The Perils of Facebook

This is in response to Impromptu Promptlings‘ invitation to do the Five Photos, Five Stories challenge. Unfortunately I do not have another blog at the moment to nominate.

From Morguefile.com by user anitapeppers.

From Morguefile.com by user anitapeppers.

I am not really Facebook friends with many people from my childhood. I have one grade school friend (I’ll call her “X”)  that I reconnected with later in my life and became friends with in “real life” and on FB, as she has since she moved to another state. Grade school was not a fun place for me. Before fourth grade began, the school district decided to redraw the lines of who went to school where. Our neighborhood was “redistricted,” and so I began fourth grade at a new school. My experience was not a pleasant one. Because I was the new kid, I was often teased and bullied. For example, I had a mole removed on my back, and the next day, another student kicked me in the back. Fortunately his foot did not land on my stitches. Even X teased me when we were in grade school. She kicked me to see if it would make me cry. She has no memory of this incident and was mortified when I casually brought it up (we were in our 20s when I mentioned this). Keep in mind, however, that I never obsessed over what happened when I was a child – things happen, and one deals with it. So anyways, X and I were discussing “free-range parenting” on FB, which really is a stupid moniker in my opinion – I think any child prior to the 1990s and 2000s experienced a “free-range childhood.” We used to ride our bikes all over town and on the local college campus – surely, a far cry from what American parents allow their kids to do today. My friend X tagged another person on this post – someone I’ll call “Y.” It suddenly dawned on me who Y really was – one of the girls who was really mean to me. The exact details of her meanness has since been buried under my life experiences, but I do recall making the decision at a young age that if I ever had children, Y would definitely NOT be on the list of names I would choose as a baby name because of her. It kinda threw me for a loop. I mean, all of these things happened over 30 years ago, and surely, as in the case of my friend X, people have changed as they grow older. I did query my friend X to ask if this was the same Y we went to grade school with (yes, it was). I have thought about telling X how I feel about Y – X is actually a sensitive person, and by that I mean she is sensitive to others’ feelings, not that she is “touchy.” Anyways, I suppose I would say something along the following lines:

I know that you have happy memories of your childhood, but grade school was not fun for me. Y in particular was not very kind to me. I hope, that like yourself and myself, she has changed into a different, kinder person as an adult. After all, this happened over 30 years ago.

Frankly, I do not see what can be gained from doing this, except perhaps to glean insights from X’s response. The interesting thing to me is that, if I weren’t on Facebook, I would probably have never heard or seen this person again. I am also thankful that all of this happened before the digital age, for I’m sure these incidences would have been far worse if I’d experienced them now. C’est la vie!

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15 thoughts on “The Perils of Facebook

  1. I’m kind of with you on the “what good would it do now” thing. I know people say you need to confront folks who have abused you, but if they’re not even a part of your life, why in heaven’s name would you want to? I don’t get that. If the topic of grade school came up between you and X and the opportunity presented itself for you to makes some general comments about school, that’s all well and good. If God wants you to say more, he’s perfectly capable of putting the words in her mouth to continue a discussion on that. Just my opinion. (But then I’m a coward!) 😦

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    • Just writing it out helped. I thought carefully about what I was going to say and tried to write a thoughtful piece. Normally stuff like this doesn’t bother me – I mean, for pete’s sake, it happened a long time ago. It just surprised me.

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  2. I would agree with you on this . yes far worse now! And I am SO SORRY that I haven’t done the 5 pictures posts. I still am planning to, just life is getting in the way. I will surprise you and do it 🙂 Thanks for being patient!

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  3. Interesting. I went to a school reunion a few years ago and found that some people were much nicer than I remembered them from childhood, but others were, underneath the adult veneeer, exactly the same. I suspect I’d just never really got to know the ones that seemed nicer when we were at school, I don’t think people really change. Anyway I’ve since reconnected with some of these people through Facebook (and in one case blogging) and am very happy to have done so.

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    • It’s weird, isn’t it, how some people can’t get out of that? I worked with a woman in her 60s who became divorced. She went back out on the dating scene and acted like a 15 year old (how do I know this? She made personal calls at the office and was very loud). You’d think that people grow up, but I suspect that many people are stuck in some kind of emotional wormhole that they can’t get out of. Thanks for commenting!

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  4. I also was gonna say “let it go”. I had a LONG feud with a woman who I worked with for approx 20 yrs…so bad that we often had screaming matches in our office (of about 60 others, and she would start the fights and they were BAD). Ready for this? about 13 yrs passed, she is on Facebook, sent me a friend request….I hesitated for a LONG time…….then I accepted her request. She is in Ohio, I am in Michigan now. Now she is one of the most complimentary and loyal readers of both of my blogs and always has something nice to say. And…to her credit, she reached out and apologized to me.

    Now, as a child of 5 I once hit my next door neighbor over the head with a baton, if I were to run into her today, I would hate for her to judge the 59 year old me, as being like that 5 yr old. Well, sometimes I DO want to hit people over the head with a baton lol

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  5. As someone who went to school with a bunch of assholes, I can relate to this immensely. Something similar has happened to me before. It’s remarkable how the impressions of our teenage times remain with us throughout the years, am I right?

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    • Thanks for making me laugh! It’s so true. I remember thinking I was so weird all the way up to and including high school. Thank God for college! 🙂 P.S. One of my best friends was telling me, “I have some small satisfaction that most of the bullies in my school are now in jail.”

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