Unfriending Proves People Hate You

Ritchie Cunningham, Ralph Malph, Potsie and Fonzie never had to worry whether their Facebooks made them cool or made them nerds and not just because they are television characters.

But because in the days before social media no one could say they unfriended someone on Facebook for being a jerk, dick, asshole or douchebag.

They never had conversations with their children about whether their Instagram profiles should be public or private, who they should block and who they shouldn’t.

Nor did they have an 11.5-year-old say that being unfriended proves that people hate you.

I didn’t tell the aforementioned 11.5-year-old that I noticed today that I had been unfriended by a half dozen people or that it might be more because it would have been…awkward.

Dad Specializes In Awkward Conversations

Awkward comes to mind because I am usually the guy who is very cut and dry about friendships/relationships with people.

If I notice that I have to carry the load for our friendship there is a good chance that at some point I’ll decide you don’t really care about whether we continue to be friends or not and I’ll just let go.

Don’t take that to mean I am a scorekeeper because I am not. I am not going to be able to tell you how many times you called or emailed me or how many times we have hung out because I don’t keep track.

But eventually I’ll notice if the only time we communicate is when I make the effort to make it happen.

If it comes to the place where I notice that I’ll probably stop communicating and unless you reach out I won’t because sometimes people grow apart and I’ll figure that is what happened.

Does that sound mature and adultish as opposed to immature and childish?

I sure hope so. I sure hope you get what I am saying and where I am going with this, but maybe you don’t and won’t.

Maybe there is a disconnect there…

Anyhoo, today I noticed I hadn’t seen anything from a couple of people who are frequent updaters and went to check their pages to make sure everything was cool and discovered I had been unfriended.

They never said anything to me about being pissed off. We didn’t have any arguments. It was a mystery as to why it happened.

And then I went back to my friend’s list and noticed it was smaller than it once had been by around a half dozen people and I wondered what happened.

At first I assumed it was a mistake, a Facebook glitch, so I sent out some friend requests and then it occurred to me that maybe it wasn’t.

Maybe It Was Intentional

Maybe they decided they were done with me, dumped me for whatever reason they had with intent and not because of some bug.

Got irritated with myself for overthinking it, decided it was taking up too much real estate in my head. People change. People grow apart.

People do shit without any reason just as easily as they do things with reason. If they don’t want to be connected on Facebook that is their prerogative, no reason for me to wonder why they didn’t want to enjoy Jack Steiner’s traveling circus and monkey show.

If my kids asked me about it, if it happened to them that is what I would tell them.

But I might ask them if they had done anything. I might ask them to just think about it for a moment because it is one thing if one person says you are a jackass and another if a dozen do.

It doesn’t hurt to take a moment to think about it.


saveme

Been thinking about Glen Frey and the Eagles and the role they played in my life.

Thinking about a girl who once swore she’d never leave me and all of the places we talked about visiting and the things we’d do and some we did.

If I could I’d dial that old rotary phone that hung on the wall and ask Pablo to grab some coffee with me.

Neruda, Neruda, Neruda, you understand what it is like to be asked to shower in gasoline and to smile when they flip the cover open on their Zippo because you would do whatever it takes to be noble and worthy of such an honor.”

At least I think he would understand and that we would have the sort of conversation that only a select few could have.

“Pablo, I wonder if I was too intense. I wonder if I am at fault here or if there was something else. Maybe our fire burned too bright and we were nothing more than that comet that shoots across evening sky.”

But there is no answer from Pablo because he is dead and the words that he left behind cannot address any and all matters.

Still I look at his words and I wonder if maybe he left a message for me, something he wrote not knowing who would need it, just that someone would.

“I can write the saddest poem of all tonight. I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too.”
― Pablo Neruda

Ah, yeah, this I get and this I can share but Pablo, is that all you have. Some might not understand, some might hear nothing but sadness, is there no joy.

