Thursday, December 29, 2016

In The Rain Gutters Of Social Media

It was a day when very little actually happened, but you'd never know that from social media and the crap that was percolating through it. Before the day was out, I had to employ the War Games Principle a few times, in the interest of maintaining (inner) peace and keeping chaos and drama at bay.
The first thing that crossed the radar today was someone posting a screenshot of text messages that made it clear that the McHale Experience has been released from wherever she was. I had blocked her phone number months ago, because I really do not want to deal with her ever again, and when I checked my Verizon Wireless account. I discovered that blocks only last 90 days. Of course, I reinstated it, and then made a decision that I had wrestled with in the summer. I blocked her, even though we are not Facebook friends, on Facebook. I don't want her to have any inkling of what I am doing, and I am not in the least bit interested in what toxic webs she is no doubt weaving already. And then I commented on another friend's post later in the day, and some other person that I'm not friends with somehow came to the conclusion that I was casting aspersions on her (less than savory) judgment and character.
Which led me to do something I should have done a long time ago. When I was hanging our with the Experience, I became acquainted with, in some cases re-acquainted with, a number of people from a village about 15 miles from Binghamton. And without exception, every one of them has had major addiction problems, a few have proven to be serious douchebags (of both genders), and is the breeding ground for the two most gangrenous souls I have ever had the misfortune of meeting, the Experience and a brook I should be leery of ever crossing again (and won't have to anytime soon, since she was just sentenced to four years in state prison). As a matter of fact, I could think of only one person from this place that I even remotely like--even she is fairly messed up and puts far too much of her family stuff out for public consumption, but unlike the others, I don't truly believe she's terminal. And she is the only one that I did not end up blocking before the day was out.
I just don't need the drama and the bullshit, and it isn't like any of them are ever going to show up in 12-Step meetings for any length of time anyway.
And I had cause to think to myself that I am glad that I have enough self-assurance and maturity to not ride the relationship merry-go-round like so many others. There was one in particular that caused me to literally shake my head. A week ago, her man had left to go to the store and didn't return for several days, without any word at all, and she was "through" and all the noise you usually hear. The day after Christmas, there were a zillion pictures of a happy family Christmas and a "promise" ring on her finger...sigh. This was the second or third time in the last few months that the guy departed, and I'm pretty sure it's going to happen again. And we'll get treated to more posting about how she's had enough, and then he will back like nothing ever happened a week later... we all know people like this. I'm more sad than anything else when I see this sort of stuff; it must be a painful existence, to wait for the next storm, to have old wounds reopened so regularly.
I'm not perfect in that regard; I'm well aware that I'm on my fourth go-round with my own significant other. But I've never lost myself in any of times we've been apart; my dignity has been bruised more than once, but never shredded, and I've been much more circumspect than many others are about what I put on social media about it all. Indeed, one thing that has helped us repair the damage between us is that the world has not been exposed to all the dirt, and that name-calling and manipulative posturing and prosecution briefs have NOT been part of what the bits I have posted about what has happened.
But part of being active on social media is that you see a lot of it, and sometimes you see things you want to comment on. With rare exceptions, I resist temptation these days. And I do a lot more private messaging than I used to; you can accomplish a lot more if someone doesn't feel embarrassed or made to look foolish.
And I like it better this way.

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