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There’s a certain stigma attached to social media whether it be Facebook, Twitter, MySpace (does anyone still use it?), Google+ (has anyone STARTED using it?), Pinterest, and the plethora of other social media sites that I don’t have the time nor inclination to list here. While social media allows us to easily stay in touch with friends and family it also removes all privacy from our lives depending on what you choose to share.
Some people, like myself, don’t put personal information on social media sites. I know that once it’s there, despite my privacy settings, it could end up anywhere. Other people post everything, and I mean everything, on social media from their personal problems to what they ate for breakfast. And sometimes TMI…
However, Facebook helped me in a way I could never have possibly imagined. See, leading up to our separation, my wife had been trying to tell me how horribly I had been treating her and how rude I was when I talked to her. I, for reasons I still don’t comprehend, didn’t realize I was doing it and just kind of brushed off her repeated accusations. She’s just being overly sensitive, I thought.
Well, after my wife had finally gotten fed up with my verbal abuse and left, I found myself perusing our chat history on Facebook one day. And what I found shocked me. Not only had my wife been correct in her assessment of how I’d been treating her, but she put up with it a lot longer than I would have. I was astonished to find that I had unwittingly been a total asshole to her. For years. I was like..
After I finally realized what I had been doing everything else I had been doing wrong seemed easy to spot. I was able to look back and see every mistake that I had made and it sickened me. My wife told me we needed to spend more time together. I was appalled to see that I had responded with, “we’re not pawning the kids off on other people just to go out.” Really? What the hell possessed me to say that? My mom and her mom both love having the kids and cherish their time with them. It wouldn’t be pawning them off at all. We’d be doing them a favor by letting them babysit. I honestly don’t know where my head was.
BUT…thanks to Facebook saving every IM we’d ever exchanged I was able to see the indisputable proof of what a dick I had been. I was able to identify the problems I had and began to correct them. I’m happy to say that I’ve made a lot of progress in the last few months thanks to Prozac and a constant effort to be more aware of what I say and how I respond to everything. And it all started on Facebook.
People constantly complain about Facebook privacy settings and how their information may be stolen by Facebook and used for God knows what, but I love Facebook. If not for Facebook I may have never realized that I had become a person I never wanted to be. So for all the problems Facebook can cause it has some uses, as well.
Just remember, if it’s not something you would stand up in front of a crowd and announce, then it’s probably something you shouldn’t post to Facebook.