Thursday, August 05, 2010

Email me?

Steve says: "Emily, your problem is that you are friends with all different kinds of people: stoners, skaters, Republicans, Mormons" [everyone falls into one of the above categories, don't they?] "and that worked for you in high school, but that isn't working for you anymore. You get it from all sides. You're too conservative. You're too liberal. You're too Mormon. You're too whatever. You can't win."

Elliot says: "I think Facebook is, like, pulling people apart, not bringing people together!"

I say: Amen, to all of it, except the part that suggests I shouldn't have diverse friends anymore.

I'm taking a pretty major Facebook sabbatical because I've been in the enemy-making business too much lately. I honestly do not try to say offensive things to people, but the written word is so much harder to interpret for meaning and nuance than is the verbal word, and I tend toward abruptness, so I end up irritating people, appearing smug or self-righteous, or miscommunicating my intentions. I'm also vocal: I like conversation, I like to be heard, and I have a very hard time biting my lip and walking away in an argument or discussion that I feel strongly about or in which I feel I have been mischaracterized.

One dear friend made me cry for two days straight when he unfriended me last year because my fb feed was bringing too much hate into his life. What? Come again? Can I have a do-over because that was not my intention, ever ever ever.

Oh yeah, I'm also sensitive. I'm a vocal arguer who gets her feelings hurt. It sort of stinks.

I'm not even that opinionated. I pride myself on being able to see multiple sides of almost every issue. I can be persuaded. I rarely take a firm stand.

Yet I have been making enemies, and lots of them: political, religious, you name it. I hate enemies. I love people, I really do. Don't listen to that part in my last post about being misanthropic.

So, I'm taking a little break. If you don't see me on Facebook, I did not unfriend you (I wouldn't do that, because I know it stinks). I'm just detoxifying for a while. I told the kids I'd not go on Facebook (at least) as long as they don't eat candy, and we shook on it.

I love you. If my cousins are reading this, I especially love you and hope we can still be friends. Real friends, not spew-ugly-mean-spirited-things-at-each-other-online-that-we-would-never-say-in-person-facebook-friends. 'Cause that kind is bringing me down.


Anonymous said...

Masterful. I love you, Emily. AG

Natalie said...

Emily, i think anyone who knows you (even a little), knows that your intentions are very pure. there is much power in our intention. It's a very pure form of our heart and our head. I could go on but i'll stop here by saying that i like your heart. I think you're great and i can't imagine your intentions ever to be mean. have a happy day detoxing.

abby said...

we all know you weren't the one spewing the mean spirited things. but thank you to my cousins for being such jerks and giving me the incentive to quit facebook. sorry but it had to be said.

Sarah said...

What in the world? I'm sorry you've had a bad fb experience. I don't think our cousins meant you any harm, but like you said, the internet is faceless - it's too easy to "let go" on the internet, and not see the harm it causes.

Welcome to facebookless land. It's lovely over here.

Steve said...

I'm so offended that you quoted me on your blog!!!!

And I'm offended by people who use multiple exclamation points!!!!

Just kidding. Thought I'd keep the enemy thing going. I'm so glad that I was one of those friends you reached out to in highschool. And I think the all kinds of friends thing still works for you. Public forums are just difficult for real communication.

I love you.

Emily said...

Natalie, you are the best. Thank you for the compliment and I could say the same to you, but more of it. Thanks for never even dreaming of being rude.

Mi familia, thanks for having my back. It's too bad that the specific people we are referencing don't realize that the garbage they say is hurtful to Mom. They don't have a better friend in the world than Aunt Amye.

It's also too bad that they are not the sole source of toxicity for me. I have had too many negative interactions on fb lately, including others who sabotage posts I write and make them into something they are not, as well as people who post things that just plain leave me in a bad mood.

It's a time waster, and remember? My basement smells like pee. I have things to do.

allyinwonderland said...

