File this one under life lesson.
I’m not new to the internet. when I joined, I had to dial in on the phone line. It consumed me. Suddenly there were endless opportunities to busy my insatiable mind. I started chatting in 1996. The people I chatted with didn’t know me in real life, and I didn’t want them to. Over time that changed a little, and some of the friendships I have from that particular medium remained and some have carried over to today’s social media. I have a variety of friends from chat, online mmo games, and real life on my facebook.
Six years ago, I reconnected with an old friend from college. She quickly became incorporated in my life and assumed the best friend role in my life. I was at a phase in my life where I was recovering from the loss of my mother, suffering in an abusive work relationship, and generally surrounded with not very healthy people. I wanted and accepted her friendship as a blessing and never questioned whether or not it was genuine. She seemed to accept and love me for who I was, even though that was very different from her. Skip ahead 3 years: I’m very sick, I lost my dog, and she won’t return my phone calls. There’s no reason, there’s no “break-up”. I just figured I littered our friendship with my problems and was too needy for her. I just tried to not be hurt and let it all go.
Skip ahead another 3 years: the games begin. Now this girl is friends on facebook with people I know from chatting online, friends from online games, real life friends of my husband, and anyone else I’ve had the misfortune of introducing her to. And the needling begins. Comments after I’ve commented, flirting with my friends (that I haven’t even met in real life). As real-life friendship drama unfolds I try to distance myself and unfriend her. And now the game is elevated to another level and she pays for my best friend to visit her across the country and now he’s in love with her. I watch the game unfold on facebook and all I can think is, what the fuck have I done???
At the same time, I have a conversation with another old friend from college where she explains to me that she isn’t “friends” with the people from college because “they’re not as cool as I once thought they were”, that she doesn’t have any grudges but she doesn’t need them in her life. It struck me like being smashed in the head with a brick how right she was, and what a bunch of fucks they are. And I started looking through my facebook at all my interactions with all of these people and all of the ties that have been reforged, all the boundaries that now don’t exist and all the integration, information, and how much I’ve really put out there in the world. How much it’s all really affected me, how much I’ve tried to matter to people that really don’t deserve it.
It seems jaded, but I put everything on facebook. Pictures of every adventure, friends, every place we’ve gone, everything I’ve loved. I reconnected all the people from years ago, and connected them to new people. I never thought anything of it, but in hindsight, I just drew a treasure map to my heart. Everyday I just told everyone everywhere what meant something to me. It was really only a matter of time before someone with bad intentions tried to use it to hurt me. And once that happened I realized how much of an error I had made.
AND I CARE SO MUCH
I wanted everyone to be my friend. I wanted people to love me in that weird facebook way. I wanted to be popular, I wanted friend requests, I wanted to post things that got a lot of likes, I wanted people to share what I posted, and notice me, and love me, AND BE MY FRIEND. So I posted it all. I posted my insecurities, my loves, my adoration, my fears, and my business. And let me tell you what, if you succeed in being any of those things, you are just succeeding in becoming someone’s target, because there’s a lot of really sick and twisted jealous people in the world, who seem to have to hurt someone for no reason other than that they can.
And now enter the sadness because in exchange I took on that role, and watched everything other people posted too. But, it’s not a fair exchange, because the really sick, black-hearted and hurtful people don’t allow vulnerability….and here I’ve put it all on my sleeve, I’ve painted a bright and bold target on everything that means something to me, and now I’m standing in the wake of napalm.
AND I’VE WASTED SO MUCH TIME
Commenting, caring, posting, cataloging, observing,…
So, I want to fall off the planet. I want to go back to that space in time when people can’t look up my facebook page and see everything I feel. I want to be left alone. I want people to know nothing, and if they care, I want them to have to pick up the phone and actually make an effort to have me in their life. And I don’t want to expect them to bother to do that anymore. I don’t want people to know who my best friends are, unless they’re sitting there beside us. I don’t want people to know where I’ve been, where I’m going and what I’m watching on t.v. I don’t want people to know what they should try to take away from me in order to hurt me.
And how ironic that I’m compelled to post it here, but I want to not exist. I want to go to the woods, take pictures, go to work, do my job, go home, enjoy my life and not be a blip on anyone’s radar.