Oh sure, we can talk about the merits and draw-backs of social networking all day long.
We can talk about how Facebook has changed forever the meaning of the word "friend" and ask the question: "Really? Who has 963 'friends'?" and point out that Facebook "friending" is not the same as making new friends in real life.
We can even debate whether or not "in real life" even exists when people are so plugged into social media by their phones, their wireless internet, their watches (well, maybe not, but soon, I'm sure)... When people hand out cards that list name, phone number, website, Facebook page, Twitter handle, etc., can we even make a distinction between how we make friends face-to-face and online?
People, let me just say, there is one gigantic, glaring difference between our beloved social media and the real world: In real life, we cannot simply click a radio button and disappear from someone's news feed. We can't unfriend a person and hope that they just assume we're not posting updates - that we've gotten lost in the melange of statuses that flood their electronic wall each day...
Oh no. No, there's no simple "unfriend" action in real life... no matter how much we wish there was. There's no way to simply disappear from one's life and hide behind the anonymous mesh of 1's and 0's the internet affords. Privacy settings don't apply to our large-windowed mini-vans and we can't grant exclusive access to our whereabouts to "friends only" in reality.
I realize how horrible this makes me sound. I do. I'm always looking for new friendships and excited about connecting with people - both for myself (and my sanity) and my kiddos... But if I've ever wanted a do-over in my social life, I'd want it now. And please understand that I'm talking about now - I wouldn't take back any of my shitbag ex-boyfriends or ill-advised high-school hookups or my crashing, burning, drama-laden Zeppelin-style friendships from my past. I'd take it now with one person who is a very kind, very sweet individual who doesn't understand boundaries, appropriate discussion topics, human anatomy, acceptable questions or time-limits. This person does not take cues such as "(toddler wailing in car seat) Honey, I know you're starving, we're on our way home and I'll feed you as soon as we get there, I promise." or "(phone rings) I have to take this; it's our attorney... (answer phone and have person continue waiting)".
Again, I'm talking about a fabulous person, I'm sure. I'm just finding myself utterly and completely unable to find a commonality between us, I'm uncomfortable (beyond all comprehension) with the subjects chosen to discuss (despite desperate attempts to steer the conversation elsewhere) and beyond frustrated with the lack of regard for me, my schedule, or my kids.
Sigh. I need an unfriend button in real life. Or maybe just a rewind button. Or at the very least, a mute button.
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