a The Transit Lounge: Facebook Follies - The Ex Factor

Back in the Day: I had a quarter life crisis, headed to Osaka, Japan for the unknown–only to discover that a passport plane ride are not necessarily a ticket to escape. Some Years Later: Settled back in Oz, the man of my dreams ended up in Tokyo for work–which is how a passport and plane ride showed me home is where the heart is. And Now: Well as luck would have it, we are about to embark on Japan Mark 3, with a baby in tow and another on the way...

Friday, October 2

Facebook Follies - The Ex Factor

Facebook (FB). It can be as frustrating as it is freeing. I both love it and hate it. Love it because it is a great way to keep in touch with my mates, as we are spread out all over the world. Photo-sharing, quick notes and a bit of fun. Plus for networking purposes, at times it is much easier to tell someone to look you up on FB than exchanging numbers. Hate it because of the access and information it provides if you are not careful and every now and then people I don't want anything to do with somehow pop up.

The problem is, these days because of the accessibility FB has created, people from all areas of your life, both past and present, no matter how insignificant, almost feel as though they have a right to be a part of your life, and feel insulted when you do not let them in (granted not all people feel this way, but some do). It is also scary when situations present people you think had absolutely no access to your life.

I remember the first FB wake up call i had was a few years back when I started dating a Kiwi, who was living in New Zealand at the time. I changed the relationship status on FB to "in a relationship" (that stamps 'official' all over it right?) and went off to bed. Awoke the next morning to find an angry and hurt message in my inbox from the man who I had met once and flirted with over an evening of drinks. He could not believe I was in a relationship and hadn't had the audacity to tell him. I had not yet fully understood the inner workings of FB and how to control what gets published and what doesn't and so of course my happy status change went out to my FB world and my friends found out my happy status in a matter of minutes rather than a few days which is how long it would take such information to spread pre-FB.

Although that relationship did not last, we remained friends. When I did start dating my fiance, the Kiwi was one of the first people I told (actually via a phone call) and when the Kiwi chose to no longer have me as a friend on FB, I respected that and didn't go chasing him for explanations.

Which brings me to my next point. I think if someone deletes you on FB, you do have to respect that. A friend of mine briefly dated a girl who, upon finishing with, he deleted her as a friend on FB because they really had nothing in common, including friends. For a while, she sent messages and friend requests on a monthly basis. It all got a bit freaky when my friend, who thought his profile was set to private, got a message from her stating she had been reading his page and was congratulating him on his new relationship. The thing is, my friend says he never once wrote back to her or accepted her new friend requests. Yet she just kept trying. I also have an ex who keeps trying and sending the friend request. He finally sent me an email asking me why we weren't friends and I answered him honestly and has not contacted me since. Some people even think just because you slept with them, that is an automatic pass into your world. Yet you can't demand to be a part of a person's life.

Just recently, someone my fiance dated for 5 minutes over 18 months ago - and someone who he thought had no access to his profile whatsoever - decided to get in touch with me via FB because of a comment she did not like on a photo. Who even knew she still had access via a photo? She seemed to think that somehow she was a feature in it all. Crazy - it really set alarm bells off for both of us that she was still out there with access to us and information, that was not for her, after all this time, and that she could possibly think it was for her. It was a real eye opener for us in terms of settings and privacy of social networking sites, knowing that these kinds of sites can reset your settings without you knowing it (something I think FB is under scrutiny for now). In a situation like that, all we could do was laugh, and put some blocks in place.

More problems can arise when someone is upset. Many people use their FB statuses to send extremely pointed messages at people. I know of a few people who carry on in this way and if anything, it only, serves to make them look insecure and angry. A friend has also experienced an ex defaming him on FB, which only stopped well after he had blocked her and mutual friends pointed out to her it is in fact very illegal to do that.

The sentimentality that FB often creates can lead to other issues too. I have had a man I dated years ago get in contact leaving me to think "Oh enough time has passed, they seem to be acting decently" only for him to then unload a barrage of anger and resentment - even though this was nearly a decade later. Clearly things meant more to him than they did to me....and clearly time does not heal ALL wounds.

If anything, FB is a very unique social exercise that reveals many things about the modern human psyche and about how communication is moving forward. The thing is, can the average human being handle it with dignity?

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Blogger cambosis said...

Liz - i can completely understand many of your points and i think the biggest lesson is that no-one should let facebook alter the way that we treat people...

8:45 am

Blogger Miss Riz said...

I am a complete nuffy and accidentally deleted the comments from Tokyo Girl and Sally....I would never do that intentionally as everyone is entitled to their opinion so I have reposted them just below as I have no idea how to undelete it from Blogger.

