Now before, I start telling you about those stories, perhaps I need to clarify my LOVE/HATE relationship with Facebook. I, like the rest of the world, acknowledge that it is rather nice to connect with old friends and reestablish friendships, pseudo- friendships, or at the very least, "acknowledge that you are alive." (although to be fair, there are plenty of Facebook pages that are active despite the fact that the Facebooker is dead....just for the fun of it, I think we should all make a point to FRIEND them.)
With that in mind, I want to reiterate to all you avid FB users, I am not a Facebook hater. No, I am more of an interested FB voyeur....stalker, if you will. I like to just look through the "window" of Facebook without anyone noticing me. As far as I know there are no laws concerning being a Facebook Peeping Tom.
In the past we have discussed here at TAOBC, the people that use social media to post their rude or vile comments while hiding behind the cloak of anonymity. BUT what about the ones that are within the circle of
"friends". Of course, in this context, the word "friend" could mean anything from "someone that knows someone you know" to "who the hell is this person?"
What about when a person, that is part of your group, posts something embarrassing, hateful or just out of the realm of you being comfortable with, onto their Facebook page. Perhaps you would prefer that your dirty laundry isn't being put out there on the electronic clothesline that is the Internet.
Since Facebook's inception, I have had plenty of friends and relatives that were upset after reading something on Facebook that angered them, hurt their feelings, or embarrassed them. So how does one handle having a group member posting something that they would rather keep private? In a few cases, relating to the people I know personally, they closed their FB accounts only to reopen them because they couldn't stand the thought of not knowing what was being said. Often this was an ongoing activity... opening and closing the account numerous times.
Perhaps a new option should be added to the site:
*Note..while the word "frenemy or (sometimes spelled frienemy) wasn't added to the Oxford Dictionary until 2008 thanks to it's use on the HBO series, Sex and the City.... it has been around since 1953 when Walter Winchell said "Howz about calling Russians our Frienemies?" Haven't we come a long, long way???)
Thought Number One: It's Not Nice to be a Bully
Last week there was a picture taken in the UK of a young mother, Emily Slough, while she sat on a stoop breastfeeding her daughter, Matilda. The photographer posted it to Facebook along with a vile comment that included calling her a tramp. A friend of Emily alerted her to the fact she saw the picture on her Facebook account. (I am not exactly clear, why the photographer wouldn't be easily identified by tracing it back through FB...it had to be a friend of a friend to make it's way back to her.)
In this case, Emily probably was more angry at the slur than she was the picture but it goes to the fact, that her privacy and image were used in a way she didn't authorize or appreciate. Ultimately, in this case it started a huge support group of the rights of nursing mothers.
For those of you that aren't regular readers, I walk every morning here in Kansas City with a friend in Dallas, TX via cellular phone and Bluetooth and we talk for an hour or so about all manner of stuff. Last week one of the topics was the Emily Slough story. Often one story morphs into another.
She said that the phrase is just popping up in nearly every conversation and with that people are posting "sightings" of others using it onto their Facebook accounts. (Isn't it ironic that while using the phrase "I don't have time for this." they are making time to post people saying "they don't have time for this.")
Anyway..there is an Indian doctor at the hospital where she works that has a very pronounced accent. He unfortunately was filmed using the much overworked phrase and it was posted to a fellow employee's FB account. Supposedly, people found the clip hysterical and passed it along until nearly everyone in the hospital system is mimicking and laughing at the doctor's expense. The doctor is not finding it all that funny. Dare I say, he doesn't have time for this.
Thought Number Two: Stirring It Up
Another story came to mind, although in this case it started innocently enough but segued into a mommy brawl.
To get you up to speed about how this story came to my attention.
Sherry was following a group conversation among "friends" on her Facebook page. In full disclosure, she does admit that some of these "friends" she befriended because it seemed rude not to, so we can assume not all these women are BFFs. The conversation was started by a mom that posted a status update "that she ached - painfully ached - for the days when her children were babies" which was followed by a large number of ooey-gooey status updates about the joys of babies. (**Note, these women must of forgotten about the sleepless nights and dirty diapers**) The status updated kept coming about baby smiles and smells and such wonderfully nostalgic mommy thoughts when Sherry took it upon herself to remind the group that she personally didn't desire to go back to the land of exhaustion and sore nipples.
Sherry made the bold move of posting just two words...two tiny four letter words that landed her in the cross-hairs of some vehement mommy bashing.
She posted "Ache Free"
The mom that had started the conversation came back with a comment that included the words "baby hater" and said she went on to say she felt sorry for Sherry's children. (Oh, yeah...she went there!)
As anyone that knows anything about mothers... the minute you bring someone's kids into the conversation it is equal to a shot having been fired and Sherry shot back with things like "Maybe I'm not aching because I am proud of my children and parenting skills and don't feel the need to go back in time to correct any mistakes." (innuendo and and veiled accusations are a nasty weapons in a mommy war.)
Which brings me to the point..how much can or should a "friend" say or post on a social media site before it takes a definitive "unfriendly" turn. AND if someone has posted a tidbit about you that finds it's way through the spider-like web of friends of friends of friends..into infinity, how do you handle it?
Now for a little endorsement for some very funny bloggers that have a book out..AND it's on sale for just 99 cents for this week only. Bryan and Brandon over at A Beer for the Shower have their ebook on sale ...so be sure to get a copy of it.
I realize the cute little graphic implies that you can click on it but as I am not able to link it properly...be sure to click HERE
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