Tuesday, December 9, 2014

ruminating

The weather is dismal grey this week, and it's got me to pondering about things. One of the things that keeps coming into mind is actually a person and his behavior. A friend and I who met one another while sailing have often remarked how some people are very different on land from how they are at sea, and we wondered why that was. The only thing I could come up with was that when we were sailing with these folks, they were on vacation so maybe felt less stress or that not having the same routine that they have on land makes a difference.

As I've shared before, I joined facebook only with the greatest reluctance when a fife and drum friend urged a bunch of us to join, so we could stay in touch. I've accepted friend requests from others I know outside the f&d world, such as some of my sailing acquaintances and friends.

Apparently, there are some people whose personalities change not only when the go from sea to land, but also when they get on facebook.

This sailing acquaintance I've known for years is intelligent, witty, kind, considerate, and enjoys discussion. The few times I've met him on land, he has been pretty much the same. We get along wonderfully well, and he feels like a brother to me and I a sister to him.

Yet, on facebook, he's argumentative, narrow-minded, and bullish. For every post where he wants to present himself as a kind-hearted, loving liberal, I can show three where he's putting a group down because they don't ascribe to his philosophy.

I do think facebook provides a platform for many to get on their soapboxes, beat their chests, and rant and rave like lunatics. What stymies me is how these people change so much from people I know in real life.

I've attempted to ask this man about this different side he shows the fb world, but to date, he seems more interested in getting in the snarky reply or something he perceives as witty.

The power outage we had in the beginning of November with a longer Internet outage reminded me that there's a world full of people right here in my own community who might be cool to know. It also reminded me that living in a small community does not provide lots of space for anonymity. I'd like to think if I were acting like a jerk, someone would be kind enough to let me know.

13 comments:

  1. I visit Facebook so I can see photos of my great nephews and nieces. The rest of it? A waste of time laced with occasional harassment.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Janie, I've had some fun reconnecting with former schoolmates and colleagues on fb, and there's a page for folks from my hometown that's been a real blast.

      But I'm finding that there's more stuff where I need simply to scroll past rather than get dragged in to somebody's rant.

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  2. I'm still working out a use for FB.
    I enjoy hearing about friendly small towns. Mine is not one of them.

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    1. Joanne, I grew up in a friendly small town and am glad to be living in one again. I do think I really lucked out with my neighbours, though. When I've talked to people and they ask where I live, they smile and say what a great neighbourhood it is. Each time it's been completely unsolicited, and I nod, saying that I feel very fortunate to have such great neighbours.

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  3. I have facebook friends of all sorts. One (a well known painter) promotes his own work and tells us all how wonderful he is, another posts snippets of potted philosophy ad infinitum (up to 10 a day), and a third posts glamourous photos of herself showing us all how gorgeous she is. They all make me sick, but I can't 'unfriend' them as they'd be very upset. Maybe I should simply stop using.

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    1. Cro, some of my friends are artists and have fb pages to promote their wares. Usually, i'm glad to see what they're working on or what they've finished, and most do not use it to promote themselves but rather their work.
      I tried playing with my facebook settings so I could see more from one person than another, but there's no simple way where I can say, "I want to see posts from these people all the time and these other people once in awhile," unless I make some friends and some acquaintances. My current idea is to use fb a lot less and see what happens.

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    2. I think that's the wise answer.

      Delete
  4. I just can't do facebook. I got so sick of those posts on there when the poster would proclaim that they just finished baking 12 pies for the homeless, plowing the back 40 acres, cleaning all the windows in their home and now was going to sit down and do some knitting on those hats for premie babies at the local NIC unit. I always felt inadequate and lazy.....

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    1. Maria, I've seen those kind of posts, too. I rarely share anything of a personal nature on facebook, I mostly pass along the things I find funny or inspiring. Before fb, I was the same way with sending emails. I did and still do email some folks or call on the phone if they're not local. One of the things I do post to fb is if anyone has a pet gone missing. I know when the late, great Jim was MIA I was worried, and if passing along a pet's photo aids in someone seeing him and getting him back to his humans, then i'm glad to help.

      But I don't want to sign petitions or see graphic photos of upsetting images. I know ugliness is out there, and i'm doing what I can in my own little corner of the sky to change that.

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  5. Oh, Facebook....where everyone seems to be having a far more exciting life than me, and where people feel free to let their inner jerks have free reign. I, too, have noticed a big difference in how some people act on FB vs everyday life. It seems so odd to me when that happens. I believe I am pretty much the same there as anywhere else!

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    1. Me, too, Jennifer. I've met several people in real life whom I first met on the Internet, and they're the same in everyday life. I just can't be bothered having different persona.

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  6. So many people allow the selfs to be angry behind the anominity of the Internet

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    1. True, John. Where I am the same pretty much everywhere I go.

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