October 4, 2012 by vlittle528
My life has been significantly impacted by Facebook, both in the past and currently. The best of all things that have happened on Facebook is meeting some beautiful friends that are there for each other through thick and thin. One of them said she has a hard time describing our group to others. The reason isn’t because it is a bunch of women that chat in a private area on Facebook (though if you ask me the bunch of women part can sometimes be enough reason to cause drama). What is a bit different about our group is that many of us never met in real life before we became friends. I have gone through some very personal and private times in prayer and thoughts with some women that I have never met. I know what is going on in the homes of people that I rarely, if ever, see…yet I think of them all the time. And what is even more different about our group is that we are, essentially, competitors. We are bloggers, media and social marketers. We may have slightly different niches, slightly different angles or readers, but ultimately we all are doing the same thing. Yet we don’t compete. We encourage each other, we build each other up, we help each other out, and we are there for each other in ways that may surprise some people.
On the flip side, some of the most hurtful things have been said or done to me on Facebook as well. Precious words were turned against me, jealous knives have stabbed my back, confidences have been broken and other people test my insecurity with their own. And all of this has been done by those who are supposed to be the closest to me. Facebook, it seems to me, is a dangerous playground for those that are too insecure and immature to realize their own weaknesses.
I am the first to admit that I have perfected the game of passive aggressiveness. As I have gotten older, I seem to be dropping the passive and focusing on the aggressive, but hey, we all need to work on something. It has become quite apparent to me that I am gaining some wisdom in my increasing age. The wisdom I am enjoying, the age I am not. Regardless, where I used to just see hurtful words aimed at trying to make me feel bad or “get to me” somehow, I now see the pain-or in some cases just plain mean spirit-of the person BEHIND the words. I remind myself that usually those that are being the sneakiest, loudest, meanest and most hurtful are the ones that are secretly unhappy with themselves. I look at my husband and children and feel content that I have everything I need to make me happy. I am able to simply keep quiet and ignore the things that don’t mean anything to me anyway, which has the added benefit of making the person who was trying to upset me frustrated.
And then, just as I felt comfortable with myself and how much I have learned about myself and others through this thing that has a life of it’s own called Facebook, the debate came on last night. I saw the cruelest of things being said, characters being questioned, lies being told and friendships being broken. It truly disturbed me to see the painful words that were more cruel than any political ad I have ever seen.
When does it end? I guess it doesn’t. Because there will always be someone who thinks they are right, all the time. There will always be someone who is jealous of you. There will always be someone that feels threatened by you. There will always be someone that is in pain. And there will always be bullies. There always have been, there always will be. I fear for my children. If the cruelty is already this much ingrained into our lives that we can’t even escape from it when we are snuggled comfortably on the couch with those we love the most, what will it be like in a few years? That thought is more terrifying to me than who is going to be voted President for the next four years.