Monday, April 18, 2011

"F" is for Facebook, and Other Words As Well


I had a rather humbling experience on Saturday.   Now, normally it is good when awesome people have a humbling experience because it keeps them likable.   I am of the opinion though that I may be a bit less likable to some of my friends now, especially those who are on facebook.
I shall start at the very beginning.  According to the movie The Sound of Music,  "tis a very good place to start..."   I checked my email around 1:00 p.m. and noticed a link from a friend.   She used to send links to the cutest things, but she hasn't in a while.  My first thought was "Great!  She's BAack!".   I read  the message, which was in "event" form with a link to find out who has been looking me up.   I figured if she sent it , it had to be SUPER cute!  Well, it wasn't, and I can no more blame her for "sending" it than I can myself for clicking it.  You see, as soon as I clicked it, I had friends emailing me "NO!  HELEN!!  IT'S SPAM!!!"    No, they did not mean the delicious luncheon meat.   I proceeded to look at my facebook page and find "Wtf... I just found out you've been stalking me... .lol"  and other such nonsense was posted on my friends' walls in my name.   The link was also sent in my name to all of my facebook friends.
I did not know what to do.  First I tried to send everyone a note, but notes aren't what I thought they were... Then I tried to send messages telling people what happened and not to click, but you can only do twenty at a time.  I tried to work alphabetically, but was so nervous, I realized that I missed some people and were sending doubles to others.  It was time to give up, because I was making a bad situation worse.

I tried to delete the message from my friends' walls.  I hope I got to everybody.  It's no longer on my wall, so I can only assume I had.   Just as I was about to give up, I figured out how to "cancel" the event, and add a message explaining what happened.  A few people sent messages saying "no sweat", and the rest seem to be ignoring the whole thing as just poop that happened and had been cleaned up.  

So why do I think I'm less likable?   Truth be told, it has little to do with what happened on Saturday.   You see, I got the same "stalking" message on my wall a few months ago.   It was made to look like it came from a facebook friend I went to High School with.  In all honesty, I don't remember this person, but recognized that she was friended by other friends from High School, and when I checked her info I saw that she did indeed go to the same High School I did.  When I saw the "stalker" message, instead of thinking "spam",  I got a flashback to all the pain I went through in High School and even though I don't remember if she was friend or foe, I thought to myself "B____!   I'm not the one who looked you up, remember?  How am I the stalker?"   The only thing that kept me from leaving that as a comment was pride.   I didn't want to show myself as one who didn't outgrow her insecurities, so I deleted the message from my wall, and moved on.   The only reason I didn't defriend her was because I didn't know how, and was too proud to waste an hour on someone else's cruel joke.

But it wasn't her cruel joke, just like it wasn't my cruel joke.   Someone else is messing with the feelings of strangers, causing hurt and wedges.  (Unless, of course, I'm the only one dumb enough to have ever taken it seriously.  Even then, though, time and effort was wasted.)

I haven't figured out if it would have been better if I had admitted to feeling hurt or not.   Obviously reacting in anger would have been wrong, but should I have eventually commented "Why?  Do you want to defriend?"  Or is it best that I quietly stewed, because this lady has no way to know what I was thinking unless she actually clicks on to my blog now?  

What do I know?  That I have been humbled by making the same mistake she did, and having the same cruel words fly around the blogasphere in my name.   If you were a recipient, and you were not on the receiving end of an apology, please accept mine now.

Hopefully this apology goes over better than the Angry Birds' Peace Treaty. 


katdish said...

Oh, you know what? I got that same "event" message, and I sort of went through the same thought process you did. Something I've learned from numerous spam comments and emails is that they often play to your vanity and/or your pride. Which is why when I saw the subject matter, I suspected it was spam. But I didn't have the previous experience you had either, which I'm sure would have been a consideration.

Thanks for notifying me of the error. You must have been scrambling. But like others said, no worries.

DS said...

Is it weird I found this post entertaining to read?

Look at it this way, "Hey, great blog fodder!"


Candy said...

"Delicious luncheon meat?" Snort!

All is well, Helen. Well, except for the Spam part.

Anonymous said...

I understand, it happens. That's why I didn't respond (and I was traveling). Your other story is hard, but a great reminder. We don't always know what others are going through or if it is really 'them.' It's so hard to know what others are thinking. Love that you shared this here for all us to take heed. :) thank you, Helen.