The One About The Mutual Acquaintance With The *Maybe* Secret Life

FRIEND, WHO IS NOT A DRAMA QUEEN, is convinced that a mutual acquaintance of ours, let’s call her Maureen, has a secret life.

Friend, who lives closer to Maureen and communicates with her more frequently than I do, thinks that Maureen is up to something.  Something weird, that is.  Something that Maureen doesn’t want us to know about.

Friend, who enjoys ye olde Facebook, tells me that Maureen disappears for days, not responding to any form of contact and then when they do talk in person there are holes in the story– about who was there, when events happened.

EASY AS IT WOULD BE TO DISMISS Friend’s observations about Maureen, I’ve heard this story before, many years ago.  And in that situation, the suspicions turned out to be correct.

Back then, that mutual acquaintance was off doing some things in another town involving a new age-y cult-type group that mutual acquaintance didn’t want anyone to know about.

But eventually we did find out– and that was long before Facebook, a simple nosy way to lurk on the edges of someone’s life.  Which is, of course, what Friend is now doing as she tries to find out the truth about Maureen’s alleged secret life.

AND ME, WHAT AM I DOING ABOUT all of this?  Not one blessed thing except listening to Friend.

I figure that enough people tell me their secrets and concerns without any prompting, that I don’t need to go looking for more things to know about people than what they want to share with me directly.

Case in point… read the first sentence of this post.

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Question of the Day:
Have you ever wondered if a friend or acquaintance has a secret life?  And if so, did they?  Or do you still not know for sure?
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If We Were Having Coffee On This May Morning…

THE SETTING:

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We’d be sitting in my living room, watching a rabbit watch us through the window.

We’d be drinking espressos that I made with my Nepresso Pixie machine, an indulgent acquisition that I’m really enjoying more than I thought I would.  

We’d be listening to SiriusXM 40s Junction because I’ve been in a weird mood lately and have taken a fancy to this old music. It’s fun.

THE CONVERSATION:

√  We’d be chatting… about the grocery bag, filled with canned goods, that you saw by our mailbox post when you drove into the driveway.  The bag is for our postwoman to pick-up today as part of the 24th annual Letter Carriers’ Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive.  I’d be snarking about the half-assed neighbors who don’t give to this cause.  I notice, I remember.

√  We’d be sharing… our latest TV obsessions, which in my case is watching The Gilmore Girls from beginning to end, anticipating the revival.  I only saw the show occasionally when it ran on TV, so I decided that as a treat throughout Spring and Summer, I’d watch all the episodes in order.  So far, so delighted.

√  We’d be talking… about my question: if you have a blog, do you have a page for it on FB?  And if so, is it worth the bother?  Some friends in real life have suggested I should put The Spectacled Bean on FB to get more traffic.  While I like this idea in theory, because more people in real life NEED to be following me, I dunno if I believe it would work.  What say ye?

√  We’d be laughing… about how I know who I’m going to vote for in the upcoming U.S. presidential election.  I’m voting for myself because I’m the perfect candidate who can make both sides happy.  For Republicans, I have no experience in politics.  For Democrats, I’m a woman who knows a thing or two.  See what I mean?  Presidential.

THE CONCLUSION:

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We’d linger today because neither one of us has much to do today. Go figure. And it’s a Saturday, even.   

However, eventually we’d need to go our separate ways so we’d hug and promise to get together sometime next month, if summer vacations don’t interfere.

And we’d thank each other for listening to & commenting on our joys and woes. Like friends do. Everywhere. Over an espresso.

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Idea for this post came from Diana at Part-Time Monster.

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Facebook Revisited: Like Leonard, I Proposed An Experiment

::  A few weeks ago I joined Facebook again. It had been about 5-6 years since I’d deleted my last account, so I was able to start fresh over there.  I used a different email address even.

No particular incident precipitated my decision to get involved again.  All I can say is that I was curious to see how people who I know are now using it, and how FB has changed over the years.  Re-joining was a bit of an experiment to see if I fit in over there, or not.

::  After years of blogging, my immediate impression of Facebook is, quite simply, it’s cute. Scrolling through all the status updates from my new [old?] FB friends, I feel like I’ve gone back in time to when blogs were brand new and everyone had a blog, even if they didn’t know what to do with the blog.

