Thursday, January 29, 2015

Facebook Friends

Maxo Vanka Mural, Millvale, 2014

I have this facebook friend - which, if you are on facebook know this - who is not really a friend in any sense of the word.  She is instead a person who rode the same school bus as I did almost forty years ago.  That's the extent of my firsthand knowledge of this woman.   She posts pictures of her cat (who doesn't), talks a little about her 80 year old wealthy husband, and flirts with the guys she went to high school with.  It's pretty tame.  Still, how much of your past can you truly leave behind?  What vestiges of it will never fade entirely?  The other day a bit of that reared it's head when "Jane" posted and old picture of herself, stylishly dressed, posing for a photo shoot, she claimed.  It didn't look like a photo shoot, it looked like a snap shot taken inside a dress shop.  I didn't pay much more attention to it and continued scrolling through my feed.  The next day the picture popped back up again in my feed, at the top of the page in fact, and I started mentally complaining about how fb figures out how to order your news feed.  Nothing comes through in chronological order, oh no.  That would be too convenient. 
There was Jane's picture, and before I could just scroll it in oblivion, I noticed that there were a lot of comments, so I scanned over them only to discover profanity, accusations of boyfriend stealing (from the late 1970s, no less), and guys requesting some pictures from those 'other' photo shoots she used to do.  Well what do you know.  And, apparently, Jane doesn't realize that when you post something you are also in control of deleting it because she just left it up there. 
Online communication, even when you vaguely know the person, still has the capacity to get so much uglier than it would if you were standing next to the person, face to face.  The lack of filter from what you are thinking and what you are typing, also the drunken posts that come late at night when all of your demons are in control.  See, this is why I go to bed at 9pm.  I don't have to worry about humiliating myself, or reading other people's humiliation.

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