Tokyo Girl:
Hmmm....this blog is interesting. You seem to be quite aggressive towards these women. However, did you stop to think that these "angry" women might be onto something? Your fiance is the common denominator in all of this; maybe he's not as angelic as you think he is and he's really done wrong by these girls but has just convinced you they are all crazy for no reason. Highly doubt it.
Also, if you don't care about these girls and you "laugh it off" you wouldn't be wasting your time writing a blog about them.

Tokyo Girl, you make a good point, if the blog was about that. But from what I can understand, it isn't and nowhere does it call anyone crazy or say her boyfriend has called anyone crazy. How you came to that conclusion I don't know. All the aggressiveness comes through but in your response only.

I for one don't think it is a waste of time blogging about this stuff - whether you laugh it off or not, it is something that happens in everyday life now. I hate to admit it, but I read the blog cringeing because I have been one of those people in the past. And speaking from experience, you do get your nose out of joint when someone rejects you. And really you have no right to.

Cambosis, I think you are right, but in answer to the question "can we handle it with dignity?" - I think that is a no for the majority.


12:28 pm

Blogger Miss Riz said...

OK Take 2 for me in comment posting, I will try not to delete anything else. I have to go over 2 comments though as it was kinda long.

Thanks Cambosis, absolutely on the money.

Tokyo Girl, you took the words right out of my mouth literally. I wrote an article published a few years back in a dating magazine about men being the "common denominator" for the "crazy" ex-girlfriends & it looks like you have read it, that would be so cool if you had :-). The article was a culmination of friends talking about the things we did that were totally out of character for us due to some man in our life, who all seemed to have crazy exes. It goes down the path that if you have an ex who labels all of his exes crazy then maybe you should see what the common denominator is - him! But more importantly the moral of the article was to remember that chances are we are all playing the role of crazy for an ex out there somewhere to have compassion.

But this current blog is not about that & your response appears to be sitting on the higher spectrum of the aggressive scale which has maybe lead to you to read things into the blog that are not written there. So I do have to balance you where you have made incorrect statements or assumptions. Nowhere have I said my partner labeled anyone anything as you have suggested nor that he has convinced me of anything as you have suggested or that I called anyone crazy, only a scenario I found myself in. You have hyper focused on my partner only. This post is about modern day accessibility & people thinking they have a right now to access anyone. This blog applies to relationships both platonic & romantic. Just because someone is deleted as a friend or rejected in friendship does not mean that the deleted/rejected person is a bad or "crazy" person. If we find ourselves in this scenario, accept it. Or if there is some accidental twist or notification in communication, just ignore it, as there was probably less in it than anyone would think.

12:35 pm

Blogger Miss Riz said...

We have no way of knowing the ins & outs of someone's life or what their reasons are unless we get that face time or are invited in. People need to stop having a sense of entitlement or expectation to have access to someone. Fact is it’s harder for an ex to understand & accept. Realistically not all relationships end in a way that is healthy to remain FB friends & allow that "All Areas" access pass. Often it is easier to move on by letting that go because when you keep trying & not getting the result you want, you keep experiencing another form of rejection & as a result more hurt. Not even as recent as 5 years ago were our lives so readily available & now people see it as a real slap in the face when this online communication is not reciprocated. Also defamation is defamation. Many think this only applies to celebs or high profile people but it applies to common man too. People need to remember that slandering someone on FB is illegal & they can get themselves into trouble. Haven't we all had a friend who has worn a little too much heart on their FB status, which leaves you cringing & thinking that they should not have done that? I have this discussion with a great mate often & he still continues to do it, bless his soul!

FB, even blogs like this, can provide for some unhealthy portals into lives that they would previously not have access too, inadvertently upsetting them creating anger, resentment & hurt that they’d not be otherwise experiencing. Ever found yourself going back to FB or a blog every 5 minutes to see if there is a response to something you have put up there? This is what I mean. Some can’t get past it & this breeds all sorts of feelings towards the person they are trying to get at which are not warranted. The best option is just to let go & not demand virtual confirmation. Why do we do it to ourselves? We would not torture ourselves physically by holding our own feet in a fire, so why torture ourselves mentally? By respecting somebody's desire not to have you in their virtual life, you are saving yourself a world of hurt.

Glad you found this interesting, I am so flattered. I don’t find I’m wasting my time writing this stuff...It got you thinking & responding didn't it? I’m a writer & that’s my job. I love it when I can get people to think things over and when they make me think things over too. Your comments are always welcome and thanks for your support :-)

Sally, we’ve all had FB cringe worthy moments!! We need some sort of virtual communication etiquette guide methinks x.

12:36 pm

Anonymous Jdai said...

Once again Tokyo-Girl sounds like a twit. Sorry for being so blunt. She has not read this blog correctly at all. She comes off as the angry one. Not the blog. Once again jealousy rears its ugly head.

9:52 pm


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