“I crave your mouth, your voice, your hair.
Silent and starving, I prowl through the streets.
Bread does not nourish me, dawn disrupts me, all day
I hunt for the liquid measure of your steps.”
― Pablo Neruda, 100 Love Sonnets

Ah Pablo, this I understand, this I get and maybe a few who have known me would too.

They would feel the heat and intensity of my gaze and know without asking what I wanted and what I crave.

It would be more than just carnal, more than just lust but not obsession.

They would give it freely because both parties understood but that sort of thing comes from a place of deep faith and trust.

A place where you both know that the journey to where you are going is only taken by shedding the walls and false pretenses.

Because without that, well it is likely to be misunderstood and misinterpreted. Hell it might even get you unfriended.

If Facebook Disappeared Would You Notice?

Onefool

My 11 going on 30 year-old daughter finds my high school yearbook and can’t decide if it is more interesting to make fun of the way the class of ’87 dressed or to read what people wrote.

“Dad, how many girls signed your yearbook and why did so many write “love” in it?”

I smile and suggest there are some stories she doesn’t want to know.

“Don’t treat me like a baby, I know you had other girlfriends before mom.”

“I had a big life before mom and before you guys came around. So did she. You should too.”

She doesn’t know somewhere in the pages she will find the words my high school girlfriend wrote to me and instead of a simple “love” she said “I love you” and made the usual promises teenagers make to each other.

I don’t take the book from her hands, if she stumbles upon it, she stumbles upon it. Though I am not bothered by the idea of her finding those words I am not particularly interested in having the discussion that will come if she locates them.

Better to play it cool and not react because she is far more likely to get bored and move on. Or maybe a friend will Facetime her and that will be the end of it.

“Dad, I know you are friends with a bunch of girls on Facebook, will I find your ex-girlfriends there?”

Sure enough her phone rings and the conversation ends. Dad’s yearbook isn’t nearly as interesting as whatever conversation she is going to be involved in now.

If Facebook Disappeared Would You Notice?

Yeah, I am connected with a few of them but until my daughter mentioned it I didn’t even notice that there is no interaction there.

We connected on Facebook years ago during the time when very few of us put any thought into whether there should be rules about who to connect with, probably because we were too busy poking people or throwing sheep at them.

That was before Zuckerberg and company spent countless hours working and tweaking algorithms that make it hard to see the updates of the people you care about, let alone those you chose to connect with for other reasons.

And it was certainly before Facebook became a place where people would collect to go apeshit about politics, hunting and whatever else incurred the wrath of the faceless, nameless internet mob.

Sometimes I look at the crap I see there and I ask myself if I would notice if Facebook disappeared.

Is it adding value to my life or is it taking something away?

Maybe a little bit from column A and some from column B with a dash of something else in there too.

Don’t mistake that to mean that I think everyone of my updates are meaningful, significant and or special because they aren’t, but some of them are a hell of a lot of fun to write.

What Kind Of Schmuck Quotes Himself?

The answer is me.

I do.

Those are my words below and there is a reason they are there.

“What I know for certain is there are people who come into our lives who turn them upside down and inside out. If you open the eyes inside your chest and clear the clutter from your soul they will help you wake up and remember who you are and who you might have been.”  Write From The Heart & Edit With The Head

When I collected the mail today I received the latest copy of Sports Illustrated. It is the one with Pete Carroll on the cover and the tease about it being the 25th anniversary of Friday Night Lights and how the author followed his heart back to Texas.

I looked at that cover and glanced at one of those Occupy Democrat pictures that are going around on Facebook and shook my head.

Not because I am a Democrat or a Republican but because it is more opinion disguised as fact and pushed our for emotional impact.

You don’t need to know that I am registered Democrat but that I have considered an independent for years but I’ll share it now because it fits the conversation I am trying to have with you.

What I want for my children is to eventually have the sort of relationship I alluded to in that quote above, not the one about arguing with a fool but the other one.

I want them to find someone who turns their world upside down and inside out in a good way. I want them to reach a place where they think long and hard about what they believe and why.

Ask questions and be prepared to go a different direction.

I want them to think.

