The house is immaculate – but still there is that irritating irk of unfinished business. I pour a glass of white and for distraction I jump onto Face book to have a nose at what everyone else was up to.
The news feed rolls on –dreary pages of crap I have no interest in , I scroll, desperate to find something, someone – I wanted to read and ‘like’ let alone comment on. Nothing. It felt like the remote control stuck on some Z list TV channel. Why was that?
Bored I stopped on JO’s post. Ok, Jo is smiling at me and in her arms is an angry-looking black cat. She tells me it’s her new cat. Jack. Jack the cat. Jo has a new cat and his name is Jack. I hesitate over the like button. Do I ‘like’ Jo or her new cat Jack?
More to the point do I give a shit that Jo has a new cat? I have not had a conversation nor been in the same room as Jo for the best part of 20 years and I really do not like the look of her new cat. I ‘like’ it anyway – feeling guilty not to – second guessing she might somehow know I stopped by and did not ‘like’ her cat.
Next, Melissa. Melissa is on holiday in the Dominican Republic. I know this as she tells me she is having a fabulous time there and has added squillion photos of her, bikini clad in the arms of a hefty chap avec nose ring and dreadlocks. I pause to think. Melissa – who the hell is Melissa? Did I go to school with a Melissa? Had she married and changed her name? I squint at her image, she is smiling widely, clearly excited by her dread locked man. In truth, I have no idea who this girl is and yet here she is on my news feed and I have just wasted 10 minutes trying to figure out her identity.
I move on to Heather. Heather has been gardening . She tells me, she has dug up the flowerbeds and now has a vegetable patch. Heather needs some advice on growing tomatoes. What the? Don’t even get me started on Heather. Heather is awful. I met her one day at the lake, back in the early months when a new first time mum is a constant sick bag of fear and I was desperate for the company of anyone in current possession of a newborn.
We spent the grand total of 20 minutes together, and 24 hours later she sends me a face book request of which I duly accepted. BIG MISTAKE. The next time I see her, its planned and by the second milk feed the atmosphere severely strained its obvious to us both we had absolutely nothing in common – whatsoever. I never saw her again, yet here we are still friends on FB and I still have to endure her prittle – prattle – as no doubt she does mine.
If I met them in the street and Heather narrated me on her gardening exploits would I stand there and let her ? Not likely! I would have crossed the street, head down and avoided her. So why am I friends with her on Facebook ? Just because social media dictates I have to?
Is it easier just to accept it – let them sit in the background of my life and prittle prattle to themselves?
Or is it my ego? the more friends you have the better we believe we are ? Oh look at me – with my 500+ friends. GET REAL– nobody has time for 500 friends in real time so why would they in cyber time?
Do I feel better about myself, my profile? – Is who I am as a person dictated to by the number of friends I have on line? Good question.
Do I want these people to know my business, to share my thoughts? Do I really want them to know what I am doing and more to the point, if I do not care what they are doing – why should they care about me ?
They shouldn’t is the simple answer. As with real time, if I have no interest in what they do or say – then we are best off not being friends – on any level.
So, fingers poised I delete Heather. Feeling weirdly good – and just a little bit naughty . I feel myself look over my shoulder – is Mark Zuckerberg watching me ? Naughty- Naughty Paula. Encouraged I delete Melissa.
Was I sure I wanted to un-friend Melissa? Mark is asking me again – checking the tiny crumb of doubt in my decision .I ignore him. POOF! GONE!
Why stop there? There were 10’s of names that meant nothing to me DELETE, DELETE, DELETE. Gone. It was for the best. My friend list quartered in under 20 minutes.
I am cleaning their life basket as I am my own and today at the end of this very productive and cleansing week I have only a handful friends left on Facebook and that suits me just fine.
You see they are all people I love, like, find interesting or respect their views. I now have time to scroll news feed and actually read and laugh and like and comment on what my ‘friends’ are doing. So if you are reading this as a friend off Face book – be safe in the knowledge that although I hardly or ever see you – I do really ‘like’ you in my life.
Having said that, if you do not feel the same – do us both a favour and take this guilt free pass to delete me. Zap me. Obliterate me from your world. Go on, you’ll feel better for it – I promise.