We are passionate about the "garbage" we speak about. We are a loving family who respect and tolerate each others opinions, not the hateful people you perceive us to be. It's unfortunate that you want to use us as a reason to quit fb. You have your values and morals and they happen to be different from ours. So what. So now we all hate each other. Great. FYI...we do care that these things are hurtful to your Mom. They are hurtful to us.

abby said...

i don't want to turn this into a big fight but i do want to say one thing: i don't hate anyone. but it is one thing to believe in something, i.e. overturning prop 8. it is another thing entirely to repeatedly make posts about how hypocritical/idiotic/ignorant/hateful/fascist (insert one) the mormon church is. no respect whatsoever. i really can't see how those who have posted that vitriol without any regard for the family members they KNOW are reading it would suddenly have hurt feelings.

allyinwonderland said...

Posting religious beliefs is offensive to me. The LDS religion is offensive to me. So repeatedly posting about it is hypocritical/idiotic/ignorant/hateful/fascist. No respect whatsoever.

Nice to see your true colors, Abby.

abby said...

wait, i'm not allowed to talk about religion? the most central and important thing in my life, the thing that brings me the most joy and peace is a problem for you? even when it has absolutely nothing to do with you? i have never in my life said one hateful thing in the name of religion and i never will. so i don't know how i'm offending you except you all seem to want to live in a country where people can't be religious. or at least mormon.

my true colors are that i love my cousins and always will but am tired of being a doormat. so thanks for calling me out on that. you keep waving your true colors of bashing on us. if you seriously don't like me now because i'm taking your bait, then i'm not sure what was trying to be accomplished.

allyinwonderland said...

I'm done.

Jeanene said...

Emily, I am so sorry. I wish that I had not said anything. You are amazing and I wish I had explained myself better. I really hope we can continue having conversation because you are beautiful and talented and I DO very much value your friendship. I do not know how to get hold of you privately. I would love to. Please know that despite the difference of opinion, I believe we can learn from each other. Also, Dan has always adored you and Steve and your beautiful family.

Emily said...

Jeanene, you're totally fine. Don't feel bad or responsible, I really just need a break and now is a good time. My email is and I would love to keep in touch because we like your family, too.

Ally, neither Abby or I could ever hate you or any member of your family, and we look forward to resuming civility and familial contact with you at your discretion.

Toria said...

I too was and still am always amazed by your ability to be friends with every different crowd- from high school on.

sorry to hear that there's some bad family/political/religious drama going on. If it makes you feel any better, these things have gotten out of hand with my extended family as well in the past- which is why I never really use facebook for status updates etc.

I hope that means if you're quitting facebook you'll be back on this blog more regularly.

Swicks said...

ya know... facebook is the root of all evil! hahahahaha! i should know- i'm on it 24-7! i totally believe that EVERYONE says things they wouldn't say face to face online (especially facebook & blogs). i have numerous family members who removed themselves from it in order to keep intact their relationships with other family members. i respect that. it shows that your relationships are more important than stupid trivial posts that are usually forgotten minutes after they're posted. i'm going to copy and paste this to my family memebers who have done the same! create a support group :D

Jen (and her men) said...

I think you are great. I take fb breaks too. We should get our families together.

Rich Alger said...

I have to say that my impression of you in person when Steph and I first came to visit you in 2008 was very different than what I was expecting from my take of your online posts.

I remember Steph making me promise to keep my political passions under control. I have some strong opinions. I also was nicknamed Switzerland in High School after I bout of drama erupted among some of my friends. We can keep our convictions and still be civil.

It was refreshing in 2008 and again this last summer to visit with you and Steve. We don't all have to have the same opinions. There are fewer and fewer things in my life that I hang onto as absolute truth. I am seeing more and more gray. That being said, knowing God by doing my best to follow him has become among the few things that I have held onto as true. Abraham Lincoln said, “When I do good I feel good, when I do bad I feel bad, that’s my religion.”

I agree with your self description of being a conversationalist. That you try to look at things from other perspectives. Face to face communication helps bring across so much more what we really mean.

I count myself lucky to know you and to have spent some happy and interesting conversations.