Facebook, The Social Evil?

Has Facebook become The Social Evil Network?

Facebook may have taken us down new paths towards finding other ways to upset one another.  As if Life isn’t fraught enough with misunderstandings, we now have cyber ways to create even bigger slights and more methods to upset one another.

I don’t know about you but, I’ve been finding that going onto Facebook can be an act of “do so at your own peril” activity.  In spite of talking to people regularly in person,  I often end up finding out something about someone over Facebook and wish that I hadn’t have seen it. I’m at the point now of figuring that ignorance is bliss and what we don’t know can’t hurt us.  Sometimes, we’re just better off not knowing.  It saves a lot of heartache and headaches at times.

I’m no Spring Chicken and didn’t just fall off the turnip truck.  I’ve been around the block and back a number of times throughout my life and yet, I can still find myself ticked off and hurt by something someone’s done or said on Facebook.  It’s feeling more like I’m back in elementary or highschool.  I guess, in some ways, that might be a good thing but, in other ways, it’s feeling more like a backwards slide in Life.  Afterall, at a certain point, we’re supposed to have grown mentally and emotionally to a level where we’re overlooking these types of things and letting them roll off of our backs with a mature attitude, right?

I recently found out some great news about a friend via a posting she’d made on Facebook.  I was thrilled for this friend and her family.  Quickly, I typed in a congratulatory note then, asked myself what I was doing in just writing to her and picked up the phone to give my sentiments of glee to her in person.  Just yesterday, I found another friend with similar news having been posted on Facebook and did the same thing.  Then, it dawned on me that I had been speaking with both of these people all along but, there had been not a word from them about their news during our conversations.  Not only that but, instead of having picked up the phone to tell me in person, as good friends often do, they both had simply posted their news on Facebook and I’d gotten their good news at the same time as others did who have seemingly no contact with each other except for Facebook.  They don’t even know one another in person and have never met.  That was a kick in the rear to realize that fact when I did realize it.  However, it didn’t stop there.

Both of these friends had been calling or visiting me with their “problems” all along. I’d literally spent hour upon hour, listening and trying to help out in whatever ways that I could help them and yet, when it came to the good news,apparently, I was on the same ranks as everyone else, including pretty much strangers.  What an awakening that was.  To add insult to injury, it became apparent that other people on their Facebook Friends List had known about this joyful news months prior.  Their posts of, “I was so happy for you when you told me about this a few months ago…” hit me square in the face.  It was at that point that I wanted to re-dial both of them and give them a good piece of my mind, telling them to not bother calling me again when they had problems as they could call “Jane or Jack” instead.

I found myself boiling over with feelings of anger, hurt, frustration along with an overwhelming sense of having been used and abused by them all along.  I wondered why I was “good enough” for the bad times but, not on equal footing with the good times.  Was I the opposite of a “Fair Weather Friend”, only there when they need a shoulder to cry on but, not deserving of having the good times shared?

Suddenly, I was transported back to being a kid in a playground where others were sharing secrets that I wasn’t allowed to be privy to and, feeling like the outcast/outsider.  All of the old feelings of rejection and clicks came flooding back.  The sense of being the pariah was as fresh at this point as they were back then and I had a few miserable days and evenings, pouting over and licking these fresh wounds, just as I would have done way back then.

Yesterday, as I was thinking about all of this emotional turmoil I was feeling, I suddenly began to remember having been a “go-between” for two other friends who had developed a total misunderstanding over a stupid technical glitch in Facebook where one friend has seemingly restricted view for the other.  Knowing both, I wasn’t convinced that this was a purposeful slight so, I set about to do some detective work to figure it out.  In the end, it turned out that I had been right.  There was no slight or rejection but, rather a technical glitch and all was righted within a day or two.  However, the damage that was done through school-yard hurts was fairly significant.  The “rejected one” was certain that she had been ousted by the other and didn’t understand why.  Instead of thinking about it more fully and picking up the phone to call the other where the air would have been cleared instantly and all of the hurt, avoided, she’d sat back as I was doing with these incidents, brooding, fretting, crying and feeling totally like yesterday’s garbage.

