The Weird Thing About Facebook…and

Actually this is more about the weird thing about the area I live in combination with Facebook, because hey, most of the people in my friend list are from this area.

I have lived in this county most of my life. I moved here when I was 3 from a nearby state and have lived in numerous places within the county. My parents moved with us kids, four times since I was born. I’m the oldest.

The county we are from has a lot of school districts and is densely populated with over 560,000 people, so in that respect I guess you could say it’s a large county. But…and this is a big but…the area it covers is less than 2000,000 miles.

That, my friend, is a tight squeeze.

There are still many school districts though and since most people meet in school and still know each other, around here, it’s not like everyone knows everyone here.  Small town size and we even have some farming as well as woodsy/forest-y areas. Most of it is suburbia but it can feel like city in some of the more busy areas, like the main terminal for public transportation, between city and burbs and the just the area its in, has more of a city feel.

Let’s just say, although it’s a small area, it’s not like we all know each other nor are we just running into people we know, every time we leave the house. It happens, but not every time.

My siblings and I started off in Catholic school, a very small school in the town we grew up in.

Once we each reached a certain grade, we went to public school.

I finished my one year of Catholic high school and I started public school in my sophomore (10th grade) year. My brother switched over that same year as well but started at the middle school. My sister stayed at the Catholic school until she was finished with 5th grade. She had one more year to go when my brother and I made the switch. She had lots of friends, so I’m not sure if she minded much.

For some strange reason, only known to my fucked up father, he didn’t want to put any of us in the public elementary school.

{Side note: The year my brother and I both switched over, was the same year they moved 9th grade over to the high school and 6th grade over to the junior high, making the junior high a middle school.}

Thing is, because the school district we lived in is so small, I wouldn’t say that each person from that school district knows everyone else from it. But a lot of people know each other, intertwine and there are small degrees of separation.

I can see this so well on Facebook and even though I have my siblings blocked, there are times I can see that one of them has commented on a mutual friend’s post.

This just happened.

It doesn’t set me back or anything but it does make me sad.

The post that prompted this post is one from an old next door neighbor. She posted a picture of her and her father on her wedding day.

My father and her father would have long chats when they’d run into each other outside. The woman who’s post I’m talking about here, ‘babysat’ us once in a while also. So we have some memories there.

I was going to comment, but then I noticed my friend, addressed someone with the same name as my sister and I figured it must be her.

Since I have her blocked, I can’t see her comment but can tell by the friend’s response that she is indeed addressing my sister, not someone else with the same name.

So that kind of changed my mind about commenting.

I know one thing I could do is un-friend anyone with connections to my siblings. I have actually thought of that. But that’s the crazy thing about the area I live in. So many of us are intertwined with each other. Even though I’m more than five years older than my sister, we know a lot of the same people. She’s even got people in her list that she wouldn’t know unless she knew me. So that’s a bit weird as well.

I’m guessing here because I can’t see her profile anymore with blocking her. But I had been on Facebook before and after a breakup, I deactivated my account and allowed it to completely close. I’d closed it before waking up to who and what my family is so before that, I’d been connected to my siblings through Facebook.

When I made a new account a few years later, one of the first things I did was block my siblings.

In some cases, I’ve done just that. I graduated with my brother-in-law’s cousin. We were friends before I closed down my original account. And I, in fact didn’t block her in the beginning, likely because I didn’t think about it. I’d seen her in threads and just didn’t engage. This was a bit of a battle for me because I like her and wanted to friend her again, but knew it wasn’t a good idea considering the circumstances.

I eventually did block her, but didn’t feel good about it.  You can bet however, you’d see many matching names (because of school) in our friend lists.

But I refuse to do that with every single person who is intertwined with one or both siblings and myself. Whether it be for the principle behind that or because I enjoy their posts, want to keep up with their news, or because I don’t want to hurt feelings or whatever, I just don’t feel good about bowing out of every connection.

The woman I did block from my graduating class, is also family…sort of. My sister and her husband are close to his cousins so yeah, that’s too close of a connection and that’s different.

I see the presence of lots of people who I’m not friends with as well, who could possibly, probably and some I know for a fact, know my siblings. I don’t generally initiate the friending when it comes to those people. But I will friend them back if they request it.

Last I knew, both my siblings were also still friends with a friend of mine I met in a work place, through an old boyfriend. She is from the same county but from a different school district. So they didn’t know her until long after I did.

So, it gets a bit sticky there on Facebook. I’ve navigated for long enough now though that I don’t really think about needing to be careful or anything. Not as of yet, at least. I don’t use Facebook to air the family shit so there’s no worrying about anything getting back to anyone.

I mostly post cute animal and pet stuff. Once in awhile I might take a stand on something. I generally stay out of politics although I’ve made a comment here and there. But most of my comments in other people’s threads are benign and sometimes attempts at being funny.

There’s cool things about so many people having small degrees of separation. But sometimes it has this entrapping feeling, just because of the situation I’m in with my siblings.  The good thing though is that the county I live in, has many school districts and the population is dense.

I mention school districts for a couple reasons. One…it seems to be a way to divide areas in our county that makes sense to pretty much anyone you talk to around here. And two…because that’s where a portion of the people come from that people meet.  One hundred people out of 242 are from my high school. A couple of those are a friend’s kids. But that’s still quite a ratio.

Thankfully the large population of the county, makes it so that run-ins with my siblings are not highly likely.

{Now watch me see one of them tomorrow, since I said that.}

Either way, I’m not going to just de-friend all those people. If anything, I would shut down the account completely. But I’m not gonna do that either.

I try not to get on too often because when I do I get sucked in and waste a lot of time there. I admit I’m not close to anyone in my friend list on Facbook though. I do see it as a good way to stay connected and especially with future in mind. You just never know when you might want to reach out to someone…or vice versa.

I do have issues with a couple people in my list, but I don’t make anything of it on FB. I’ve thought about un-friending there too. But have not and at this point don’t have the intention to. Radical acceptance in the works.

I’m feeling a bit sad and nostalgic after “seeing” that my sister commented on our old next door neighbors post about her dead father, who I liked, and so I would’ve liked to have comment on the post too, but the sadness will pass.

It’s not like I bumped into her physically, so I’m still safe.

I know there’s a lot wrong with FB and it can really be a time waster. But there are positives about it too. I don’t post a lot and I don’t comment much either. But I do want to keep the communication lines open there, for myself to the people I may want to or need to reach out to at some point.

Luckily there’s a block function and I know how to use it.

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4 thoughts on “The Weird Thing About Facebook…and

  1. I discovered FB back in 2007 or 2008, when it was still new. Facebook was a lot of fun then, connecting with elementary school classmates and coworkers from decades ago. But after a couple of years, my sisters and nieces discovered social media. The online bullying that I received was horrible. So bad, that I literally wanted to kill myself. I was in my late fifties then, and I was literally almost bullied to death by two sisters and one niece.

    After I ended my account, it was several years before I could see the ubiquitous FB logo without flashing back. You are very brave, Aura Gael!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think I joined originally in 2008. I’d accumulated a lot of ‘friends’ too by the time I pulled the plug on it.

      I let it sit untouched for months before I really did much with it though. It was the catalyst in finding and seeing again the guy I had the affair with and the break up was the catalyst for me to terminate the account then.

      He wasn’t bothering me. In fact he’d blocked me. But I just couldn’t deal with being on there since it reminded me so much of him.

      Liked by 1 person

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