Back in March I made an impulse decision that has had an impact I never could have imagined . With one click of a button, I managed to divide and separate friends and acquaintances. That button was the “unfriend” button on Facebook.
After a tense and uncomfortable winter, when i clicked that button, at that time, for me it was meant to be temporary. To give myself a break from everyone, to take a step back and let everyone get some distance and hopefully all the drama and emotions that were running high would just subside with time. I naively thought noone would notice and by the time they did, I could re request us to be friends and it would be over. What I didn’t expect was to ignite what I now jokingly have dubbed “Small Town War 1″ . With one click of that little tiny button, battle lines were drawn, sides were chosen and alliances were made. People picked a side and that’s where things have pretty much stayed.
I take a lot of the responsibility for the blow out because I was that person to make the first “click”. When I realized the impact it was having on everyone involved, I wrote many an email wanting to explain the situation and apologize for what was just supposed to be a temporary time out for all of us adults. I never sent them and deleted every email because I wasn’t sure it would help and frankly I didn’t want to fuel this any further and again, I just thought it would all die down with time. With hindsight being what it is now, I should have sent the email and at least my intentions would have been out there, whether they were accepted or not wouldn’t have been my problem. It would have cleared up many a misconception and possibly salvaged a few relationships that have been lost. I also realize now that there were other ways around keeping my page private for awhile and also in hindsight, this is the path is should have chosen and will be keeping that handy in the future. Regardless of what I should have could have done, this was a really great eyeopener for me.
I blog here publicly. I don’t hide my name or my situations. I write about real events that happen in my life, from my perspective as that is all I have to offer. I speak my opinions on a variety of subjects. While all that is out there for anyone who wishes to click on my site and read, I don’t publicly announce that I am the writer behind this blog either. I don’t go around telling everyone I know that I write here. I don’t promote my content locally. I have friends who read and i know they read because they text me their comments instead of posting them here. I have friends who have never mentioned the blog to me, whether they know about it or not i really don’t know. I find writing easier if I don’t think about who is reading and I find it easier to be more open if I don’t discuss it with others as well.
Because I am honest about who I am, it also limits what I can write about. I won’t share personal stories and events of those I care about. Sometimes that is a challenge, yes, but mostly I respect their privacy. I try not to post pictures that involve others without consent.
That all said, writing is very therapeutic for me and because of that there are times when I will write about something to get feedback, a different point of view or just to get it off my chest. There are going to be people upset along the way.
I never intended for the fall out from that decision to be so wide spread. Even now, 6 months later there are still friends of mine who are “kicked to the curb” – deleted off facebook, blocked on twitter, etc. I found it so upsetting at first. My decision shouldn’t have this kind of impact on my friends’ lives. Hate me all you want. We had issues, we were the ones that had the (unintended) fall out.
Perhaps though, I am reading their situation all wrong in the same way as mine was misinterpreted. Perhaps after living our lives so publicly open via social media we all just want to get back a little of that privacy. Share what we only want to, when we want to and how we want to.
And with who we want to.