Have I solved all of my issues with these two friends of mine quite as easily?  No, I haven’t yet come to that point.  I have though, realized that Facebook can be a source of trouble between people if they don’t confront it head on, person to person.  I intend on finding a calm way to approach this with these two friends.  I think I need to have a friendly, open dialogue with both, asking for their sides of the story rather than ignoring this and letting it become an acid that simply eats away at me.  The issue of being talked to about the bad or troublesome issues and not let in on the good, needs somehow, to be addressed on a mature level.  At the least, I’ve come to realize that even though we are grown-ups, the old and primal feelings of hurt can still very much be alive and well and child-like as they once were.  The only difference is how we deal with it all internally and externally.

Sometimes, ignorance is bliss but, these incidents have reminded me that we never outgrow being hurt or feeling rejection and that Facebook can take us back to a school aged level if we’re not careful. It seems that it can turn us back into the giggling, snotty, emotionally immature little freaks we might have been or hung out with while in school.

Be careful of what you post on Facebook.  If you don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, make sure that what you post is thoughtful and respectful to all.  Afterall, it’s really just another playground where hurts can happen and none of us are totally grown up in that aspect.

Credits and Knocks

Hey…Angelina…ppssstttt…what’s with the leg and the poses?

Call me a freak but, I find the Academy Awards nothing but a ridiculous showcase for fashion designers.

“Who are you wearing?”

Were they wearing people or, are they people?

One stuck out amongst the hundreds of other “stars” in this vast sea of designer outfits as she stood upon the stage as a presenter, posed and flashed her leg throughout the entire segment…Angelina Jolie.  What was with her?  Is she getting some type of a kick-back from the designer for promoting their designs or, is she so enamoured with her anorexic looking stick leg that she feels the need to stick it out constantly?  It seemed that every shot taken of her throughout the night last night, entailed her pulling back the dress or posing in such a way that her right leg was protruding through the slit in that dress.

Has she gone to the point of finally feeling she’s thin enough and proud of it?  What gives with that leg?

The height of the evening was not all that obvious at first, during a moment of hurrah for the receipients of an Oscar but, when Jim Rash, did his impersonation of Jolie’s presentation pose, it spoke volumes. Though, has said that it was only a joke, Rash seemed to echo what a lot of viewers were really thinking and feeling about the absurdity of Jolie’s “look at me” posturing.  Bravo to Rash.  It gave us all pause to laugh instead of still scratching our heads in befuddlement as to how someone could think that much of themselves.  He brought it back to human level.

Amongst the throngs of the bulemic and anorexic looking stars, stood a true star, Melissa McCarthy.  Plus sized or not, McCarthy’s humour in her little skit with Billy Crystal a la “The Bridesmaid” style, was priceless and showed the world that stars don’t have to be stick thin to be beautiful.  They also don’t have to be unreal.

Though plus sized in a world where The Skeleton Look is considered beauty, McCarthy stood out amongst the rest.  It wasn’t because of her size but, because she was daring enough to be beautiful in spite of what Hollywood would consider to be ugly and disgusting.

Brava to Ms. McCarthy for allowing her true beauty to shine through without fanfare, without being stick thin in a world where the thinner you are, the better you are adored.  Credit is due where credit is due and knocks are due where knocks are due.

McCarthy deserved the credit and Jolie deserves a knock.

Bobbi Kristina Needing Rehab?

It’s so sad that Houston’s daughter has had to face the loss of her famous mother.  Equally sad, is the loss that Houston’s mother has had to face in losing her daughter to a likely, drug related death.  But, now…in spite of her efforts to save her daughter’s life and losing that battle, she now has to face the fight to get her grandaughter, Bobbi Kristina off of drugs and onto a healthy path in her life.  How sad for everyone and totally unnecessary pain caused by the ravages of using drugs to escape or party.  From the Huffington Post…..

