Since joining Facebook just over a decade ago, I have been bombarded with relationship news. I've heard about the dates, engagements, marriages, breakups, divorces, etc., of various people, both longtime friends and people--usually from high school--who I knew of, but didn't really know. For a while, there was a lot of gushing, because many of my coeval friends were in the dating phase; now that most of them are married, and right many of them have kids, their focus has shifted. Still, back then, the gushing got to me, and it wasn't because of jealousy; in fact, it still kind of does, and for two reasons: First off, it's because it tended to be repetitive, which would make it annoying; if I'm annoying because I always talk about the Disney Channel, or my computer game is annoying because it keeps making the same sound over and over again...isn't someone constantly posting essentially the same thing time and time again just as annoying? Second off, because it's spam. Before Facebook, I was an active member on a forum for fans of the Christian band dc Talk, and the moderators were tough on spam, which was pretty much defined as posting without saying anything interesting; essentially, a waste of bandwidth. Well, imagine my surprise when Facebook is rife with such posts, and there's no moderator to report them to.
One thing that I was accused of back then was trying to take away people's happiness...which was definitely not my intent. If you're in a relationship, I hope it continues to make you happy; though I'm a lifelong single myself, I've seen the pain that breakups, divorces, and widowhood have brought to friends and family...and I wouldn't wish that on anyone. However, you have to realize something: Throughout my life--well before Facebook!--entertainment was my favorite topic of conversation. It took different forms--celebrity crushes, television shows, jokes, video games, movies, calendars, etc.--but, many times, it was all I could talk about. That's held true in the past decade, both on Facebook and off; everyone who knows me knows about my penchant for the Disney Channel and old-school television, even if they know nothing else about me. However, people have unfriended me for gushing about my favorite stars, shows, or whatever else. They've called it "disturbing," and refused to explain why after being asked; they've lamented about how a star got "more respect than" them; and, in most cases, they've just disappeared without any rhyme or reason, leaving me to speculate what happened. I talk about my entertainment for the same reason you talk about your significant others and your kids: It makes me happy. I don't want to take away your happiness, and I would hope you wouldn't want to take away mine.
That said, not everything I've ever talked about has made me happy. You probably know that I've had problems with numerous people--way too many to list--over the years. The problems became even worse when I tried to lament about them, because the individuals I had issues with were often well-liked by those that knew them, sometimes almost unanimously so. Whatever good they did to others, that doesn't excuse the way they treated me; seriously, we're talking about people who did the unthinkable: seeing fit to punish me for saying, "Na nu, na nu," to someone else; videotaping me being harassed, and lying about it; publicly mortifying me on Facebook in a comment on a note that wasn't even intended for that individual; or causing a fiasco that lasted weeks because an entire group of people refused to take no for an answer to an "invitation" to an activity they all knew I wasn't interested in. Worse yet, those individuals refused to apologize for what they did; instead of seeking forgiveness, all I got was excuses, as if they were proud of what they did. Such injustices make me sick, especially when other people talk of the individuals responsible as if they're the greatest thing since sliced bread, giving them adulations such as, "They're the best friends you've ever had!", "They are your biggest advocates!", or, "You have no idea how accepted you were by them!" That's bullfunky if I've ever heard it...but, nobody else seems to realize that.
When I lament about problems with others, that's exactly what it is: a lament. It's not a bashing session; I'm not making fun of them; I'm simply wondering why it has to be that way, especially since, in many cases, I never did anything to them to make them act that way. One such incident that sticks in my mine to this day, even though it happened many years ago, was when some people I knew thought I couldn't hear them, and started complaining about me, saying that I talked about a certain individual "like she's...the devil". Another person who was part of that conversation said that she "got so mad" when I started doing that. Well, you know what? Those things I said didn't make me happy either. Instead of getting mad because I was lamenting about someone they admired, they should have asked themselves: Why is he saying these things? Are these things true? Is this person I admire really "all that and a bag of chips" like everyone seems to think? It's actually kind of funny to me now: Before that conversation that I wasn't supposed to hear, the person who was so infuriated talked about someone--okay, a reality show contestant, but a divinely created individual nonetheless!--in a very ugly way, calling her "Jersey Trash" because she was from New Jersey, as well as "Giggle Ender" because she had a tendency to end everything she said with a giggle. So, you're going to bash someone you've never even met because of where she is from, which she can't help, and because of a nervous habit, which she presumably can't help...yet, you're going to get all out of joint because I say from personal experience that someone isn't who everyone says she is. Even worse, another person who was part of the discussion was also from New Jersey! Unfortunately, that's the kind of double standard I've been facing my whole life...which is why it has always been tough to make and keep friends.