I overheard two elderly women talking over a burger at In-N-Out during lunch today. They were talking about the weather, which is a big topic these days among people with not much to do but talk about the weather. It’s like, negative 50 degrees or something in Chicago, and it’s 80 degrees here in Southern California. So the topic, being that there is so much disparity, is really harped on.
One of the women began ranting about a Facebook post she had made to a friend in that other part of the country, commenting that her acquaintance had “plenty of snow on her patio,” something she obviously typed out on the friends wall, along with some bragging about the “great weather we are having,” and “not having enough summer clothes ironed for the next few weeks.” “I just have to make some time for that, I suppose,” she said as I chomped down the last of my burger at the next table over.
As I dabbed the excess sauce from my lips, the lady’s rant turned into a complaint. “Then someone deleted my post!” she said in a raised voice to her lunch companion. At that point I tuned out. Walking past the trash can and on out the door I began contemplating on the dynamics of relationships sustained on the Facebook platform.
FB friends chatting with FB friends do so with very few of the human nuances that real live friends chatting with real live friends do. FB friends don’t see each others facial expressions, nor can they subconsciously gauge body language during a conversation. They don’t know if they are slighting each other or pulling at each others strings, or what kind of mood that friend is going to be in when they read the post on the wall. Sure, there are those stupid little mood things that people can post, but they are time sensitive, so unless friends are chatting instantaneously there is not much hope in reading each other right. It’s “shot in the dark” communication. Most of us have more meaningful interactions with complete strangers we meet at a coffee shop.
Maybe the said lady next to me was too brash in her braggart ways regarding her need for pulling summer clothing out for an un-seasonal iron-a-thon. She probably thought she wasn’t but then, she wouldn’t know that. Not without actually sitting with her friend and reading her, seeing in her eyes her frustration over the piles of snow out on her driveway, or feeling the chill in her home as the heater, going full blast, did all it could to combat the mega negative temps beating in from the outside.
The lady at In-N-Out probably would not have bragged to her friend in chilly Chicago about her summer wear had she been with her friend at her friend’s home. Unless she is just an extremely insensitive, well, you know. And had she done so, her friend would have probably tuned her out, not hearing much of what she said and forgetting what pieces she did hear soon after. But since they were half a content apart, the next best thing to do was to press the “remove” option on the insensitive, well you know, post and be done with that.