Not only is that on the creepy-side, it's not really anonymous. Neither is looking at people's Facebook pictures. Yeah, there's an app for that, too. A program that allows you to track who has looked at what, when, and, for how long. Same with Twitter. You can see who "unfollowed" you, and when.
All of this social media is really great, but what happened to good, old-fashioned talking? Texting is convenient for short bursts like "home in 30" or "at the gym." But actually hearing another person's voice? Priceless! Even better??? Seeing their face light up when they smile. Or, watching their hands fly as they tell an exciting and/or funny story. We need more of that. More human-interaction. Less technology. But technology allows us to reach across the miles, befriend people we wouldn't have been able to keep in touch with twenty years ago. What's wrong with that?
Nothing. It's great to keep in touch across the miles. I have a friend who lives about 300 miles away. We've known each other for seven years. The last three, we kept in touch primarily through things like Facebook, Twitter and of course, texting. Sounds good, right? Wrong. Because, when my friend decided the friendship was over, boom! Just like that, I was unfriended, blocked, removed, and otherwise erased. Ouch. But I couldn't really complain. Because I'm guilty of doing the same thing. When someone says something I don't like on Facebook or Twitter, I "unfriend" or "unfollow" and otherwise remove that person without so much as a word.
Technology makes it easy to be an asshole.
We all make mistakes--so when I got a taste of my own nasty medicine (even though nasty was never my intention)--I had the guts to get back in touch with the person I'd unceremoniously dumped in much the same way my ex-friend recently dumped me. Even though you may not see the individuals you unfriend in your everyday life, when you block on Facebook and Twitter, or remove them from your "friend" circles on Google+, they still exist. Those people are real, even if their Twitter avatar is a cartoon character (guilty as charged). And real people have real feelings.
Rejection is even worse when you can't get in touch with the person who rejected you. It feels like you don't matter, perhaps never mattered. It's as if all you were to them were marker scribbles on a classroom whiteboard. When things started to get dirty, they took an eraser and wiped their slate clean...of you. It's one thing if you're a stalker. But of all the people I've unfriended or removed or blocked, only one was a stalker. A real stalker. The kind you have to get a restraining order for. Otherwise, it was mostly people who said something stupid. And of those, only one let that stupidity reach racist levels. He deserved to be blocked.
But in the case of my ex-friend who essentially removed me completely, since we live 300 miles apart and cannot keep in touch outside of technology, the blocking, unfriending and complete removal was unnecessary. I rarely used Facebook or Twitter to get in touch. An occasional "Like" or "Favorite" or use of the chat feature was the limited extent of my online interactions. In all the years we've known each other, even our texting was limited. If I added it all up, it equals maybe 5 days worth of texts out of the 2,555 days of our continuous friendship. Of course, I did the same thing to an even older friend on my end.
That was my wake-up call. Hope this article is yours. Because, despite the technologically-offensive, I miss my friend. And, like I mentioned earlier, I know you're "anonymously" viewing my profile on LinkedIn--the only place you can't block me. Twice in the same week? You clearly miss me, too.
Get in touch! Doesn't have to be literal. Although, I could really use a hug at this point....