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?