With some people, not having contact through electronic means, is a must for my continued love. Over the past year, unfortunately, I’ve had to delete and/or block three people on facebook because communicating with them via these means led to hurt feelings (mostly mine), misunderstandings, and an overall breakdown in communication vs what it was supposed to be.
There is a certain segment of the population that are not autistic or have aspergers who know you in person yet, in writing, cannot tell when you are joking. And you know it’s not just you because lots of other people were able to figure the joke out. These people, I avoid on facebook and in email. I’ve been lashed out at by at least two people who did not understand I was joking even though there were several comments indicating that. Sarcasm equally evades these people (and I’ve found in real life a lot of these people don’t do well with sarcasm either). Okay, I for one know that I have to tone the sarcasm down a bit, but should we all have to stop joking because a few people only view what is in writing as literal? I realize that a lot of this is subject to tone in person which cannot as easily be portrayed via the internet, but again, we are looking at a few people who don’t get it and a majority that do.
I’ve noticed that, unfortunately, some people also insist, because it is electronic communication, that they drop in on things they have no knowledge of or no business getting into and, sadly, can upset someone they do not even know. I’ve had someone post something on my wall on facebook only to have someone they do not even know comment on it and cause hurt feelings. I’m then left to smooth things over with both parties. For a while I tried blocking people from seeing the posts of friends, but that didn’t really work because people who were friends both which each other and me couldn’t communicate as effectively. Then I began to realize it was the same few people who were doing this and just got rid of the problem people. These same people have also hijacked conversations that did not include them and made for very awkward situations. In real life, these people never would have butted into that kind of conversation. We’re still friends in real life, but we don’t facebook each other anymore.
Then there are those known as the “facebook police.” Friends who insist they “need” to tell everyone how to use their personal facebook pages to best suit another person. Recently I’ve witnessed people posting that people need to stop tagging in photos because they don’t like the constant alerts on their phones and people should not post youtube videos (the argument there being that they only want to see status updates and not youtube videos). My extreme irritation with these “facebook police” is that they are acting out of their own annoyance and that they could very simply block these things through facebook’s settings. In fact, they don’t even have to use settings to block them, they can do it right from their feed in 3 steps or less. And I’ve seen them do the same things they are accusing others of.
I think, as time goes on, it is becoming more and more apparent that facebook is great, just not for some people. People who “don’t get it” probably shouldn’t be using it. People who demand that everyone use facebook the way that they do, probably shouldn’t be using it. And people who seem to believe that the virtual world should not have to follow the same etiquette as the real world, definitely should not be using it.