Facebook doesn’t make me think very often. That might be because of how I use it and I might be responsible sometimes for adding to the noise too.

But I am aware of this.

Hell I am probably far more aware of what I do or do not do than at any point in my life.

Doesn’t mean I haven’t been the fool in the argument or the dude arguing with the fool. Sometimes I have done so knowing full well I was involved with an idiot but I continued because my intent was to influence the lurkers, not the jackass who kept telling me how smart they are.

Hell it is not that hard to find people who are smarter than I am. I can name quite a few and if you ask around there will be more than a handful of people who will volunteer names of people they think are smarter than me too.

If I told you I don’t give a fuck if they are a midlevel VP at a bank in Texas you might wonder if I am speaking to one person in specific or not and I’d say it doesn’t matter.

That is because being smarter than me is nothing special, at least without qualifying it and adding some sort of context to it.

That is part of the problem with so much of what I see on Facebook, it lacks context.

Can’t and won’t say I am going to delete my Facebook accounts because I don’t see a need to go that far, but if they closed up shop and it all went away I don’t know that I would miss all that much about it.

What about you?

What Happens To Your Facebook Account When You Die?

Candle Light

The question really shouldn’t be what happens to your Facebook account when you die because that is not inclusive enough, at least not for me.

I have been thinking about this on and off for a while now. Been thinking about it because Facebook is where I learned that three friends had died and an aunt. Been thinking about it because another friend died a short while back but her social media presence hasn’t completely disappeared.

Not that I am suggesting it should.

I have visited her Facebook page a bunch of times. It is where many of her friends and family have chosen to congregate.

Even though I am quite familiar with death and have lost more than a few friends it is still shocking when it happens. And as a parent it is a stark reminder to make plans to try and minimize the impact on your children.

My kids are still very young. If I died today it would be devastating. It is part of why you see multiple posts here that are addressed to them. It is why I have life insurance. It is why I have had multiple discussions about what happens if they lose both their parents.

Where do they go? Who raises them?

Those are the obvious ones which is why I circle back to social media. I am a dad blogger who is active on multiple platforms. What happens if I get hit by a bus, have a massive heart attack or take a bullet to the head.

I know that there are companies out there who offer services for just this purpose. Ask Old Doc Google to give you a rundown on who they are and you can figure out if you are interested.

As for me, let’s just say that I am not sure what I really want to have happen. Would I want some one or thing to wipe out all of the digital bits and pieces that I have collected and placed around the net. Would wiping my digital presence clean be good or bad.

I don’t really know and I am not sure that it matters. It is not because I am concerned, worried, scared or upset about what happens after death. That doesn’t bother me. What I wonder about is what it would mean for those who loved me.

Would having my words be a comfort or a burden. This blog is filled with almost 9,000 posts about everything you can think of. There are posts on politics, religion, sex, life and all sorts of other stuff. Is it really representative of me and does it matter.

Not long ago an old friend posted a few pictures of us from college. Two of them show me in a state that is less than flattering. If I had the choice I’d prefer that those not be the last images people have of me. Not that I expect them to be. Unless something crazy happens I will be back at the keyboard, tonight, tomorrow and for a long time to come.

Have you thought about this? Do you wonder or worry about what happens to your Facebook account when you die?

Editor’s Note: This post originally ran here. I wrote it after hearing about the death of a friend and some discussions with other friends about our digital footprints. In the time since I first wrote it other people I know have died (friends/relatives/acquaintances) and it has made me think about the topic again because it is really not just Facebook we are talking about, it is the digital footprint as a whole.

Do we care about what happens when we are gone? Should we care? If we die unexpectedly will it be a frozen snapshot of our life on one particular day? What will it show, a witty status update pictures of our children, a request for help building a cyberfarm?

I might have to follow up with a post about this, in the interim I will see you in the comments.

876 Surprising Ways Facebook Makes You Wish Your Life Was As Cool As Mine

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

If I had a secretary I would ask him/her to get The Shmata Queen on the phone because this picture proves that Clevelanders have seen blue skies once.

