The virtual world can get a little too real some days, and one of those days came last week when a couple I know--one-half of the couple to be precise--declared their marriage to be over.
In public. On Facebook. For all the world to see.
I saw the husband just yesterday--my sympathies are with him--he looked for all the world like someone had just thwacked him with a two-by-four upside his face, a public humiliation so swift there was no time to respond. Suddenly, everyone in the world knew the worst had happened, and there was not a damn thing he could do about it ever.
He had been Facebooked.
The little Facebook icon had simply said his wife of a few moments ago was now "single." That was it--a declaration of divorce without so little as a nod to the old world--and then the link to an explanation that said very little but made her instant ex look bad and sappy nonetheless. Just to pile on, the woman's friends had said things like "you go girl" and told her how happy they were.
Would you like some mortification with your humiliation?
This uninvited invitation to a beheading reminded me that there's a world of hurt waiting for you out there on Facebook if you just know how to find it. I'm not talking about the "friends" who are not really your friends but the formerly friendly who decide for whatever reason you no longer exist.
I can provide two personal examples. One young woman was someone whom I had hired and then helped get two jobs further down the line. I think she's terrific and had even thought of myself as a mentor or a recommender. I would make a comment here and there to her on Facebook and...nothing--not a peep. After a month or two of this even I was able to take the hint: I hit the "hide" button and our friendship was history.
The second case was a woman I knew from a writers' conference back in 1990 and connected to again on Facebook. More comments from me, here and there, and more cold shoulder from her. The last straw was when another writer and I commented on her work-in-progress blog. She addressed the first writer by name and said she would love her contributions. And I got...nothing. To my former writer friend I was not only a non-person but (much worse) I was a non-writer. I hit the "hide" button and that one was history too.
They dissed me but in revenge I Facebooked them. Or something.
That's the way it goes in the real world of cyberspace. One day you're on the top of the world and the next day you don't even exist. From dust to dust or maybe dissed to dissed.