Does anyone else find the idea of social media etiquette interesting? Social media etiquette is still a different concept to me and I’ve been on Facebook for more than 10 years.
My husband and I are in those middle years were we are old enough to know better and should have a really good grasp on what we want out of life (or at least we hope so) but not old enough to have a teenager on the road or map out a solid retirement plan. Though I will say, as of right now, the retirement plan is to leave the workforce at the same time (he’s a few years older than me) buy a decked out RV, Lisa Franklin fannie packs (that is or will be a thing, right?), high socks, orthopedic shoes and visiting every state and entering BBQ contests whenever we want. My soldier is a incredible cook and I am gladly his guinea pig.
Recently, I found out I was unfriended by my husband’s close friend’s wife. I’m not sure why, to be honest. I try very hard to stay away from thing political, though I did make the mistake of sharing an article with my husband on Facebook on his wall and it turned into a pissing contest. I don’t think anyone one; everyone just smelled afterward. I do occasionally get FB happy with my kid posts but I come from a large family and honestly, that’s how we stay in touch. Maybe it was my opinionated friends on FB, because I do have a lot them, and she didn’t want to see anything I commented on because that would mean she would see their strong stances on some controversial topics? Or maybe it’s because we just never really connected.
Maybe she liked me at first but I said or did something she didn’t care for and instead of embracing a different opinion and respecting it, she just hit “unfriend?” I have friends of a variety of backgrounds and beliefs and it is hard at time but not everyone has an open mind, sadly. The idea of someone not liking for no reason at all would of devastated me years ago. And, honestly, I can feel twinges of it now. As someone who bent over backwards at times in grade school to “fit in” or have someone like me, I struggled with the idea that not everyone I meet would want to be a close or decent friend. I had a grade school bully and I brought candy and goodies to school to share with the class in hopes everyone would like me. I learned that some people will only be friends with you for their own personal gains (or in this case gummy bears and pretzels).
The reality that I would have more acquaintances in life than close friends was bittersweet. I mean I knew I couldn’t keep in touch with everyone I went to school with or college but I hoped, and still do, that majority of the people I went to school with think I’m a decent person – nice and sometimes funny. A bit of a goof, sure. A Chatty Kathy at times, yes. But when someone didn’t like me and I couldn’t find a reason a legit reason (I can think of two in high school and a handful in college) it made me want to be extra sweet, like brown sugar water (or as my husband loving calls it -tea), and being that sweet would make it impossible for anyone not to like me. This was a crazy idea and it backfired, horribly. It felt more fake than when I use self-tanner. But for someone who grew up with two sayings imbedded into her head – “Kill them with kindness” and “You catch more flies with honey than vinegar.” I’m sure my kids will find these saying as difficult and annoying at times as I did.
I didn’t always want to be sweet, I wanted to tell someone off, to be witty and sarcastic. But every time I have try to be rude to someone who I just plain mean to me, I fumble with my words, my grammar flies out the window and I become so flustered that I can’t think straight. And even if I have a clever retort, I feel terrible afterward. My anxiety kicks in and I play it over and over in my head, re-enacting what I should of said or done. Depending on how intense the situation was, I have been known to rethink my quips for days or even weeks after and act out the whole scenario in my head with the person being crushed by my words and I am victorious (insert mischievous laugh) riding off into the sunset on a unicorn. I warned you I was goofy.
However, that’s not how it goes. I never feel good and it has taken me years to realize that is just not how God made me. I can get my point across with that so-called honey my mom talked about and do just fine. He gave me something much stronger than being boisterous and abrasive – my kindness is my greatest gift and weakness. Now kindness and forgiveness are not the same thing but they do go hand-in-hand. The most forgiving person I know is my husband. I am not as forgiving but it’s something I am working on. Usually forcing myself to be kind to someone who has been rude to me helps with forgiving. It’s dealing with the repeat offenders that trips me up and that’s when I need to take a chapter out of my husband’s book.
So back to this person unfriending me- I was shocked but as I thought about it, it made sense. On paper, you would think her and I would have a great connection and would be decent friends but the truth is, we never really did click. I tried so hard, being super nice and cracking jokes. I offered to watch their kids so they could have date night. i told my husband to call them up to come over for dinner and play dates. We both have kids and our husband’s are close friends so all four of us should be going on double dates, right? Not so. Maybe she doesn’t hate me but she probably agrees that we just never really clicked as friends and here’s why that’s a good thing.
If you think about it, how many close friends do you have? Now, what about best friends? Has that numbers of close friends and besties dwindled as you have gotten older? Mine has and while I am always up to making new friends, my close-knit group is pretty great already.
Here is one perk – having only one or two besties makes it easy to stay in touch and easy to plan get-togethers. Second, my Christmas gift list for friends is low so that makes my bank account happy. Third, with true besties you can just hang out with each other in your comfy clothes, no make up, baby spit up on your shirt and hot-mess hair and no one bats an eye. I’m finding out that I’d much rather have a deep conversation and connection with someone than engage in small talk, which I am mediocre. Some days my small-talk is on fire and others I wonder if I would do better talking to a wall.
Let’s get real: Life is complicated and busy.I have three kids, a full-time job, side interests like this blog and I’m incredibly close to my family so I travel back to my hometown at least once a month. I make sure to respond to text and FB messages in a timely manner but sometimes I admit, what should be a quick 10- or 20-mintue catch-up session is dragged out into days because I fall asleep texting or I’m at work or busy with the kids and I forget it’s my turn to respond until the next day. I know some friendships have fell to the sidelines because of the sheer lack of time to commit to keeping the relationship afloat. I blame no one for this, that’s just life. I still consider these people good friends, though. We are all in the thorny gardens of early childhood parenting so I think we all give each other a pass.
I do believe people come in and out of your life for a reason so all those friendships that dwindled are still important to me because I have great memories with those friends. And really if you think about it, if God wanted you to be close to someone, you would be. You can’t force a friendship, it doesn’t matter how many gummy bears you bring them. And that’s how I feel about the person who unfriended me. Maybe it was something I posted that offended her or maybe she shut down her Facebook because it’s prime-time election time and many people give up FB all together because of it.
My final point is, I’ll never know why she unfriended me and that’s okay. We were never close. It’s her FB, her choice. I can’t assume the reasons why because you know what assuming does, right? It makes an ass out of you and me (my husband’s favorite saying, I think).
I don’t need to be everybody’s friend (how exhausting) but I can be like Jesus and be kind to my neighbors, acquaintances and strangers and lead by example. I can be so strong in my faith that people wonder what I have in my faith walk that they don’t. Those who were meant to be in my life for a long time, will be, and that’s good enough for me. And if you think about it, maybe some people leave your life because they weren’t good for you and by them leaving your heart, you’ve opened up more space for a better friend to come along or He opened up that spot so you and Him can grow together. Either way, just remember, FB isn’t the real world and you have so much to give. If they don’t want to be your friend FB or real life, God has something better in store and it’s truly their loss.
Is “Bye, Felicia” still a thing? If so, then that’s how I end this – “Bye, Felicia.”