My college boy derby widow came home from school a couple weeks ago to tell me that the University of such and such conducted a study on time wasting. They concluded that Facebook is the biggest time waster. I know what you’re thinking: That study sounds like a waste of time. Admittedly I waste countless hours of my unemployed seclusion tooling around on the interwebs and the Facebook. I update my status when my pet fish does something new, or a stray cat of some new color pattern walks past my window. Most of my posts are asinine and if you read all of them you may be dumber for it later on in life. I love adorable kitten posts and cartoons with ironic or nonsensical content.
But don’t we all. Isn’t that what drew us to the face space to begin with? Sure we connect with friends, but eventually, habitually status updates become second nature. I have even heard my social-media-inept husband say these words: “That’s going to be my next status update”.
Socially there are things we are (or at least were…) brought up not do or say in “mixed company”. Traditionally politics and religion head the “no-no” field. Of course, there is no taboo on the internet and with all of your friends now being connected to their friends’ friends the company could not be any more mixed. Privacy too is becoming a thing of the past. I know for a fact “kids these days” have no grasp on this because I hear loud conversations on public buses/grocery store lines/airports about herpes outbreaks, abortions and drug deals (to name just a couple).
When the Mr. proposed to me in a gear shed on a muddy river bank in a remote location of Alaska the night before I went out to sea for a month, I painstakingly waited out the 25 minutes it took to connect to the friend face from the only spot in the boatyard with a wifi signal so I could change my status to “engaged” before the friends who I would write letters to could out me to everyone else. What about “outing” your friends? Last year a team mate’s mom found out her daughter’s leg was broken and she was in the ER via Facebook gossip. And just last week I came home to see some cryptic, non-specific well wishes involving the emergency room directed toward a former team mate of mine. It’s scary to see your friend is in the emergency room (on a practice night – so you know it’s bad) and not to know why. Does it need to be said that some things should be left up to an individual to divulge? Yes.
“Hey, I hope you get your period real soon. Call me.”
“Congratulations on being pregnant!”
“I can’t believe you miscarried! I’m so sorry. My heart goes out to you.”
“Oops, heard you landed in the E.R., feel better soon!”
“Friends” with your co-workers? Watch that shit. Being tagged in a compromising photo could get you in trouble at work, as your co-workers “friendship” has now become a direct link between your social media and your employment. Anything other people write about/to you will get back to every damn person you are “friends” with.
Secrets are being divulged without consent. Maybe it’s to prove you have knowledge of a particular persons life and this is how you choose to display your ‘close-ness’. Maybe they won’t care. Maybe they like the attention. Maybe no one really close to them is their social media friend anyway. But come on people, can we muster up some responsibility and some tact?