When Caleb was first born, I realized quickly that making friends became a thousand times harder as a parent. I didn’t have consistent transportation to meet up with people, and couldn’t always drag my little infant out of the house with me. I made the best of it for a while, but soon felt lonely despite having my best friends and favorite person in the entire world be with me 24/7. That’s when I made the mistake of turning to Facebook for my social life.
The first step into the rabbit hole was to search “mom groups” and join every single one of them that I could find. It was an instant connection between parents, and a rush for me. I didn’t have to leave my couch to have a conversation, and these were the things I wanted to talk about anyway. All was well at first…
Not to long after I entered this crazy Underland did I realize the drama encompassed by it. Mommy wars, people putting each other down for their ignorance, and the bonds made and broken through it all. I was swept up, and felt like if there were people out there who didn’t know what I know, I had to be the one to inform them, and if not I would be the one to tell them they were wrong.
It became this cycle of logging on, finding a fight, and spending far too much time upsetting myself over things that I had no pull on. Corey would come home from work, I’d be all roweled up from the day, and he’d have to talk me down. “Hun, they live across the states, you’re wasting your time.” Gosh he was right. I didn’t want to hear it at first. I really thought that somehow I was doing the right thing, and at least I wasn’t lonely.
Till one day where my private online world began to enter my all too public life. Someone I had fought with went to my personal Facebook page, and they found out I owned a business. It was just a little crochet business, and I haven’t done much with it in the last year because of my carpal tunnel, but it was my source of income at the time. This person posted a review to the page calling me many nasty names, and insulting my business as well (although, she didn’t seem to know what the business was, because she kept mentioning cupcakes…). A few days later, someone sent me a link to a Craig’s List personal ad this Troll had posted of me, and it was just plain disgusting.
What I had considered innocent banter in private groups, really bit me in the real world. That is when I realized just how important it is to keep all social media clean. You never know how someone is going to take something, or who will see it. You might think you’re sharing something to get your friend’s thoughts and support, but if it’s posted publicly then anyone has the ability to take it and twist it around on you.
That was the day I crawled out of the Rabbit Hole. I left all of the groups (besides one unschooling group that was the opposite: no drama, lots of support, etc) I was in, and it was like a weight had been lifted. I wasn’t going to see anymore car seat pictures where kids weren’t strapped in properly, people trying to make their kids cry it out, or people giving their children food too early. I was just going to see my friends, and people I cared about. I felt like without the temptation seeing those things gave me to fight back constantly, I could take my time and help people educate themselves in a more gentle and kind way.
What happened to me happens to many people, even if on a smaller scale. Posting private conversations, your hatred for this and that, vulgar language, etc… They can all have an affect on your lives. Employers are checking social media before hiring, college admissions as well. Never post anything that could come back to haunt you or make anyone important think differently about you. Go to your friends, complain to them, show them things that make you angry, but only if you can trust them to keep it between the two of you.