arnoldcam

Life as I know it… plus commentary

Facebook responses to Real Life situations

with 5 comments

I just recently found out a good friend of a good friend just got a divorce.  I found out because Facebook told me.  “_____ is now single” is what my news feed told me.

So I went to my good friend and asked about his good friend and if the Facebook news feed meant what I think it meant.  He confirmed and told me a few things about it.  Sad news… it’s always hard to hear about a marriage dissolving.

Now interestingly, on Facebook, you can comment on pretty much anything anyone does… including going from married to single status.  Sure enough, I found “what happened?”,  “???”, “hey – you ok?”, and “since when?”.  Now it may be that I’m a little sensitive to the subject because I’ve had a few good friends get divorced and I’ve seen first hand how wretchedly painful the process is.  Most people I know take years to get back in a good place again.  So to see people’s only reaction to a huge life change is to quip on the person’s Facebook page… well… I did what I do best.  I got on a platform and said something short and concise.

“I’m sure you guys are really nice people. I suspect though, these are questions best asked in person or in a private email.”  – I says.

It probably should be said that I probably shouldn’t have said anything.  For one thing, this is a good friend of a good friend, not my own good friend.  And really, this is more a personal preference than a law we’re all supposed to follow.  But “gol dern it” (I have been waiting years to use that),  sometimes it’s best to pick up a phone.  I mean seriously, if a person throws a sheep at you or asks you to join their mob or tags a picture of you at some party, then by all means comment away or “like that”.  But when you find out someone’s lost a spouse, or experienced a death or lost a job or a house or some other loss, Facebook is not the appropriate way to communicate you care.  It’s like sending someone gum as a birthday present.  Hey!  Thanks for the present… I guess.

I did get a response to my post.  I figured someone would feel scolded, which was not my intent.  Here’s what they said:

Hey Arnold, We are just concerned for our friend. I am sure that questions were asked on the private side. Also, you are the only guy in this thread. We, Ladies are very nice people who are just showing that we care. If “_____”, didn’t want us to know he would have not changed his status. Have a great day!

A nice response.  I’m positive people called him and then immediately wrote “what happened” on his Facebook wall. And I like how being the only guy on a thread is a response.  I’m not even sure if that was a pro or a con.  And with regards to his status change, what was he supposed to do, leave his status as married?

I hope if our replier ever gets divorced, her friends would take the trouble to personally connect with her instead of showing how much they “care” on her wall.

But thanks for the response, lady,  and in case you’re wondering, I am, indeed, having a great day.*

*If you’re worried, this lady is not a Facebook friend of mine and will never see this note.

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Written by arnold

June 22, 2009 at 5:55 pm

Posted in I'm Just Sayin'

5 Responses

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  1. And on the REALITY side of life (as opposed to your idyllic scenario), people grow awkward and uncomfortable and don’t know what to say when they first speak to you after you’ve gone through a tragedy or personal crisis.

    A small online shout-out may seem like a cop-out, but it’s often more than most people would be willing to do face to face. They are uncomfortable dealing with strong emotions in another, and if they “bring it up” they fear unleashing a barrage they cannot endure.

    Having experienced both deaths and divorce, I know whereof I speak. I understood that people were just uncomfortable, and I didn’t hold it against them. But that is when your truest friends are godsends…they face the pain alongside you. “Bear one another’s burdens” come to life is one reality I hope comes to pass for everyone when a crisis comes their way.

    Peggy C

    June 23, 2009 at 1:20 pm

  2. So that’s why I couldn’t access your blog for a few days…
    It’s amazing hwo modern technology can have us being more open than we have ever been in the past. I do agree with you that announcing it on Facebook is strange, to say the least, but hey, ya gotta let everyone know….

    Kim

    June 23, 2009 at 4:56 pm

  3. You couldn’t access the blog cause Linksky was having server issues.

    arnold

    June 23, 2009 at 7:32 pm

  4. Well said Peggy. There’s no real guide to real life grief because everyone experiences it differently. I don’t really feel like talking to anyone when I’m down and others want to process with others and then there’s all manner of grey in between. It never hurts to have friends ask how you’re doing though eh?

    arnold

    June 24, 2009 at 7:11 am

  5. Yea, Arnold it is a strange thing indeed. At least this was not gossip and you heard from the source directly. I think the bigger problem is that Facebook has you connected to so many different types of people, and 90% of them are not really your “friends”…so an announcement like that is sure to reach people who would normally not expect to hear something like that. I imagine if it had been me changing the status, I would have changed it and then deleted the notification.

    But then again, all of my news feeds are pretty much blocked except for my profile updates. The preferences page is a huge blessing.

    Kevin

    June 24, 2009 at 8:32 am


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