But I don’t have a secretary so I’ll have to come up with other arrangements like writing a status update on Facebook asking if anyone could prove this picture wasn’t photoshopped.

That is assuming I didn’t write an update about the amazing meal/vacation/experience I just had.  Those of you who aren’t one of my Facebook friends are missing out on those, really you haven’t lived until you have been uplifted/amused/offended by one of my status updates.

Facebook Etiquette

I am not going to try to tell you how to use Facebook. That is not what this post is about, let’s leave it to the social media gurus.

Instead let me throw something out at you. Have you received friend requests that make you scratch your head? You know the one from the man/woman who you sort of knew in school.

You know that person you might have smiled or grunted at once.

Those people are pretty easy for me to deal with. If I was remotely curious about them I accept the request and later on I decide if I want to keep them around.

Most of the time I tell people from the office I prefer to keep work/personal life separate. If they give me any grief I explain that I am a swinger who likes animals and that I like sharing naked photos and videos.

You should hear the uncomfortable laughter that comes after I say that, especially when I tell them they haven’t lived until they have made love to a monkey.

And then there are the friend requests that come from the parents of my childrens’ friends. Sometimes I wonder if they are truly interested in being my friend or if they are just checking me out to make sure I am a suitable guardian for play dates when their kids come over.

I like to warn them I use Facebook as a place to share my fetishes and to show off my gun collection. Maybe that is why my kids are always invited to play at their friend’s homes and not ours. Hmm…

Facebook And Privacy

My good friend Mr. Zuckerberg has a very different idea of privacy. I don’t like his at all and the more  I see the less I like him. Take a gander at Facebook is trying to do with the newest iteration of their Android App and tell me it doesn’t make you wonder what the hell is going on there.

It is part of why I have a significant love/hate relationship with Facebook.

It has helped me reconnect with members of my extended family. It is unlikely I would know as much about my family in Israel as I do and it certainly helped strengthen connections with family members around the states.

I am grateful for that and appreciative of how it helped me reconnect with some friends from college I lost touch with.

But some of the other things make me less happy.

The privacy issues bother me. There is no reason for Facebook to have that much information about me. I am not that interesting.

I don’t like how every time they make a change it feels like I have to check my security settings to make sure they haven’t changed.

Not a big fan of Facebook suggesting who I might want to be friends with. If I am not connected with someone now it ninety-nine percent of the time it is because I have actively chosen not to.

Facebook & Children

Somewhere in the archives is a post I wrote about Facebook and children. I prefer my children stay off of it, mostly because I don’t want to have police their accounts.

That is not to say they can’t or won’t have accounts one day but I like them to keep their lives offline. While they are sorting through what is appropriate to share learning that what is cool at eight might not be cool at 14 it is easier to have a smaller digital footprint.

876 Surprising Ways Facebook Makes You Wish Your Life Was As Cool As Mine

That headline is me taking a poke at Upworthy headlines. I find much of their stuff to be obnoxious and  a bit preachy. However I keep hearing those headlines work so I figured I’d take a stab at it.

Oops, it is past midnight hear so I have to run I would hate to give Facebook a picture of my carriage turning into a pumpkin. Better for you all to think I am the coolest man ever.

So here is to fake status updates and sanitized profiles.

Facebook Comments & Blogging

Not unlike many others I have developed a love hate relationship with Facebook. However like the proverbial 800 pound gorilla they have gotten to be far too big to ignore. They have cool tools like a Facebook Fan Page and the ability to use Facebook to comment on blogs.

In theory that nifty little trick of allowing your readers to use Facebook to comment on your blog can provide you with massive exposure to new readers. At least that is the theory that I like to operate behind which is why I installed the plugin that provides that function.

However, I didn’t know that it didn’t provide notification of these comments and for the past five weeks or so I have been stumbling onto comments that people made using Facebook. Comments that went unanswered and for that I want to apologize. If you comment here I try to do my best to respond.

Anyway, I understand that there is an upgrade for the plugin that will solve that problem. I hope to have that installed and implemented sooner than later.