Bobbi Kristina Gets High After Mother’s Funeral

Ironically, from the one who introduced drugs into Houston’s and therefore, his own daughter’s life, (Bobby Brown) comes this statement…. “Bobby is terrified she’s going to do something stupid,” said the source. “He wants her in a treatment center, getting professional help to get her through the grieving process without falling back on alcohol or drugs to mask her pain.”

This is a battle that I’m sure we all hope Cissy (Houston’s mother) can win.  She’s watched one child die.  Let’s hope that she can save her grandaughter.

The Journey of Finding Self

The Journey Into Finding Self

Ever watch your life, knowing that it’s slipping into the toilet but, feeling unable to stop its free fall?  Kind of like one of those dreams where you know you’re falling but, you can’t stop it and hope to wake up before you hit the bottom.

I’m not talking about substance abuse or a deep depression here.  I’m talking about knowing that you’re at a crossroads of change where things within your life have changed so drastically that you haven’t had the chance to catch your breath and figure out who you are or, where you’re heading next and wanting Life to just slow down a bit so that you can catch up with yourself in the process.

There’s always a stage in our lives where these types of feelings will happen.  They seem most prevalent though, through the teen years, after graduating from higher education and entering the real work world, the getting married and starting a family years, then, not again until the empty nest and retirement years hit.  The common theme throughout each of these stages appears to be change and new roles.

Every time we hit one of these stages in our lives where either our roles are changing or we’re entering a new phase of Life, it becomes necessary to learn new coping strategies as well as finding new roles to fill.  Often, these milestones mean a graduation of sorts that may feel more like torture than anything else.  We are often left, finding ourselves, having to re-invent ourselves and our lives just to cope.  It’s no easy chore to say the least.

I’ve always been a caregiver throughout my life for one person or another.  Even as a child, living in a dysfunctional home, I became my parent’s caregiver more than I was a child.  After that, I became a mom which involves a great deal of caregiving.  During that time frame, I helped take care of dying grandparents and parents and, that continued on up until the past couple of years.

Now, when I should find myself feeling freed of responsibilities because there is no longer the need for caregiving and being an empty nester, I’m finding myself once again, totally lost in Life.  I am asking myself, who I am, what I want, where I want to see my life go.  I should be rejoicing that I finally have this opportunity to do that after all of the years where that was not a choice, let alone a thought.  However, I am finding myself, actually quite lost.

I once thrived on necessity and roles, knowing what I was supposed to be doing every moment of every day.  There’s familiarity with routine and “must do’s”.  There’s a certain sense of grounding to know where you’re supposed to be, what you’re supposed to be doing, when and how you’re supposed to be doing it all.  When all of that has been taken away, we can find ourselves feeling like we’re afloat on an open ocean with no land in sight to head towards.  It can become a frightening feeling rather than the freeing feeling that we once thought it would be, should we have this chance.  The question of “who am I?” becomes a frightening question to delve into.  The question of “what should I do now?” becomes almost overwhelmingly empty and we tend to want someone or something to give us those answers because we honestly don’t know anymore.

Pardon me while I pull up my chair and look at these questions a little more closely.

If you’re finding yourself in a similar boat, no matter what your stage of Life, I hope you’ll join into a discussion and journey with me.  It’s one that is done best with company and empathy.

It’s the journey of finding oneself.  A journey that we all have to take all throughout our lives…or, at the least, at some point or another.

Love Is Like A Box of…..

Love, sweet love…

Box of Chocolates LoveI remember Valentine’s Day.  That was the day when we all used to go to school, dressed in something red/white, hands full of cards that our mothers had gone out and bought us, and we spent all night, trying to remember the names of everyone in our class so as not to miss giving anyone one of our precious little cardboard cut-outs.

None of us really knew what the meaning of Valentine’s Day was supposed to be.  We just knew that it meant getting little candies that tasted horrible with sayings on them that meant nothing to us at that age and counting how many Valentine’s Cards we each got.  The one with the most was considered, “Most Liked”.  How sad that was to have set ourselves up for such rejection.

