Daily Prompt: Tell us something you shoulda woulda coulda done and didn’t.
I believe a lot of Heaven’s great ideas have been hijacked by malevolent forces. Facebook, along with the signs of the Zodiac, the State of California and Valentine’s Day must have looked really good on paper to the Guy Upstairs, but somewhere along the line the plans must have fallen into ‘the wrong hands’ and parties, who shall remain nameless, set about propping them up in order to wreak havoc upon the world. (Now don’t get all worked up you Virgos, Californians or people from Hallmark – I’m saying this all tongue in cheek! I’m a Virgo who writes romance novels, for heaven’s sake, loves Disneyland and has aspirations to write something for Hallmark someday…If anyone in this post is going to look foolish, it will definitely be me.)
But I am deadly serious about Facebook. It is the work of the devil, who seeks to bind us with a flaxen cord and lead us all down to hell. Okay, that might be taking it a little too far…it’s just that I’ve been there, to Facebook Hell and back, and I know of what I speak!
Looking back, it was obvious that with such a contentious election cycle ramping up to be nothing short of a blood bath, things were bound to get ugly on the web. In the back of my head I knew that; but for some reason, wishful thinking, perhaps, I rationalized that we were all adults here [on Facebook], family and friends and that we could respect each other’s right to have opinions, even if we didn’t agree with them…The truth of the matter was that that was hugely naïve.
I think we all momentarily lost our heads, or a lot of us did. What I, personally, shoulda woulda coulda done was avoid Facebook completely during the height of the political frenzy. I should have spent that time working on my novels. I should have gone to the gym and worked out. I should have spent the time reading some good books. What I did was take some of the posts personally. I got upset. I started to question my relationships and the character of my ‘friends’.
That’s not to say that wasn’t a natural reaction to some of the garbage that was being posted. It was intended to vilify anyone on ‘the other side’. It over-generalized, it was off-base and intentionally offensive. It was just stupid and mean. I couldn’t believe some of things that were said about people like me, by people who actually knew me and should have known better. There is a certain false bravado and cowardice to this kind of sniping on Facebook. Would any of us say those things to our ‘friends’ faces? Probably not, unless we were not planning on being their friends anymore – and who in their right minds would purposely, systematically, or sometimes in one fell swoop, destroy their relationships?
I did. I killed a relationship that meant a great deal to me – over a Facebook post. I’m not proud of it. After a particularly nasty post, I reacted, likely over-reacted, I don’t know. I was tired of the garbage being dumped on my page. I took it personally. I was hurt by it and I was angry. I took the opportunity to make a public spectacle of that person on my page and a public spectacle of myself on their page. I did it mostly because I believed that person really thought those things about me. I did it because I believed that the relationship might possibly be beyond repair. I did it because, in the end, I thought that was what the other person wanted.
I think about that person, my former friend, a lot. I wonder how they are doing. I miss their company. I regret being so rash, but there is nothing to do about it now. Sometimes I can be philosophical about it. It was an unlikely friendship to begin with. Perhaps it wasn’t the relationship I thought it was. It might have died a natural death eventually. Things work themselves out the way they are meant to, right? I don’t know…It’s hard not to think about the shoulda woulda couldas. Had I been able to look that person in the eye at that moment and reflect on what they meant to me, would I ever have thrown it all away? Not for a million dollars…