Stephanie’s Adventures in Singledom: Relationships in the Social Media World

BY STEPHANIE DOLCE

Thanks to social media, today’s generation and those who have been accustomed to it, never really break up with anyone anymore. The word, “boyfriend” to a girl/woman today, has many different meanings- or if you ever have watched the “Big Bang Theory,” as Sheldon Cooper described Amy; “She’s a girl and she’s my friend, but she’s not my girlfriend,” is the way some people see friends of the opposite sex. But to expand this idea just a little more, the way Facebook greatly influenced our use of the word friend, has changed our thinking of what a “friend” is truly. Although research shows that people don’t regularly accept friend requests from or send them to people they haven’t met, preferring instead to have met a person at least once, unless you just care about the “number” of “friends” than creating actual bonds with people.

Of course this brings me to the subject of Ex-Boyfriends (and girlfriends). Ex’s of all kinds today can be ANYWHERE online and seeing one pop up on your time-line on Facebook or Twitter, can be just as heart-wrenching as bumping into them at the grocery store or on the street. It is because of this that I now use the term “ex-commodity.” Cutting ties is no longer easy and for some they don’t want it to be, so hence, they now have become a “commodity” that we “may” get to use or have back in our lives at some point again. We hang on to our “ex-commodity” like the way little kids hold on to a lollipop- tightly!

People follow their “ex-commodity” on Facebook and Twitter for many reasons;

– The ex you follow so you can spy on their new girlfriend

– the ex you follow so you know how to win him back

– the ex you follow so you can make sure he is not bad-mouthing you

– the ex you follow so you can watch his life deteriorate because he broke up with you

And if you think that there are no people who actually “block” their ex’s but use their friends accounts to spy on their ex’s page, then I have a bridge to sell you! (It’s too bad we can find a way to permanently block some of those ex-commodities from our minds, hearts and really our lives.)

This brings me to the topic of cyber-stalking, a term that really is not understood by many. First off, there is a difference between “snooping and poking around” and “cyber-stalking.” The definition of cyber-stalking is as follows, “Cyberstalking is a crime in which the attacker harasses a victim using electronic communication, such as email or instant messaging (IM), or messages posted to a Web site or a discussion group. A cyberstalker relies upon the anonymity afforded by the Internet to allow them to stalk their victim without being detected. Cyberstalking messages differ from ordinary spam in that a cyberstalker targets a specific victim with often threatening messages, while the spammer targets a multitude of recipients with simply annoying messages.” [Source: Search Security ]

 

Snooping or poking around is spying on someone without them knowing that you are. You don’t contact them at all, you just look on their pages read their status messages or tweets, sit back and either cry or laugh. Here is a fact: One-third of Americans who use social networking sites use the sites to check up on somebody they once dated. The same is true for nearly half of those ages 18 to 29.

Not only do ex’s poke around and spy, but if you are in the process of getting a divorce, chances are your Facebook account has already been looked at by your soon-to-be ex-husband/wife. 90% of divorces today have cited Facebook in their cases. People using pictures of the opposing party that involve teenagers drinking alcohol served by a parent to a pictures of a husband at a nightclub dancing with a babysitter. You name it, and it’s been used in a divorce case. That is why it is crucial to be wary of what you post because what you post can ALWAYS come back to bite you in the booty!

And to those people who say, “But my page is private and I have blocked my ex from seeing my page, so how would he/she see my photos?” Well, there can be two ways: 1) You are friends with his family or his friends and they are stabbing you in the back by reporting to him/her or the second way which is something that I don’t even think people realize exists: 2) You simply type in www.images.google.com, then type in the person’s name and searches through every single page of returns. Those pictures are still accessible and any lawyer can still print them and use them as evidence in a divorce case.

And let’s get into how people are using social media now to break up with their parnters. They either are changing their relationship status or they do what is being called, “the fade away,” where they keep ignoring you hoping that you go away. But guys are stupid- girls/women don’t just fade away! We bitch, and bitch, and come back at you until we finally get an answer! And if that’s not good enough we attack from all angles until it is resolved the way we want it to be. Is it right? Probably not. Is it fair? Nope. But does it work? Sometimes.

In my case, I follow and have befriended a friend’s ex-boyfriend while her fiancee doesn’t follow me or has befriended me on Facebook. The ex-commodities I follow have either forgot that we had a moment together way back when or actually remember who I am and what happened, so therefore, enjoy following or befriending me on Facebook for their own reasons. I befriended the guy who became my first and I also have befriended guys who I either, “wondered” about, knew about, had a moment about, or I dreamt about. I have also blocked many guys from seeing my Facebook, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t “spying” on me right now.

You can thank the media’s love affair with social media. They choose “stories” that really aren’t stories to cover and chose to throw a blind eye to real issues at hand. I should know, I was mocked and bullied by news professionals on Twitter but because the media has their social media love affair they don’t want to cover a story like that.

They make mountains outta molehills and instead of actually getting the chance to change the world for the better, they refuse. Why are people so OBSESSED with having to show every nook and cranny of their lives on Facebook?!

It’s social media, not a diary.

We all have scars in our lives.

Some are memories, some are feelings, and some are etched in our minds forever. We can’t take pictures of every scar, but ever scar has brought us to where we are today and has made us stronger. I have scars and have dealt with some heart-wrenching experiences in my life, I have seen others deal with their scars as well. But the thing that people are missing the boat on is this; When you are a survivor you’re family and friends already know what you went through, how you fought you battle & never gave up. There’s no need to let the world know what you have or are going through on a social media site. So I guess the million dollar question is why do people go ahead and do this? So they can gain millions of likes or retweets?

If you can’t celebrate your accomplishments and everyday living without Facebook, what does that say? It’s sad how people feel that in order to be accepted these days with everything they go through, they have to run and post it to Facebook or even Twitter.

I understand we all have the need for acceptance, to be seen in a light that offline we aren’t seen in, but life is so short, and if you get a second chance at it, take it and fly with it. Instead teach others about your scars so that way you can help them.

** You can read more about Relationships in the Social Media World, in Stephanie Dolce’s new book, “Hello Love, Where’s Cupid?” available in paperback and Ebook form. http://www.stephaniedolce.com