an anxiety attack wondering how many people I offended and should I reach out and contact all those people making sure we were “all good”. But I realized that that is bullshit. The social mechanism, Facebook in this case, forces you to just be one person in front of all your various flavors of friends, family and acquaintances. I can’t be spiritual sometimes, and other times not be. I can’t only be a musician and other times only be sarcastic and other times only like Jameson and other times only be an internet geek and other times only be creative and other times only be white collar and other times only be blue collar……I am all those things at the same time and I shouldn’t have to hide that. Everyone else on Facebook has all their own little simultaneous facets. That’s what makes life and the world interesting. The universe would suck if we were identical robots, created in some factory somewhere.
We all have a choice when it comes to how much of ourselves we want to share with the world and it can be daunting to some people because they know that the internet is forever so they have to decide how far they’ll put themselves out there. Everyone’s comfort level is different. Everyone’s level of desire to share who they really are publicly is different. There’s no right or wrong here. We all have blood-spitting demons and cute white fuzzy bunny rabbits all inhabiting the same closet that is ourselves. Being the socially shape shifting guy that I can be, Facebook has forced me to be comfortable publicly in front of everyone of every ilk, to be ok with that..to be ok with the fact that some people from long ago may not be into who I am now….and to start shedding any insecurities I have about that.
At the end of the day the people that will stick with you are the ones that appreciate all aspects of you, even if it makes them uncomfortable. The rest of the people will ‘go away.’ – not cause they hate you or because you did anything wrong, but just because it’s trying to put a putting a social square peg through a round hole. Sometimes it’s just not a good fit. It’s ok and normal and ethical to be socially incompatible with people without hard feelings. We already know this…but I said it anyway.