Facebook Dysfunction: A Family Affair

by Bill Brenner on May 11, 2011

Let’s face it: We all have connections on Facebook that we constantly consider defriending because they say and do irritating things. I have no doubt there are people out there who feel that way about me.

Mood music:

I have no problem with people un-friending me. Not anymore, anyway.

At one point, I had to admit that my obsessive-compulsive demons were latching onto the Facebook friend count, and that each loss of a connection felt like a personal blow. My mind would spin endlessly about why someone felt the need to disconnect from me. Was it something offensive I did? Did I hurt someone or come off as a fake?

But I’ve come to see that sometimes it’s the right thing for a person to do.  This blog covers a lot of heavy stuff. A lot of people have become daily readers and tell me my openness has inspired them to deal with their own issues. But for others, especially those with a lot of pain in their lives, every post is going to feel like a baseball bat to the head.

Then there’s the heavy volume of content that flows down my news feed, which can dominate the news feeds of people with a smaller number of connections.

I admit it: I can be very hard to live with in the House of Facebook. I’m the loud obnoxious guy who hogs the dinner table conversation.

But some of you are hard to live with, too.

— Some of you post a lot of bad music.

–Some of you complain about every little, stupid thing.

–Some of you blather on about all the big things you have going on, but you never seem to complete what you started.

–Some of you post way too many pictures of babies with food on their faces. I looove babies, but come on now.

–Some of you take self-portraits each morning with your cell phones, always from the driver’s seat of your car. That gets annoying.

–Some of you carry on with the same political whining all the time, to the point where it’s just a bunch of noise.

–Some of you can’t help but take a picture of your food. The problem is that practically no one cares what you’re about to put in your mouth.

–Some of you have fights with significant others where the rest of us can see it.

–Some of you get all lovey-dovey with your significant other where everyone can see it. That’s particularly gross.

–Some of you put up so many philosophical quotes that it all becomes a blur, just like the political whiners.

Is all that stuff worse than the things I do on Facebook? It’s all in the eyes of the beholder.

None of what I mentioned is all that bad, really. We’re all just being human.

We’ve all had to deal with difficult family members, friends and co-workers. That’s life.

In that sense, Facebook is just another mirror.

We all like to look at ourselves in the mirror, whether it’s to admire our new shoes or cringe over our girth.

But I’d like to think that most of us, despite the annoying things we do on here, are worth keeping around and even helping at times.

We’re one big dysfunctional family, and there’s a lot of fun in dysfunction if you know what to look for.

And if someone like me really gets to be too much to put up with, you know where the unfriend button is. No hard feelings.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Alan Shimel May 12, 2011 at 6:55 am

Lets put the fun back in dysfunctional! My aunt had that on a sign hanging in her kitchen for years when I was growing up. Bill I often wonder, do you see all of the back and forth that Lori Mac and I don on politics on FB? I would hope it just says alan responded without the gory details?

Mary May 12, 2011 at 3:04 pm

Great Post!

jessicabarlow May 12, 2011 at 8:37 pm

Great post! This is so true. We all go on fb for different reasons and the status updates we display are direct evidence of this. People who want to stay in touch with a significant other overseas will be overly lovey dovey, while teenagers at school will be on checking out each others photos and who is dating who. Work colleagues tend to post quotes as they are quite neutral but show you are still there… When you get to thinking about it, it is quite interesting to wonder what updates show the persons reason for staying connected to house of fb.. either a rational reason or addiction! 😛

Ted Flanagan May 17, 2011 at 8:32 am

Great post Bill! And I happen to LIKE how often you post. True, your stuff is often blazingly personal, but that’s because you have courage and integrity and intellectual honesty as a writer and thinker. Keep up the great work! (I’d miss it if it were gone!)

Ted Flanagan

PS — I think (no, I KNOW)I’ve figured out which of our former E-T colleagues sent you that pap when he de-friended you. He was a good guy, but by no means an authority on, well, on anything. I think he’s got his own demons lurking in there, and knows he could never take the risks you take and put it out there.

Darci June 11, 2011 at 4:46 pm

I am more annoyed by the Farmville updates and Facebook apps that people post every five minutes, than the useful news articles that I may have missed. Your postings don’t bother me at all. Many times, something will grab me and I come over to find very useful information. I also appreciate the honesty and courage in your sharing. It has given me perspective on more than one occasion with events in my own life.

Laura Coy July 7, 2011 at 10:56 am

you are a new facebook friend to me….you remembered me from the neighborhood,and I honestly cannot remember you…probably you were in my sisters group of friends, and that would make sense. I post tons of Frontierville shit, and sad poetry…deal with it….
I like your blog, you keep it real, and it is therapy, its good, its life….
good to have you on the friends list
Laura C.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: