I was telling a friend that over the last 2 years I have unentangled myself from Secret Groups of people on Facebook that caused more drama than I have ever experienced in my life. I am starting to wonder if the Facebook platform lends itself to creating hives of people with the same general affliction, but have no idea who each other is and most of the time they have never met. Within some hives there is a physical history and usually this history carries it’s own kind of issues. They draw people in because they look like loads of fun from the outside, but as you become friendly and start getting into a groove with the group, the troublemakers start sending the New Kid private messages about the ones they don’t like.
It’s happened to me.
You end up with a bunch of strangers on your friend list, because if one of the hive friends you, then the rest want to be friends with you too. I didn’t mind that. I thought it was awesome. Suddenly I had a bunch of new people to cyberhang with!
The problems for me start when I realize one of them suffers from FCD, Friend Collector Disorder. I do not like it when I realize that my drycleaner or my best friend from elementary school, is now a member of this group because one person has dug deep space nine into my profile and sent everyone and their brother a friend request. Now someone I actually know and love is mixed up in a hive of folks that I don’t even know that well yet. I always want to ask them what their problem is and why they did that. They don’t even know me yet and they have to introduce themselves to my family and close friends now? Maybe they could take a step back and get to know me first? Who knows? They might not like me or my other friends!
Like I said, it’s a hive.
My experience is that all hives do start out on a honeymoon. They all seem to genuinely like and support each other. Even after the original hive experiences an upset, factions of the hive break away and remain healthy and friendly with each other. But the overall leadership of the hive is usually the most unhealthy. They are the ones that have issues with control and manipulation. They usually suffer from a touch of narcissism too. The leaders of these hives are the ones that generally control the ebb and flow.
Ohhoho! Don’t get me wrong! In the beginning I went from being in absolutely no groups, to being in every group there ever was! People started adding me to groups like there was no tomorrow and I thought WAY COOL! So then I tried having my own groups too. Oh yeah! I too became a Queen Bee of my own hives! It was awesome…until I figured out that I really wasn’t enjoying the whole secret group thing anymore. It took time to manage and people were always fighting or insecure or just plain assholes. So I rescinded my throne. Yeah…I’ll leave that to the people that have all the time in the world and nothing better to do than sit on Facebook managing their hives.
Because of my bad experiences being in these secret chatty groups, I no longer belong to any secret chatty groups of any kind. If the group doesn’t have a goal, like cooking or building a bike path in my neighborhood, then I am not a member anymore. I have realized that any secret chatty group is a breeding ground for dissent and gives me an unhealthy platform for airing my own grievances a little too easily. I like to share and talk about stuff, but I realized that all I was doing was giving the ones in there that have control issues a lot of ammunition to kill me with.
They remind me of a bunch of grown ups reliving their playground days. There’s the cool kids, the nerds and the bad boys and of course, there are the bullies. I have never seen so many adult bullies in my life and the sad part was that they had no idea that’s who they were being. I have been attacked by some of the most diabolical of them all and one even claimed to be an ex-priest! I have an email from him that would make the Pope’s hair curl though. He threatened me! He was also added to my Hall of Flame for Liars. It made me wonder if he was ever really a priest. Oh well. Not my problem anymore 🙂
I guess if I were to give myself a label for being in these groups, mine would have to be Dropout.
I have been warned about that too. I was told that if I kept deleting people that eventually I would be all alone out here on Facebook. Um, okay. So let me understand this…if I don’t want to be all alone, then I need to keep people around, even if I have decided I don’t like them, or that they are possibly unhealthy to be around? That makes no sense to me.
I have deleted entire groups of people, even the ones I liked, when I started seeing this pattern emerge repeatedly. I’m not interested in continuing the drama feed and I’m not interested in putting the nice people of the group in a position to have to choose or to be bullied into making a choice. I’ve also seen that played out and it’s not pretty. One time it even made me cry because I had to witness one of my dear friends being bullied because she was my friend.
Like I said, it’s a hive.
I am not saying that all secret chatty groups on Facebook follow these same trends, but if you pay attention, you can figure out which ones do. It doesn’t mean you have to cut and run either. If you are having fun, then hang out. Some of the groups are a lot of fun to be in. I’m in some fun groups now that I truly enjoy! Of course, they aren’t secret chatty groups though. Just know that when the drama starts and people start taking sides, that you either need to make a quick exit, or ride it out without getting involved in it.
We are all adults here, aren’t we?
I was talking to someone a while back, from a group that I had already left, when she said “I bet the reason I’m not seeing anyone post in that secret chatty group anymore is because that woman has made another secret chatty group and she didn’t invite me to it! I knew she didn’t like me!” I remember thinking to myself *Really? This is what bothers you about that? Why would you want to be in yet another secret chatty group with people you think don’t even like you? Is this what it has come down to?*
I am reminded of another conversation I had with someone last year about the decline of her favorite secret chatty group. She said “I wish we could go back to the beginning when everybody liked each other and I could visit the group at night and talk about my life and everyone loved me and really listened to me.” I sat there for a moment trying to envision what she was talking about because as far as I was concerned, this was a huge group of assholes. Then I asked her “Are you talking about the nights you used to log on after drinking a bottle of vodka and talk about how shitty your life was since the guy you were cheating on your husband with went back to his wife?” She sighed and replied “Yeah.”
Like I said, it’s a hive and I am obviously a Dropout.