My husband is a teacher so, I watched him sit down and make up 30 little cards with his class list in front of him, taping a Hershey’s kiss to each one.  It took him well over an hour and a half to do.  Off he went to school this morning with his treasures for his little charges then, phoned me at lunch to tell me that he got a whack of cards in return…probably more than some of his collegues.  I guess old habits don’t get tossed easily.

Some nearly 40 years ago, when I first met my husband, I remember being excited over Valentine’s Day.  The thought of a single rose or some chocolates with a card, telling me that I was the one for him was exciting.  I was just 16 at the time so, everything he said and did was BIG.  Now….meh……

I can’t eat chocolate because it gives me migraines.  I can’t stand the thought that the cost of even a single rose could be spent on something else that doesn’t wilt or the cats will tear apart, leaving petal trails throughout the house that I’ll have to clean up.  After some nearly 33 years of marriage now, it somehow just doesn’t pack the same intrigue and excitement that it used to hold.  The love is there 365 days a year so, we don’t really need to say it with flowers or cards or candy.  As a matter of fact, at this point, it seems rather silly.  His everyday gestures, like making me a tea when I’m busy with other things or, making Sunday brunch for me, complete with turkey bacon to save us both cholestrol pills, means more than anything that could be done on a commercially produced day.

Choose Carefully


Looking at this photo of Whitney Houston’s daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown, 18, being taken to hospital after learning of her mother’s sudden death, shakes me to the core.  It’s hard not to empathize with this young woman in the shock that she must have felt in receiving the crushing news that her young and vivacious mother had passed away so unexpectedly and suddenly.

From what has been reported thus far today under leaked reports, allegedly, Houston was found face down, having drowned in the bathtub of her hotel room.  Bottles of prescription sedatives were found amongst her belongings and it has been reported that Houston had partied heavily the evening before, drinking alcohol extensively.

Her eighteen year old daughter, Bobbi had reportedly, also been drinking at the time of her being rushed to hospital.  It’s questionable at this point in time as to whether she was already drinking or whether she had begun to drink upon hearing the devastating news.

Having lived with alcoholics throughout my young life, I learned early on that other people’s choices affect us in one way or another, intended or not.   It’s one thing for someone to say that it’s “their life and they can do what they want with it” but, it’s another to recognize the reality behind that statement.  Nothing we do, has no effect on someone else unless we are living in a cave, alone.

I remember many a night in my childhood where I’d pick my mother up off of the floor after having drank herself into a stupor.  Her choices did affect my life, whether she intended them to or not.  I remember begging and pleading with her, doing everything within my limited powers as a child and teenager, to coax her into getting help to quit her drinking.  The answer was always, “It’s my life and I’m going to do what I want with it!”  The problem was, in her having her right to do what she wanted with her life, those choices took my rights away to have a decent home life and some peace.  It created responsibilities for me that never should have been mine at such a young age.

I made a conscious choice to seek out help for myself in order to never become an alcoholic and put any future children that I had through the type of life that I lived as a child.  I raised a child and gave her every freedom to be a child, without the types of responsibilities that I had endured.  She was offered every support and possible opportunity that my husband and myself could possibly give her.  Very unfortunately, she made her own choices in her life to move out with a drug abuser loser who has suckered her into his web of lies, manipulation and deceit.  She now uses as well and has chosen to have nothing to do with us because of those choices.  Once again, someone else whom I love with all of my soul has made choices that have affected me greatly and deeply on many levels.  In that aspect of Life, I have been affected deeply and hurtfully by the choices of two people I have loved and cared about deeply.  There are wounds that may never heal left behind.

