Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Unclicking that button

A couple I know have ended their relationship. For several of us who know them, this is not wholly unexpected news. When they got together, there were raised eyebrows and hushed, "Um...yeah" traded. From my POV, it lasted longer than I expected.

Both are on Facebook and both have added me to their list of friends. There have been accusations of lying and deceit posted publicly quite frequently in the last 6 days since the relationship ended.

It is human nature to want to appear virtuous and to be the "wronged one" when a relationship collapses. I know. When my marriage went south, I wanted to get people "on my side". I have learned that this is a very bad thing to do to your friends and family. They don't want to take sides. They might want to be friends with both of you and your attempts at portraying the other as something akin to pond scum don't endear you to them. I found that I lost as many friends as I kept and part of my coming to grips with my life included finding those I sought to ally with me and apologizing for that. It's hard to keep your mouth shut when you feel hurt and wronged, but lashing out at the other person does you and your friends no favors. Our humanity and who we are means we won't get along with every other person occupying this planet. I have found the most peace by accepting life is what it is and moving on.

This is diametrically in opposition to the nature of a social networking site. You have the ability to post your raw, open feelings onto the Internet for all to see. You have the ability, if the person you feel wronged you hasn't been fast enough to remove themselves from your list, of seeing more and more comments designed to drive home the "you hurt me and I'll get you" nature of your feelings. The end of a relationship, regardless of how long the relationship lasted, is akin to grief and one of the reactions in grief is anger. You want to lash out and Facebook and other social network sites give you a ready audience to witness that anger.

It also makes some of us cringe. Honestly, I don't care what this couple thinks about each other right now. One of them has not posted anything, which is completely within their character. They will quietly talk to a few people about what happened and then move on. The other is openly posting anything and everything about their feelings. I acknowledge their feelings. They are entitled to them. I'm just not interested in reading this every hour or two.

And so, I have come to the conclusion that I must remove them from my friends list. It's made somewhat easier in that the person doing the most posting is not the person in the relationship I know the best. I wish them well and hope they will find someone with whom they can be happy. I feel my continued presence in their Facebook life gives them my permission to be publicly acerbic and, what I consider, mean.

People come and go through life. I can remember some people who passed through my life as if they were standing right in front of me now. I often wonder where they are and what they are doing. And then, as one of the members of my Facebook friends list will testify, I had no idea who she was and had to ask. This is life. This is how it is. I think the better part of our nature is to recognize life for what it is and move on.

Beverage: Scottish Blend Tea


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