I recently wrote about getting blocked on Facebook and the emotional distress this caused me, or to be more accurate, the brief moment of surprise when I figured it out and then the laugh I had when I thought about how stupid it was.
Admittedly, I spend more time on Facebook then I should, otherwise, I probably wouldn’t have even noticed that I’d been blocked. But I think Facebook is kind of a fun diversion and I like to see what cool pictures, interesting links, and good news my friends have to share. I even appreciate the occasional sad news post so I know to reach out to a friend who’s going through a tough time. These are fine as long as they’re specific, such as, “RIP, Goldie the goldfish,” or “Bad news. I didn’t get the job. :(“
The thing that really, really drives me crazy, though, are what I call, the “I Need Attention” posts.
These posts usually go something like, “Just made an extremely hard decision,” or “Could life possibly get any harder?” or simply, “I’m Sad.”
There are also the ones that try to be poetic but are also begging for sympathy, such as, “The rain outside matches my mood today,” and “We come into the world alone and we leave it the same way,” and my personal favorite, “Life is cruel.”
All of these are purposely vague, often despondent status updates that beg for a response such as “Oh no!” “What’s wrong?” and “Sending you hugs!”
Now I’m not heartless. I know the person posting updates like these is clearly having a tough time. But why the need for ambiguity? When I want to support someone, I don’t want to have to go on a fishing expedition to find out what’s bothering them. I think if you are looking for support, then be upfront about it. You want your bruised ego soothed? Ask for it. Try something like, “Just got another rejection letter for a book proposal and I’m really down. Say nice things about me to make me feel better!”
Can you imagine if people did this in real life? If I ran into a friend on the street and she said, “Could life be any harder?” and then she walked away, I’d be so annoyed I’d probably chase her down the street and hit her with my bag just to prove that yes, life actually could be harder.
Since it’s the same people I see doing this over and over again on Facebook, I guess I could do one of two things. I could private message them and suggest they try being more direct.
Or I could block them!
©2013, Beckerman. All rights reserved.
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