Friday, August 28, 2009

Dear Facebook Friends: An open apology

Dear Facebook Friends:

I just wanted to say, if you were one of the many people who unfortunately received uncalled for communication from me on Facebook this past week, I am really sorry. I guess I’ve just been in a funk lately, and, combined with my still simmering hatred for the “new Facebook”, I unfortunately turned this negativity outward. Though I am guessing I will leave some out, here are a few of the more egregious communications, for which I am sorry:

Shelly – when you updated your status earlier this week to jokingly infer that your husband might up and leave you when he saw how short you cut your hair, I should’ve just joined the others with a simple, “I’m sure he’ll love it!” or “LOL, you are so silly.” But instead I wrote, “I bet he’s already cheating on you.” The fact that you were the bigger person and totally ignored my comment is admirable. So I should’ve left well enough alone when the next day, you updated your status to, “Shelly wants to say thanks for all of the reassurances and compliments about my new do - great to have such supportive friends!” But no, I did not. Against my better judgment I typed “You’ll need that kind of support when Bill leaves you for somebody with cuter hair.” To be fair, I REALLY don’t think he’s cheating on you OR that he’s going to leave you. Or even that your hair cut is THAT bad. I just found your compliment fishing trip to be really tedious and I lashed out. I am sorry.

Jeff – your most recent status update didn’t warrant an attack. But attack you I did. When you posted, “Really, I have nothing to say,” it was just the boring straw that broke the back of your boring life I guess. But still, “Your life is so boring. Please delete me from your friend list. I’d do it myself, but I’m being charitable and giving you a task with which you can occupy at least a small fraction of time since you clearly need it” was beyond the pale. Though this doesn’t make my comment fair, it’s not like this "update" was a departure from a proven track record of witty or interesting status updates. I mean, JESUS CHRIST you’re dull. The update before that said, “I am going to take a shower and go to bed” which, I couldn’t help but notice, was posted at 8:02pm. The most exciting thing that seems to have happened in your life are the new cabinets you got for your kitchen last month (nice pictures by the way – all 600 or so of them). That is the high point of your existence from what I can tell. Wow. I just realized that in addition to my inappropriate comment, I have taken the time to further lash out at you when I should be apologizing. So a double apology there.

Anita – I know you’re going through a rough time. The divorce, your cat’s death, the recent car accident… It’s a lot to deal with. Facebook has been an important outlet for you from what I can tell by how you post all the time about how crummy your life is. Almost every single update seems to be designed to evoke reassurance and pity or is a hateful, thinly veiled comment about your ex husband. I've tried to just put up with it, but truth be told, you’re a bit of a downer. Especially since your posts don’t exactly point to any real progress toward getting to a good place – just a lot of hatred and binge drinking. But when I clicked, “Likes this” for your “I wish I were dead” update, it was passive-aggressive and mean. Even if it WAS like the sixth time you expressed your desire to die in the last two days. It gets old, the cries for help. But the point is, I’m sorry. Also that you should see a therapist. Somebody needed to say it.

Chad – Wow, you take a lot of quizzes. I’m sure you find Facebook quizzes to be clever and a good use of your time. And up until the other day, I’ve always just hit the “hide” button when I see the results of your, “Which John Lennon song are you?” quiz. So you like quizzes – what’s the harm? But the other day was different. You took the following quizzes all in a row:

Am I evil? (You are evil. Very evil)
Am I going to Hell? (You’re going to Hell – AND you’re “going to give Satan a run for his money”)
Am I capable of murder? (Yes. “Cold blooded” even.)
Am I a sociopath? (Your "lack of remorse, shame or guilt" and your "inability to love" say "YES!")
How horny are you? (You’re “desperately horny” and will, “do anything” for sex)
Are you a misogynist? (Yes – “women should steer clear of you”)
Could I get away with murder? (Easily. The police will “never catch you”)

I mean, how could I NOT send the police to your house? Yes, I realize now these quizzes were just stupid time wasters and you thought they were funny. But you’re kind of a creepy guy in the first place and I had stayed up really late the night before watching a Forensic Files marathon. So sue me! Or, actually, please don’t. I obviously didn’t intend for you to lose your teaching job over this. Though it’s not MY fault you were passed out naked with a bong in your lap when the police got there. If anything, the fact you’re a pot smoker should’ve relieved the police – it’s hard to be an evil murderer when you’re so baked you can’t even put on pants. But I’m sure you don’t want to hear my philosophy on the inefficacy of American drug policy right now. What you really want to hear is, “I’m sorry.” Since you’ve deleted me as your Facebook friend, I don’t know that you’ll get this, but maybe a mutual friend will be kind and pass it along.

I’ll have you know that I’ve “grounded” myself from Facebook for a whole week, and my therapist and I are working on getting to the bottom of, as she puts it, “my stubborn refusal to engage appropriately via social networking.” I already feel like I’ve made a lot of progress just with this letter. So thank you everybody. It’s now time for me to go through my Twitter account and see if I’ve done any damage there as well.

Yours (unless you've deleted me) in Facebook friendship,
Janet Toll

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