Sidey in a quandary

What does using the social media mean to you? I’ve been wondering about this for a while now.

Every so often on Facebook I have unfriended someone whose statuses are always aggressive or nasty. I see others who announce they are having a tidy-out there. So far no-one I like seems to have unfriended me, so maybe I’m not guilty of bad behavior.

Personally I believe online contact does reflect one’s nature. If you are open and friendly that should come through, if you are nasty that will eventually show, if you are a troubled soul, that will show. There are those who maintain a “pose” or a “false front” for various reasons. We are all aware of those who pretend, pedophiles in particular who pretend to be youngsters to gain access via online contact.

On a South African blog site we have seen some truly nasty trolls. Some of whom obviously persuade themselves that they are right to follow a path of evicting others from the platform by making their lives miserable until they leave.

I was horrified to watch a couple split up and he started telling lies about her online, apparently fueled by a family member. No surprises – I removed him as a Facebook friend, just as I would have avoided him in the real world.

I have realized I get very fed up with people who post cryptic statements apparently hoping for people to ask what it’s all about. When they do it a lot, I turn off their status updates on Facebook, or stop visiting their sites. If they can’t be open then they mustn’t expect me to play their games.

But now I am faced with someone I like in real life whose online behavior has become a problem. Online posts vary from describing an idyllic life to somewhat cryptic posts indicating a serious problem. The latter get many people upset and worried, but which are later described by the person as something quite different. The problem is partly that others seem to think I will know what is going on and involve me in trying to unravel events.

There are real problems in this person’s life, so there is always the risk that if these cries for help are ignored that something dreadful will happen. But how often can someone apparently cry wolf before people start to ignore it?

It is not in my nature to play these games, so I sit with a quandary. Do I start to avoid the person? Do I confront them with their behavior and tell them I will be ignoring these dramatic posts? Or what do I do?


20 thoughts on “Sidey in a quandary

  1. You say: I have realized I get very fed up with people who post cryptic statements apparently hoping for people to ask what it’s all about. When they do it a lot, I turn off their status updates on Facebook, or stop visiting their sites. If they can’t be open then they mustn’t expect me to play their games.

    I say: Amen! I prefer dealing with people who are OPEN.

    As for the person you know in real life . . . I don’t think I have enough information to offer any advice worth having.

    1. I will say this . . .

      When someone asks you to “unravel the events” . . . just refer them back to the “posing poster.”

      “I really wouldn’t know. You’ll have to ask PP.”

  2. Hmmm, this is a dificult one! Personally I would hover in the background and see what happens and then decide what to do.
    Hope you have an awesome day and you get some good advice.

  3. Sidey, in my personal experience with social media, I would say it depends on how much of a true friend this person is (and many Facebook connections are not real friends.) If this person is a real friend of yours, someone you see in everyday life and spend time with, I might bring it up in conversation with him/her, just to make sure everything is okay and to let him/her know that you are getting some questions about their behavior from others. That will follow the line of Nancy’s suggestion above to let the person know that you’ll be referring the queries to them directly.

    If this person is a more casual acquaintance, someone you’ve traditionally liked but for this behavioral blip, I’d just ignore them for a while on social media and check back in later. That way, when you say, “I really wouldn’t know” you won’t have a clue about any of it, and that might be less bothersome.

    Whatever you do, good luck.

    1. thanks for the good wishes. problem is the behaviour spans more thana year, in someone who is a real friend.

      i have no difficulty unfriending those casual acquaintences on FB

  4. I agree with you, so many people post cryptic things and it drives me crazy. I have one particular family member who does it all the time, and now I just ignore her.

    Not sure how you should handle your problem though, maybe in a joking way say to the person that the cryptic entries are a pain the neck. But I’m suspecting this person is needy and emotional and will not respond well to most things you say. I agree with the other posters throw your hands up and say “I don’t know” when you are asked for input,and then move swiftly onto another topic.

    best of luck 🙂

    1. the cryptic stuff I just ignore these days. if you put a statement out there that i don’t understand I just ignore it

      as for the friend, its hard to abandon someone you genuniely like

  5. I think such people are just attention seekers. I’ve stopped reacting to cryptic messages from one family member, and have noticed that they’ve stopped doing it. 😉 Luckily I’ve never come across any nasty comments on my social media, but would ignore them if I did. 😉

  6. this is a tough one – usually the comments are made in hope a rat will come out of the kitchen, but the one that prompted this blog post may indeed be real! Not an easy place to be at all ….

    1. it’s leaving me drained and worried. thanks for the sympathy.

      i really like the personso just dropping the whole thing is really hard if I can in some real way provide help

  7. Not an enviable situation.
    I don’t bother with social media too much, other than the less than regular status changes.
    As for people that seems to have lost the plot kind of – I’m with Andra.
    If it’s somebody you really give a shit about, do something.
    If it’s just a person on the outskirts of your life – they will either deal with it, or not.
    Not something you can put on yourself to solve…

    1. the odd stuff i can ignore, but this is a real friend who is in trouble and needs help, i just don’t know how to go about it as they deny there is a problem, and blame others for being horrid

          1. Then, Sidey, I’m sorry to say, she’s on her own.
            Not nice, and it will give you many sleepless nights, but if people don’t WANT to see the problem, there’s nothing you can do to fix it…

  8. Sidey,
    I presume you are not a qualified counsellor. Perhaps you ought to suggest to your friend – face to face – that she seeks help from a professional. Unqualified people can find the process a big burden, I am sure I would.
    I feel in my heart the answer is face to face, not on line.

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