This is something I have wanted to post about for some time. I need to know if I am the only one this really happens to, or if this is far more common than I could imagine. I will keep it short and sweet.
I try to be a good friend, but in a busy world it can be really hard. Everyone is busy. Our days are over scheduled and never-ending. No matter what I do, there is never enough time. So, I try to keep in touch by commenting on the important things that are happening in people’s lives through Facebook. However, here are two things that have happened to me that clearly show how written thoughts can be miscommunicated so very easily. Suddenly, my well wish has become a hurt feeling. Whether I wrote it in a different tone or I didn’t realize that it could be read two different ways, I think these things are happening everyday and most of the time we never even realize they happened! When we do realize it happened, we can sometimes “fix” it, but it still creates that “Facebook awkwardness” as I like to call it. Here are two examples.
I clearly remember the day a friend had posted about her five year anniversary. To me, the first five years were the hardest as I tried to adjust to a new life with another person. I wanted her to know that she had made it to the top of the hill and the rest was going to be easier. Therefore, I wrote something like this, “Congratulations! The first five years are the hardest, it’s downhill from here.” I was very surprised to receive a comment back saying, “That was a negative thing to say.” At that point, I am totally confused. What was negative about that? I responded, “Well, the hardest part is climbing up the hill, so going downhill is easy.” Ohhh…it took me a minute, but then I saw how she had interpreted it. She thought I was saying it was going to go downhill from there. That is not what I meant at all! If she wouldn’t have commented, she could have thought I was rude and insensitive when I was really trying to be encouraging. There you go–Facebook awkwardness.
My last Facebook awkward moment wasn’t that long ago. It was awful! I really messed that one up. So, this is what happened. I saw a picture of a lady I really enjoy as a person. Since we have moved to a different state, we don’t keep in direct contact. She looked great! I could tell from the picture that she had lost weight. I know that is a sensitive subject for most, but I hadn’t seen her in years, and I wanted her to know that I had noticed. So, stupid me, I wrote something like, “Wow! You look great. I can really tell you have lost weight.:)” I thought this was a compliment anyone would appreciate. Far to many times, we don’t recognize those moments people have worked hard to achieve. Losing weight takes time and dedication, and I was proud of her. I saw other people making comments and she responded to each one…except mine. I began to sweat. What if she hadn’t lost weight, and I had insulted her? What do I do? I decided to change my comment, but I knew she had already seen it. Ekkk. However, I didn’t want it to sit there awkwardly, so I did change it to just say something like, “Wow! you look great!” Now, the situation had skyrocketed to the most awkward position possible. Now, she knew I deleted the weight comment. Ok, still no response. After more sweating, I decided to just delete it all and pretend it never happened. I thought I’d just send a private message letting her know that I thought she looked great, and I wasn’t trying to be rude. OK, so now, I have created an embarrassing situation for me and her. After that, I just quit trying, which I should have done in the first place. She never did respond to me–in any form. I did see, however, that she made a post to someone else joking about being skinny. I then, made my last comment, “You are beautiful inside and out.” That was it–that was all I wanted to say in the first place. Weight has nothing to do with beauty, but I wanted to acknowledge the work that went into it. I wanted to make her feel good. Somehow, I had taken a compliment and turned it into…well, something else. Did I hurt her feelings? I don’t know, but it did hurt my ego for making such a big fool of myself. She hasn’t deleted me yet, so maybe I’m making it a bigger deal than it really was. Once again–Facebook awkwardness at its best.
I can’t imagine I am alone in having these experiences. If I am, well, I guess it is just me then. Carry on.