Tuesday, May 31, 2022

From the Archives ~ Social Voyeurism by RL Naquin

Posted by: PG Forte

Originally posted on June 21, 2017

I'm not particularly good at using social media. I'm too flighty to be consistent, and I rarely tell even my best friends when something personal is going on. I'm a hider, not a teller when it comes to those things.

But that's not the whole truth of it. What I do like is watching.

I am a social media voyeur.

Stories, people. Twitter and Facebook are a wealth of personal stories I can't look away from.

 I lurk.

I'm constantly surprised by how personal people get in public. Fights. Medical problems. In-depth discussions about breakups. Thinly-veiled threats. Money problems.

On Facebook, I can almost understand it. In theory, those are your real-life friends--although the most verbal people often have hundreds of "friends," so I doubt they know them all. On Twitter? That's like taking an ad out in the paper to confess to all of New York City that you have hemorrhoids and you like to eat steamed asparagus in the nude while watching reruns of The Golden Girls. While you cry.

I can't look away. What I really, really love are the passive/aggressive notes to an anonymous person who "knows who they are." How can I not be interested in that? "Some people need to get over themselves and stop acting like little bitches when they don't get their way. They know who they are." Really? Now I'm not getting any work done today. I must know what happened or  I will DIE.

I won't ask, though. I'll never ask. I only watch.

Sometimes the "little bitches" in question recognize themselves in the vague status, and the hair pulling begins. Or somebody's status goes from "in a relationship" to "single," while the other person changes theirs to "it's complicated." There's an entire story right there. Somebody's not letting go. If you're really lucky, those two people will have a thinly-veiled argument about something trivial, like sports, but if you watched the relationship statuses change, you can read between the lines and see what they're really fighting about.

It's all fodder for stories.

So next time you want to declare yourself free from that two-faced someone (who you won't name right now) now that you know their real agenda and you won't get fooled again? Know that I'm watching. I'm probably scanning your page for clues like I'm Nancy Drew (after she got old and fat). I'm filling in the blanks you've left me with theories and speculations. If you only give me a little bit of the story, I'm going to make things up.

You can't blame me. It's what I do.

And when you apologize for jumping to conclusions, or your target comes at you with excuses for their hurtful behavior, or when you move on to the next vague statement of emotional turmoil brought on by some life event and person you refuse to name, I'll be watching.

And using it in a story of my own.

Rachel writes stories that drop average people into magical situations filled with heart and quirky humor.

She believes in pixie dust, the power of love, good cheese, lucky socks and putting things off until the last minute. Her home is Disneyland, despite her current location in Kansas. Rachel has one husband, two grown kids and a crazy-catlady starter kit.

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