So far all the FB status updates that I’ve seen have been a few sentences long– &/or involved a photo– &/or shared a link.  They remind me of many early blog posts, before blogging became more focused + polished.  There’s absolutely nothing wrong with these updates, but I find it difficult to know what to say about them.

::  In my first status update, I told FB to dazzle me.  And well, while the people who I’ve connected with are delightful, the system as a whole leaves me in mind of The Big Bang Theory episode about Leonard and Leslie’s experimental date kiss.

Which is to say that like Leslie’s evaluation of Leonard’s kiss, I’m finding FB to have: “reasonable technique, no extraneous spittle, but feeling no arousal at all.”  Meaning that it just might be that FB is not the place for me to shine.  And that’s okay by me.

Fact: I Do Not Suffer From FOMO

Friends, I’ve called you here today to confirm something that you probably already know about me.  I freely admit that it is true: Fear Of Missing Out, aka FOMO, is not a problem for me.

I’ve been outside of so many things in my life that not knowing what’s going on in my social media circles does not bother me.  I try to keep up, but there are days when I *gasp* don’t go online at all.  [Usually Monday, often Saturday.]

I miss out.

On the other hand, I do suffer from something that I have yet to see acronym-ed so I will take this opportunity to create one to explain my social media problem.

My worry is: Fear Of Appearing Rude, henceforth & hereinafter known as FOAR.  That is what concerns me.

Because I consider communication to be a two-way street, I take my side of the street seriously.  Maybe too seriously, but that’s how I roll.  And as such I fear that someone will take my slow response to an email or a blog comment or a tweet as an insult.

Especially if that someone is a person who does suffer from FOMO.

So what do you think, my blogging kith & kin?  Am I worried about nothing?  Or is FOAR another genuine made-up social media psychosis?

The “Ray Of Sunshine” Meme

Last week Polly of caughtwriting tagged me with a lighthearted award known as The Sunshine Award.  It’s a fun little award/meme that lets me tell you, my gentle readers, a bit more about myself.

The rules are as follows: 1.  Thank the person who gave me this award;  2.  Answer the questions below – its all about favourite things;  3.  Pass on the award to other sunshine-y bloggers and tell them about it.

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1.  The Thank You.

Thank you Polly for thinking of me.  It’s always fun to find out what other bloggers have to say about the same topics.  I think that’s why I like memes so much.  They are a pleasant little peek into someone else’s life.

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2.  The Questions.

Favourite colour

Today it is aqua + cyan + teal.  Turquoise jewelry.  Ocean waves.  Soothing and relaxing colors that seem to call to me as the heat of summer is upon us.

Favourite animal

Cats.  First of all I think that cats are very handsome animals.  Then, of course, I  like how a cat with one disparaging glance can put anyone or anything in its place.  Good looks + attitude.  What’s not to admire?

Favourite number

Eight.  What I think is really cool about eight is that if you write it numerically, then lay it on its side, you will have the symbol for infinity.  Such versatility charms me.

Favourite drink

Vodka.  Preferably Grey Goose on the rocks with a twist of lemon.  It’s a simple and straightforward drink– easy to make, nice to sip, pretty to look when served in a cut crystal tumbler.

Facebook or Twitter?

Twitter, definitely.   I find it more informative than FB.  I like how Twitter’s 140 character limit forces everyone to get to the point.  And it just seems more fun to me.  In the moment.  A little wacky.

Your passion…

Interior design.  Over the years I’ve gotten more interested in knowing about design principles & color combos & furniture styles.  Then using what I’ve learned I’ve been slowly redecorating our home so the it is more inviting + cheerful + livable.  When I’m not stressed out about all the expensive choices I’m making, I rather enjoy being an active amateur interior designer.

Giving or receiving presents?

I find the idea of giving or receiving presents problematic.  I don’t enjoy shopping for anything, ever– nor do I feel like anyone needs to give me a present for anything, ever.  All of which means that I’m uncomfortable with both the giving and receiving of presents.  Truthfully, I’d rather spend time with the people who I love than spend time messing around with presents for them.            

Favourite day

Tuesday.  Don’t know why.  I just like it.

Favourite flower

Lately I’ve been on a daisy and zinnia kick.  The former because they seem to grow anywhere– and the latter because I’m determined to get them to grow somewhere.

