Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Absence of Drama

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. 

Just because.

25 comments:

Meriah said...

I hear a lot about this "drama", like Patti leaving fb because of it and stuff, but (knock on wood) I haven't experienced it. I'm not sure why, especially seeing that I practically live on fb, you know?

Might just be because I'm not a Christian, not involved with raising money for RR, not adopting and don't have a kid with autism...oh but wait. That's you, too!

Melissa said...

Yes, yes, yes!! My Facebook time is just brief check ins these days. While I like the quick status updates (since I can't seem to find the time to blog), the drama gets to be a bit much. And really, I enjoy the blogs so much more because you really get to know people so much better through them.

One thing I really do like about FB are some of the groups, like the inclusion one, but I HATE all of the group notifications until you can turn them off.

Melissa said...

Oh, and thanks again for getting rid of your word verification. :)

Zoey's mom, Heather said...

I think I am just now nearing 300 friends. That's all. Just for the reasons you listed. And even with that, the drama can still abound. I steer clear. I comment on the cute photos. Check on my struggling little buddies and yep, cannot get sucked in.

Sad to me. Especially when we can all be such a great source of support and guidance through uncertain times. We struggle for a place sometimes out there in the world as it is and to not find a safe haven, with those who travel parallel journeys, well, like I said, just sad.

Sidenote: Just over 10 years when I was diagnosed. Really is a nasty disorder. Wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. Well, that might be a lie, but is just the worst on some days.

Kimberly said...

I've been really fortunate to be apart from all the facebook drama, but for the most part I've removed myself from any group addition as soon as it has happened. I have been lucky enough to not have drama causers on my list, too. I do tend to follow a lot of people's blogs and I've been disappointed to see so many going private recently and I don't know if that is related to all the recent fb drama or not. I look forward to your things that make you happy post.

Jenny said...

Ah, Facebook...lol...That will forever be a breeding ground for drama. I keep my friends list short, I don't even have 100 friends! I only add people I feel I have a connection with, either in real life or through my blog. That keeps things simple :)

Oh and I don't like people adding me to groups...Down syndrome or not. It's stupid that FB lets people add you to whatever they want.

Patti said...

My stress level just dropped from "I'm-gonna-jump!!" to "cliff?? what cliff?" after getting off fb for good last week. I am so glad you and meriah can enjoy a drama-free fb experience, hats off to you girls :) Glad we keep in touch via email, much more personal anyway ! oxox

Deanna said...

Facebook has really been ticking me off recently too. I think people are quick to judge and form quick opinions about you based off of one status. Also, my entire fb "following" is only there to hear about Addison. Sometimes I want to shout "I'M A PERSON TOO." but none of them really care about me. lol. And yes, the drama- HATE it. I stay faaaaar away. Great post!

Kelley said...

i've stayed drama free I think because I try to keep my blog life and my facebook life unique. There's overlap for sure but I like having my fb about *me* in a kind of selfish way. God knows I post a cute Nava pic or three but...
The drama I have is because of friends of eteneded family wanting to friend me on fb to follow Nava and they can't accept that that's what Navagating is for and I have gotten in big family drama for not friending them! Gahhhhh!
Here's to happy thoughts!

Anna Theurer said...

Thank you, Becca! I try not to participate in the drama and I want to avoid it and yet it shows up all over FB. Things like " if you are friends with so and so, I will unfriend you if you do not unfriend her". Really? Is this high school? I do not need that in my life and so I try to stay out of it. I had to chuckle at the adding to the groups and having your inbox slammed. One day I ended up with 50 emails from ONE event until I could figure out how to change my notification settings on FB (and from my computer rather than my phone, of course).

Rochelle said...

Took the words right out of my mouth. I really dislike the group adds and the inability to turn them off except from a computer. I know they mean well but seriously just yesterday had my email blown up with someones fundraiser. UGH!
Drama, I don't do drama I unfriend. I chose to not spend much time on there either. As I am just finding out Patti isn't on there from a week ago, see I didn't die from not reading FB. LOL

Becca said...

Rochelle - this is where I just found out Patti wasn't on there anymore, too! I had to rush over to FB to see it for myself. LOL Yep, and I'm still here and no worse for the wear for not having seen that sooner.

Lisa said...

I'm with Kelley - I may have a lot less followers because of it but I keep my blog and my facebook seperate. I think its keep me from being invited to a lot of the groups. I still have the family/friends drama but very few virtual friends. Plus I loves reading ya'll's blogs so much who has time for silly FB - they dont' have nearly enough cute pictures right at my fingertips with comments that make me laugh! Much better than hearing about where someone had dinner last night.

Patti said...

nooooooo! you're all supposed to say you put on sackcloth and ashes when you found I left !!!

Becca said...

Patti - bwahahahaha!!! Too funny!

Lisa - thank you for putting things in perspective!

Lacey said...

Man the drama! When I hear it or see it, I just chuckle. I stayed away from facebook for a long time, and just over the last few months have being doing it more. I think the reason I like facebook is because i can post quickly there if something happens with Jax. I have a few groups, but very rarely even look in them! I find myself deleting a bunch of those requests, because I don't have the time to sit and play on the computer. I check things and get off. Maybe instead of stopping the blog, I should stop facebook!!

teal915 said...

For a long time, I kept my Facebook seperate from my real life friends. That's why I only just became friends with you and several others. I used to go in Baby Center much more so I figured I could keep up with you all on there plus the blogs. But I don't go on BC nearly as much anymore. I saw the whole thing with Patti go down but didn't really understand it, and I wasn't friends with the person they were all upset about. I knew she had gone off but didn't know she was gone for good. Now excuse me while I go find my sackcloth and ashes.

Anna said...

I know it's not funny if you are in the midst of the mud slinging. I am laughing tho. I have enough of my own real life drama to be a part of someone else's. Someone says conflict and I put my running shoes on!

Krista said...

Maybe I just don't pay attention. Like you, I let people add me to groups but they run silently on the side but as of late I have wondered what I should do about it. It's selfish but I want my notifications to be for me....

Lowe Family in MS said...

I never joined Facebook...

Jess said...

I have actually been one of those causing drama on facebook with some of my status updates. - which was accidental every time! It has been very disheartening encountering so much conflict so I have backed off from the status bar lately. lol I mean seriously, an argument got started on whether or not we should have a dislike button! We can't much more ridiculous than that lol

Anna said...

I find I am spending less and less time on Facebook too at the moment. The drama is incredible. Sometimes I can't look away (a bit like a train crash), but mostly I just avoid it. Real life is more important sometimes!

Renee said...

"Living life as drama-free as I can keeps me healthy, keeps me present for myself and for my family, keeps me happy." I totally agree.

yes, yes, do a "Things That Make Me Happy" post soon.

Mommy to those Special Ks said...

I'm going to start an anti-drama FB group and add you all to it! Just kidding! ;)

Cate said...

I have absolutely no idea what you are talking about, but I think that's a good thing!