I don't like drama. I stay away from it whenever possible, and I certainly don't intentionally cause it (some of you may be snickering, but seriously, drama is the last thing I ever want! PMS-fueled ramblings can occasionally get me into a spot of trouble along the way, though...). But there are certain places that just breed drama, no matter how innocuous they may seem at a glance, no matter how innocently they start. And those places are usually found on, you guessed it, Facebook.
I have been conspicuously absent from FB in the last few months. I post from time to time, usually from my phone, and visit my newsfeed periodically, commenting on this or that, but never digging very deep. First of all, I really don't have the time. Second, I don't necessarily have the inclination. I care a lot about many of the people I have there, whether friends IRL or "friends" in the virtual world, but in reality can't know what each and every one of them is doing from one minute to the next. And if I miss a major event in someone's life (which is a huge liklihood), I feel bad, but don't know quite how else to find out about it other than randomly and by accident while doing my occasional surfing. Or from their blogs, if they happen to have one. So my apologies in advance... Don't get me wrong - I do love Facebook, and know that when I have the time, I can actually do some catching up. I love to be there to offer words of support, condolence, or excitement over an accomplishment when I can.
If you're on Facebook, I'm sure you've been bombarded by the masses of group additions. One of the changes Facebook made last year was the ability for anyone to add you to a group or event of their choice, whether or not you chose to be there. This sets off a chain of events involving my e-mail inbox getting completely slammed with each. and. every. notification. someone. sends. to. the. group. Until I can get to a computer, log on to Facebook, and either decline the event or shut off the notifications to the group. Something I am unable to do from my cell phone, of course. And while I'm happy to have these groups in my sidebar, running silently in the background, I don't often visit, primarily for the reason below.
Almost weekly I hear about some new drama between clashing personalities and opinions that has taken place in one of these groups, or on someone's wall. And these dramas start creating dividing lines, dissention, anger, anxiety, and general discontent. The Facebook experience becomes sullied, and its primary purpose of uniting people is lost. Just because we all share a connection to someone with the extra 21st chromosome doesn't mean we all have to be friends. Or even to like each other. But we still need to remember the most important R-Word we preach - Respect. We still need to respect each other, respect each other's opinions. And if those flare-ups do occur, please save yourselves some embarrassment and take it to a private message, rather than broadcasting in a public forum.
I may be sounding old-fashioned and unrealistic here, but this is why I spend less and less time on Facebook. I have my own opinions about things, to be sure. But not at the expense of hurting someone else. Most often with me, what you see is what you get. No hidden agendas, no malice. I'm super-sensitive and can be easily hurt, so my solution is to avoid the things that make me uncomfortable or insecure. I'm sure I'm not the only one of my 1500-something Facebook "friends" who feels this way. Living life as drama-free as I can keeps me healthy, keeps me present for myself and for my family, keeps me happy.
Who wouldn't want that?
I think I'm due for a things that make me happy post soon.