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3.  The Award Ceremony.

As for passing the award along to other sunshine-y bloggers, here’s what I’m going to do.

If you are a self-described ray of sunshine [or you’re looking for something to do on your blog], then by all means do this meme.  It’s fun.  It’s light.  It’s a perfect sort of meme that puts all other memes to shame.  YES, gentle readers, this is the meme for you.

And with that, I have fulfilled my obligation regarding Rule #3.  See you later, meme-a-gators.  It’s beautiful outside today– and this little ray of sunshine wants to be out in the garden.

Confirming Your Worst Fear About FB

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The stock market certainly didn’t take kindly to Facebook.  I’m not entirely surprised.  In fact, I’m rather pleased to see that enough people in this world are aware enough to not waste their money on a company that uses other people’s information somehow to make money.

That being said I’ve spent a good part of the last couple days reading about/listening to friends & acquaintances talk about leaving FB now that we’re all learning more about FB’s business model.  And because I’ve left Facebook not once, but three times, I have become a voice on this topic.

Just call me a Facebook Rejection Early Adopter.

[FYI- I joined FB first in 2006.  I lasted a few weeks, decided there was nothing there & left– as did all my friends at the time.  Next, I joined FB again in 2009 because two friends, who I later realized were very lonely people, prodded me into trying it again.  I lasted 6 months before I decided that FB was too much of a time suck for me.  So I deleted my account again.  Again, I joined Facebook in 2011 when I decided to create a FB account for this blog.  I maintained the account for about 5 months, but realized that I was dividing my time between something of value (writing on the blog) & something of marginal value (interacting via FB).  Seeing the writing on the wall {pun intended} I closed that account.]

So here is the one thing that I really want to say today.  It is the one question that everyone I know who is still on Facebook wants answered.  It is, I believe, the real reason disgruntled Facebookians hesitate about deleting their accounts– because they know deep down they are not going to like the answer.   Which is…

Yes, once you leave Facebook you will find out for certain who is your real friend and who isn’t.  There will be no doubt about this because the real friends will stay in touch with you via non-FB ways while you will never hear from the faux friends again.

And some of the people who turn out to be faux friends will shock you.  Leaving you by yourself to wonder how you ever could have been fooled by them to begin with.

It’s not a pretty thing to find out– but as they say, the truth will set you free.  And free I am out here in the world detached from FB.

Facebook, Friends & Flow Charts

Here’s what I’ve been thinking about this week.  Brought to you by the letter “F.”

• Facebook.  I was talking with a casual acquaintance the other day.  Over the years we’ve gotten to know each other– sort of.  She is nothing if not outspoken.

Often we talk about FB.  It fascinates her that I just left it.  Like that.  No worries, no looking back.  It’s kind of a theme with her.

And honestly, I’m fascinated about why she doesn’t leave FB.  She hates it– complains about it every time we are together.  In fact one of her biggest complaints is that her friends have the audacity to post status updates using words. That they think she’ll read about what they’re doing.  This seems to bother her to no end.  She mentions it often.

So, I asked her straight up why she messes around with something that so clearly upsets her.

And she told me that the only reason she stays on FB is so that she can see the photos that her friends post.  She wants to see these photos so that she can judge how these friends look.  Her word: judge.

Being the polite soul that I am, I just nodded my head up & down, mumbled a vague sort of “uh-huh,” and quickly changed the topic of conversation to something that didn’t give me a glimpse into the psyche of someone so shallow– and probably– more typical than I care to admit.

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• Friends.  I stumbled upon this article: Bitter About Your Life? Blame Facebook.  The subtitle says: “New research suggests heavy Facebook users are more likely to believe other people have happier lives.”  

According to this article, researchers posit that this perception is due to the fact that people see all sorts of happy photos that FB friends post.  Then these people assume that other people are having a better time than they are.  Enter bitter feelings.

Wonder if that is what’s going on with my acquaintance… seeing how she is a nut for photos.

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• Flow charts.  While I was enjoying all that Pinterest has to offer, I came upon this wonderful How to Delete Half Your Facebook “Friends” flow chart.  It is by a blogger named Samantha who keeps a blog called ashore.

I love this chart.  Now I just need to get my acquaintance to understand it and use it.  Might make her happier about her experiences on FB.  Maybe.