Continued from Episode 196…
What was interesting about the school photograph was that names that I had forgotten other people remembered. Before long, almost everyone had been tagged in the photo. For me, this was a turning point in using social media tools. This was not about sharing my interests or liking someone else’s pictures; it was about memories and people from the past that I enjoyed for purely sentimental reasons. Some people hate that aspect of Facebook, but for me, it was welcomed and inspiring.
The story I want to tell about this post on the elementary school group’s wall is about enemies and how they can come together on Facebook, often in these types of group pages. You might not want to be friends with someone on Facebook, but you may have to see their posts on a group page that you belong to. In this case, I was watching my old school photograph get tagged and remembering all those names. Below the photograph, people were commenting on the image and their memories. I recognized the names and commented back, enjoying myself. Then I got a private message from someone who was commenting on the photograph. (On a side note, a private message is the same as an email inbox message, and you can send anybody that is your friend a direct message by clicking on the “send a message” button on the top right of anyone’s Facebook page. It’s just like email, but with less spam, and it’s very easy to read. You can read your messages by going to the top left of your Facebook page and clicking on the envelope icon. Then you will see your messages and you can easily respond to them in the space below.) The message was from a friend who told me that she hated someone else from our elementary school class who was commenting on the photograph. She told me a story about something that happened between the two of them as children that permanently damaged the relationship for her. She said that she wasn’t speaking to her anymore but she wanted to tell me because she didn’t like being in the same stream of comments as her ex-friend.
Relationships between Facebook Friends
Of course, I understood. Then, I got a private message from the other person involved, the ex-friend, who said she knew that what she did in the past upset the other friend and hoped her old friend will forgive her, going so far as to ask me to put in a good word for her! You see how complex things can get on Facebook? Luckily, it’s fairly
easy to deal with this, because there are lots of privacy barriers in place on Facebook. I just responded to both people politely and said that I understood. The point that I am trying to make is that just like in the real world, there can be relationships that are tricky to navigate on Facebook. I have found this to be a very minor issue for me, partly because I am in a stable relationship and have been for several years, and partly because I don’t gossip much or talk about people I prefer not to be friends with.
To learn more about Brainard Carey and his services for artists, or to take a class from him, click here. To join one of his free weekly webinars, click here. To download the workbook mentioned in this series, click here.