Passive Aggressive Social Media Statuses
This one really breaks my heart: people leaving social media statuses designed merely to give certain people shit without naming names or being specific. Statuses left by friends excluded from plans, or in the middle of a fight. Half-hearted vitriol spewed by spurned lovers. Facebook and Twitter are the best vehicles for passive aggression since the silent treatment or closing drawers too loudly. It's a very tempting thing to do, and I'm sure I've done it myself even though I'm usually like super good at telling people to go to hell directly. But that's me: A debater, a hasher-outer, an insufferable pain in the ass. I'm always more afraid spaces will grow between me and friends -- not from critical words -- but from things left unsaid. Those awkward, unspoken resentments that sit invisibly between you and everyone you care about. For the record, I'm in the minority on that one. Most people prefer a good silent swallowing of concern. But something that everyone can probably agree on is the need to address those feelings for real or just shut up. Bringing it up halfway online where written words count even less than speech helps no one. Specifically, I'm talking about statuses like:
- Aww, it's OK. I didn't want to go to that party anyway.
- At times like these I value all the really good friends I have who would never dream of letting sincere differences of opinion get in the way of friendship.
- Don't be surprised you got burnt little boy. I'm a tigress.
- You give some people love, but what do you get? A slap in the face.
- Apparently some friends don't value honesty.
- I can't believe how many ignorant people there are in the world. Get informed, then talk.
Why is this so sad? It's not because these people are in pain or even because they can't seem to speak directly to whomever has made them feel that way. It's that for a moment they take pride in this act of assertion, believing they have accomplished something. And all they've done is show off their wounds to a group of e-friends, while simultaneously pretending they're too cool to really be in pain, or that the people they're addressing aren't even worthy of being identified. But of course you are (usually), and of course they are (usually). That's why you go back to being friends with or dating them again. And then you have to do that chilly thing where you delete the status and pretend it never happened.
"Oh, hey. How did that status get there? Silly Facebook-whiny-emo-virus!"
Quick rule of thumb: When someone you care about makes you sad and you feel like writing a status? Don't. All you're doing is spreading the sad. Pick up the phone. Sort your stuff. Then leave a status about how you thought your friend Chuck was a prick, but you've got it all worked out now.
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For more from Gladstone, check out 5 Sleazy Strategies for Turning Any Movie Date into Sex and 8 Ways Suburban Apathy Got Me Through Irene: A Hero's Story.