Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Blocked by an Anonymous Facebook ‘Friend’

I’ve had this anonymous person on my friends’ list on Facebook for the past year. They added me to many groups, before they themselves suddenly leave the group. Eventually we came to have several friends in common, mainly from those groups which the rest of us stayed in.

At the very beginning I once asked them if they are in their 30s or 40s, to which they said 30s. With a little bit of virtual interaction, it was apparent to me that due to their level of maturity they are probably in their 20s and cannot be older.

One striking feature regarding this person is that they are always, always online. Either compulsively posting every 10-15 minutes, or engaging in comments on those same posts — mostly with absolute strangers. Even with different time zone, they seem to always be around. And I’m certainly not the only one who could see this, but others were saying the same — joking about the possibility of them being a robot, or an alien. At times it was a tad too much as my feeds were hijacked. I often had to either unfollow for a few days to get some peace of mind, or choose to show less. That’s of course in addition to the good ol’ “stop notifications” in case I ventured and commented on one of their posts. 

This makes you wonder if some folks have any life outside of Facebook; also if spending their entire time seeking attention and validation from strangers is caused by a certain emotional hunger. You know Internet addiction is a thing; each ‘like’ and ‘message’ notification releases Serotonin in the brain, which is precisely what happens with drugs. Social media nowadays is indeed a new addictive drug.

On a similar note, Are You Addicted To The News? is an earlier piece of mine, explaining why millions and millions of people are literally hooked. Also check this Huff Post article about Facebook addiction in particular in which the writer explains how to “Facebook Diet”.

However, apart from the sudden emotional ups and downs, this virtual friend seemed like a genuinely good person. Probably it’s the reason why they may be my only Facebook friend whom I don’t know what they look like; not even their real name. I usually find hiding your identity online to be absurd. Just because they could be anyone. A 55-year-old bold, fat man in a greasy white flannel could be impersonating a mid-twenties brunette, or anyone else, really. There is no way of knowing.

But again, despite being repetitive sometimes their posts were mostly alright. Also due to what they have gone through during their youth, there are legitimate reasons for their slight instability. So I was fine with it and was open to help out with any insights they may find useful.

Then just recently they posted about how they were banned by Facebook for posting too much or ‘liking’ too much — being banned is a common thing for them. As a merry, related reply, I wrote that despite the fact that they are online most of the day and night, which is common knowledge by now and not a secret, Facebook shouldn’t be allowed to interfere; I also added a smiley face to assert the humour bit. Next thing I know, they ‘liked’ my comment and replied with a couple, one of which about my own comment not being funny.

Until then, that’s a normal human interaction between two people online, let alone F.B friends for a year. I would have probably written something else to ease their mood and that should have been it.

I checked the comment afterwards and it said it cannot be seen. I thought they deleted the comment and possibly also their reply — something they had previously done... twice. This occurs with me sometimes when people online get too insecure and sensitive and take things personally due to a sarcastic joke or comment; a reason why I only use sarcasm now with fun, secure, open-minded folks.

In general, I noticed that since I have been writing for years, people often take what I say/write too seriously. As such, I don’t comment that much anymore on Facebook. If I do, it’s because I somewhat like you and don’t think you have complexes, which allows me to be myself without any filtering or editing.

When a couple of minutes later I checked the post itself I couldn’t find it either. So what? They deleted the entire post because of one comment they didn’t like? A tad too much, I thought. But it does happen. In actual fact, they had unfriended me once before along some of our common friends then apologised the next morning and re-friended us. That said, they are obviously a bit unstable.

And THEN, as I’m checking their profile l realised that I have been blocked. Ta-Da. Like, “Out of 1 billion people on Facebook, I don’t want to share this virtual realm with you anymore because of a singe joke/comment which I did not fancy.” Okaaay. Ironically, stuff like that actually kind of boost my ego and make me feel important.

Like the Ashram Sweeper I wrote that article about, I have been blocked. Though this time it’s not after a two-day long debate about theology, Sufism, and psychedelics and not with a total stranger like that sweeper. But rather, it is someone I have interacted with frequently for almost a year — including many private messages covering many private matters.

Said extreme reaction tells us something about the nature of that person. They probably saw some truth in my comment, because, again, it’s nothing hidden. But to get so worked up to the point of blocking me right then and there only shows that something is amiss; it equally shows that a significant degree of insecurity is involved. Whatever it is, I certainly wish them well. I also hope that one day they’ll gain the will and ability to deal with the real world outside of the screen of their phone or laptop. 

Just like how some of those virtual relationships develop further and people get to meet in real, others are bound to remain superficial before they dissipate. It is a clear reminder of why I rarely add people I don’t know and how the ‘following’ option seems more fruitful. This person’s erratic, volatile, immature behaviour also sheds light on what Facebook addiction may look like.


The Bloke Who Thought I'm Too Much of an Alpha Male

The Joy of Being a Wanderer and the Credit Card Number

A Dollar & Thirty Four Cents in Me Pocket and Feeling Fine  

The Couple Who Couldn’t Handle My Honesty

The Girl Who Wouldn't Share Toilet Paper

Placebo Effect & The LSD Prank 

OLS Reflections — Facebook Edition

Are You Addicted To The News?
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

No comments:

Post a Comment