When I look at Whitney Houston and her daughter, Bobbi, it strikes me that when we bring a child into this world, we have the responsibility to make choices that are in that child’s best interests.  Our choices do affect others who love us and depend upon us, whether we like that fact or not.  Sadly, Bobbi will now have to live with her mother’s choices for the rest of her life.  There will be scars and there will also be choices that she will have to make for herself as a result.  It has become the domino effect.  Bobbi will now have to decide whether she will choose to follow in her mother’s footsteps and allow addictions to rule her life or, whether she will seek out proper help and refuse to go down the same path.  Early indications appear to be that she is already on a similar path as her famous mother.

No matter what we feel our rights are, our choices will affect someone else who loves us if we aren’t carefully choosing our paths in this life.  We owe it to not only ourselves but, also to those who love us, to make the best possible choices that we can possibly make.  It’s one thing to not live our entire lives, living for everyone else and another for us to be responsible while making our choices for our own lives.  One need not be a doormat but, one certainly needs to be somewhat responsible.  There’s usually someone else whom we affect in some way or another with them.

Life Is Fragile

As I was editing this blog and setting it up, just about to write my very first entry, my husband came in to tell me that singer, Whitney Houston had died.  Shocked, I switched screens to find news stories to comfirm that this wasn’t simply another star death hoax.  Sadly, it isn’t.  Houston has died at the age of 48 from unknown causes.

She was not taken to hospital which tends to indicate that she had been dead for quite some time.  Houston was pronounced dead at 3:55 Pacific time.  An investigation is to begin.

Though it was well known that Houston had been troubled by addictions to drugs and, we can likely conclude that her death was as a result of that in some form or another, it still comes as a shock that the well known singer has passed on so tragically young.  Even sadder was the possibility (though yet uknown) that she had died alone.  Even with all of her fame, money and volumes of people at her disposal, she likely didn’t have a soul with her when she passed.  One can only guess at this point in time that she had preferred to be alone, not knowing her death was imminent.

What is most striking is the look back at so many stars who have passed away in the same fashion, alone and through addictions.  More recently, Michael Jackson, Amy Winehouse, and, Heath Ledger to name but a few of many.  In earlier years, it was Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presely.  Yet, each and every one of these stars had a plethora of people, paid and un-paid, ready, willing and able to be at their aid, beckon call and on duty for them.  None of them ever needed to be alone or to have gone unaided, unhelped.  A cry for help was simply a shout away and yet, it was the one call, the one shot that they didn’t make.

As ordinary people, we tend to have a fascination, adoration and for some, obsession for and over those who are in the spot light.  Some will attempt to model or mold ourselves after our favorites in some fashion or another, forgetting that we are all just as important and valuable as our favorite stars.  Let’s face it, we all have at least one, if not many stars that we tend to idolize.  We feel that we know them.  We tend to think of them as people who we can look up to.  However, what we don’t see and don’t know, is often the things that we, ourselves are also struggling with, “The Human Condition”.

All of us have problems.  All of us are struggling in some aspect or another both within ourselves and our lives.  None of us walking this planet are problem free.  Not even these stars.  The question is, are we brave enough to reach out for help or, do we privately drown ourselves in our woes, pain, hurts, sorrows, fears and grief?  It seems that these stars not only drowned in their own, inner struggles but, also tried to hide and squash them with the aid of drugs, alcohol or both.  It created an escape but it became the ultimate escape for many as death.

What we see on the outside of people around us is not always what’s on the inside.  We should never assume by outward appearances that what we see is real.  Behind closed doors, alone, in the middle of the dark night, lays a plethora of troubles that are bubbling up silently and oftentimes, alone.  No one is immune to pain, saddness, troubles or mental and emotional stresses.  Even The Greats are troubled.  It is that fact which we must be ever mindful of as we go through our own life’s journey.  Once we realize that fact, we can reach out for help and help others at the same time.

As an old saying goes, “Life is fragile.  Handle with care.”

We just never know how fragile until it’s in our faces.  There are 7 billion people in this world.  None of us need suffer alone.  Reach out to someone and extend your hand back in return to them or others.

Never let a smile fool you.

May you rest in peace Whitney Houston.

Whitney Houston

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