Monday, December 21, 2009

Facebook Faux Pas

Why, hello there soapbox, how are you today? Me? Oh, I'm fine, still getting by, doing IVs, all that fun stuff. What's that? You want me to step up on you? Well, really, I couldn't. I mean, sure, this is a personal blog and sometimes I do tend to go off on things, but I just don't think anyone really wants to hear me rant about . . . what? You say you'll be super sad all Christmas if I don't stand up on you right now and get this off my chest? Well, geez, soapbox, you and I have been friends forever and I would hate to see you upset. I guess I could get on for just a small second. You know, if it'll make you feel better and all. Just remember, I'm only doing this out of the goodness of my heart . . .

Dear Facebook Friends:

First of all, just let me start this off by saying thanks. Thanks for looking me up, for finding me even though some of you I haven't seen since I was in grade school, for "friending" me or accepting my request, for caring about how I've been doing, for wanting to connect, and for allowing me to share in your life, your favorite bands, your drunken party pics, and, of course, your status updates. I really appreciate it, often more than I can say. Let's face it, in the past Facebook was something random I logged into every couple of weeks or so, but lately it's seen me through more than one lazy hospital afternoon -- allowing me a much-needed sense of contact with the outside world -- and for that I'm totally grateful. Really.

But, well, I didn't climb up onto this thing just to thank you all. I actually have something to say and I think it's important. So please, if you could all just stop typing for one second, I'd like to try and get a quick point across.

Life, as a general rule, does NOT suck.

Okay, so take a second. Let that sink in a little before you go back and write your next status update. Because honestly it's true: life does not suck. It doesn't. I don't normally love across the board general statements, but I'm willing to make one here because, in case I haven't mentioned it yet, life does NOT suck. And I'm sorry to have to be the bearer of good news, but your lives, in particular, do not suck either. This is true, in fact, despite what you wrote in your status this morning.

Wait, wait, please don't jump on me on all at once and tell me how much I'm misunderstanding what you wrote. Because trust me, I know that you were just being melodramatic when you wrote "fuck my life" because the coffee maker at your office was broken this morning. And I know that you don't actually "want to go to sleep and never wake up" because you have a headcold. I even totally understand that when you wrote "This sucks. 2009 sucks. It all just fucking sucks." you didn't really mean that everything sucks, just that you feel hurt and angry and upset right now. I get that, really, honestly, I do.

But please don't ask me why I get so sensitive about these "little jokes" unless you want to hear my real answer. Because if I'm honest I'd have to admit that it deeply offends me when people, even friends who I know are joking, take life or granted. It offends me because I know too many people fighting to survive, and because I see people who have way bigger problems than the coffee maker who would never dream of writing "fuck my life." It offends me because I know people who have chosen to move on -- I've seen the kind of illness that drives people to make that call for themselves -- and it's never about a headcold. And it offends me because I know people whose 2009s were harder than you could ever imagine, and yet they never seem to be the ones complaining the loudest.

So let's see if we can't reach some middle ground here and agree on a few basic points:

1) Coffee in the morning is helpful, sometimes even necessary. And broken coffee makers are a pain.

2) Headcolds hurt. They do. I personally hate them.

3) Even perfectly healthy people have bad days/weeks/months/years sometimes. And they have every bit as much of a right to vent or complain about them, especially to friends, as anyone else. Illness doesn't make you noble, and being healthy certainly doesn't make you shallow.

and 4) Life does not suck.

There, was that so hard?

I guess all I'm asking for is a little bit of thought before you type out the most negative status message you can possibly muster. And if that's asking a little too much, well, I guess I understand that too, because who am I to stand between you and that tempting little "what's on your mind?" box? But just know that you're a whole lot likely to get sympathy from me if you keep it in perspective, and I promise I'll try my hardest to do the same.

xoxo beautiful people,

Piper and the Soapbox


  1. Definitely, 110% agreeable.

  2. AMEN! I often have similar thoughts when I log onto Facebook and see all the FML posts. Hopefully your post will make us all think more about being grateful.

  3. Your timing is impecable. Seriously, check out my latest (and far more crass) status update. I truly had planned to dust off the old blog this evening to...ahem, pontificate on this very subject. I'm far from the most positive person on facebook, and I even feel guilty posting about some of my own health stuff when I have so many CF friends dealing with SO much worse right now. But then I see a constant stream of whining about similar coffee crises (or *having time off*, or *not having enough time off*), and I want to scream.

    And the fact that there is more than 1 person currently dominating my live feed that, after posting incesantly about OBAMACARE/APOCOLYPSE AAHHH for the better part of 2009, is now encountering the healthcare system for the first time and horrified at how inadequate she/he/they find it. And the people in it. Because, ya know, nurses can't have Christmas until IIIII feel better.

    Bah. Thanks for posting this far more sucinctly and tactfully that I managed to, haha. I'll still probably crack open breath sentence tonight, but with a slightly different angle. Preach on :o)

  4. AMEN!!!! I absolutely agree!! Thank you!

  5. I third that AMEN!!! This has been driving me nuts lately with people IRL and FB and I could not have said it better! Happy Holidays.

  6. Yes, yes, yes! It's like you read my mind. I'm a huge fan of the "hide" button on facebook for this exact reason. :)

  7. THANK YOU!!!!! Infact I recently put up an update about how constant negativity is so NOT NEEDED!! :)

    You've read my mind ;)

  8. Man I thought I was the only one so fed up with people complaining about colds, and other stupid drama in their lives. Thank you thank you thank you! So well said!

  9. Agreed! I personally hate meldromatic status', even though I've probably had a fair few myself. But people whining like the world is ending when they have a cold (for the 126th time, it's not swine flu!), I have to close fb to stop writing things like 'Try having CF for a day, then maybe you'll be greatful that colds are only temporary.'

    On the other hand, fb is about 80% of my social life...! Xx

  10. couldn't agree more with this it so much i'm going to link it on my facebook. :)

  11. When people get to negative on FB I delete them :) I don't want to hear people moaning and groaning constantly so bye bye LOL!!!!

  12. i can't even BEGIN to explain how much i agree, i was thinking the SAME thing...

  13. I so agree!! Ugh whine whine whine!

    Hide all those negative nelly's!!!

  14. You have such a way with words cyster!

  15. How about another, "Amen!" Well said (yet again), Piper.

  16. I too am posting this in a note on my facebook.

    I cant say I dont have my "updates" where I complain, everyone is allowed that right (like you said), but like others have said, there is a hide and a delete button which I was afraid to use at first, but have become somewhat addicted too!

    (on the forums, 22 femaile... I am getting ready for tx, like you I have high functions but am having difficulties with resistances/infections)

  17. Haha - Love it. I think the same thing...

  18. Amen, Piper! I agree too!! Great post!