No One Cares as Much as You Think They Do”¦And It’s a Good Thing!

Man, social media ruins everything, am I right? Or so I expect ““ I guess I don’t know exactly since the root-lets of social media, the livejournals and opendiaries of the internet world came into being when I was in middle/high school. Social media has always been there, but it seems like lately, it’s become a huge hassle. I expect it’d be a lot less stressful if everyone just acknowledged that no one really cares.

That’s right. No one really cares. No one cares what Google+ circle you put them in. No one cares if they see Facebook pictures of a bash they weren’t invited to. No one cares if your photos are private, if you post a million Bible verses or if you think their tumblr is, like, totally cool. I don’t care if you don’t say “totally cool” any more.

We think people care, and I’m including myself in that “we,” too. It’s all those damn decisions ““ I mean, if Google is asking me if you’re a friend I’d wear Derby hats with or a friend I’d share my onion rings with, then clearly that is an important distinction that people really care about. And then, each choice seems so final. It’s antithetical to the nature of real relationships that change and weaken and strength and morph through time. Even if you are much more reasonable than I am and stick with simple circles, like “Family, “Close Friends,” and “Acquaintances,” people can and do drift in and out of all of those circles over time.

The amount of time we put into making these decisions is incommensurate with their actual importance. It creates this weird dynamic where it’s easy to forget how inconsequential these things really are. Sure, if someone’s looking to get mad, they can find a social media slight to ignite that anger. And if someone’s looking to feel loved, they can find a social media nod to make them feel special. But what we bring to the interpretations of those circles, invitations, and depths of Facebook friendship come mostly from ourselves. So it’s good to remember ““ no one really cares.

11 replies on “No One Cares as Much as You Think They Do”¦And It’s a Good Thing!”

I’m on the fence with the caring and not caring. My way of avoiding it is to look at how I ‘friend’ people in the first place. I have 35 ‘friends’ on FB and as a result I tend to care less because i’m not worried about who’ll see what. Uh, yeah, but of a tangent. Great Post!

I actually had a half-sister (who I had just rediscovered and was just getting to know) freak out on me and unfriend me because her step father (who had friended me) was a militat, hardcore conservative Christian (pretty much the opposite of me). He would get argumentative on my statuses and degrade conversation, so I sent him a message explaining why what he was doing was rude and that I didn’t care to give him access to that anymore. She freaked out, sent me a nasty message for unfriending him and then unfriended me.

So, some people care as much as you think they do. But those people aren’t the ones who are worth your attention anyway.

I’m really annoyed with the term “de-friend” because it appears that some people take this to a literal level. For example, I was once having some problems at work that I wanted to share but didn’t want all of my work mates to know about. Thinking about my situation, I decided to “de-friend” all of my coworkers in order to maintain some privacy. I explained to a few of them that it wasn’t about our friendship but about my own little private corner being a little too public. They seemed to understand until they didn’t and I found myself practically laminated on the “do not invite list” of social gatherings. It was weird being left out of everything. It was even weirder when one friend emailed me months later to tell me he experienced real trauma over my actions (I was never able to recover from this faux pas).

These things shouldn’t matter. Just because I don’t want you knowing all of my private thoughts doesn’t mean I don’t want to be your real life friend. Likewise, just because I don’t want to know about your George Bush campaign poster collection doesn’t mean I don’t like you. When did de-friending on Facebook start becoming an act of real life social pruning?

I defriended a family member over the holidays, not because I was mad, but because she would pick a fight with anything I posted that she didn’t like (which ranged from using one minor swear word said in jest in reply to a friend’s comment on my page to political things when she’s religious conservative and I’m… decidedly not).

I sent her a mail just to let her know that I still enjoy spending time with her (because normally I just avoid serious discussion with extended family members and whatnot, and it goes well enough), and I honestly didn’t think there’d be any issue; I even specified that I thought it’d be better for both of us since she dislikes pretty much everything I post and I dislike being told what I can and can’t say on a silly online thing (phrased differently, but the sentiment still stands).

She had a fit. Thankfully, I did not see her at all over the holidays, because otherwise there’d have been real life drama. I didn’t realize that some people really do take Facebook so seriously, but… ionno. That part of the family is a bit… overly zealous once they latch on to something.

Apparently some people care, but I’m not one of them, and I appreciate it when others don’t care either. This post validates my apathy about the whole ordeal.

I was just agonizing yesterday, trying to figure out how to unsubscribe from a Facebook “friend” so I wouldn’t see anything he posts in my newsfeeds. I didn’t want to unfriend him because we have a ton of mutual friends/acquaintances/coworkers and I didn’t want to create any drama, but I was tired of reading his constant, massively problematic status updates. And you’re probably right, I doubt he’d have noticed if I just unfriended him! (Although I like to think that all of my status updates and the liberal/feminist/queer-friendly articles I post make him just as angry as all of his posts made me, although maybe he unsubscribed from me a long time ago!)

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