On behalf of my beautiful wife, Lisa Salaymal-Strohman, I’m writing a post based on an observation she has made in relation to some of her social networking friends. She has many, so if you are reading this, it’s probably NOT about you. But if you are the paranoid, everything-is-always-about-me type, maybe you’ll learn something.
So my wife is constantly updating me on the drama she reads in the social media updates. One case in particular is a little frightening. The ex-wife of a friend of a family member (isn’t social media great in the way we have “friends” who aren’t really friends) has been in the midst of a broiling dispute with an ex-boyfriend for quite some time. This guy is a real bozo—a convicted criminal and troublemaker extraordinaire—and they were apparently jawing back and forth and basically letting the whole world view their strife. It was great entertainment for a little while, but then things got ugly when the guy started getting her very young son involved, posting pictures of him and making not-so-well-disguised threats. She continued to provoke him, questioning his manhood and detailing his criminal background, and apparently it escalated to the point where he tried to break into her house and was arrested.
This woman is good-looking, I’ll give her that, but she’s a drama queen, sitting on her throne with this air of haughtiness, as if she can do no wrong in anything she does, whether it be her appearance or personality. Yet she repeatedly prodded this guy, and instead of stopping when her son became involved, she increased her foolishness even more. A line was crossed, and either she was too caught up in it to not realize, or else she’s just not that bright. Either way, this girl seems to live on drama.
But it’s not just her. My sister had a friend who repeatedly dated the “wrong guys.” She was living with a guy for well over a year, and despite the fact that he threw an air conditioner through a window of their RENTED apartment (of course SHE was the only one on the lease), she stayed with him. Then he ended up in jail for one crime or another, and she finally dumped him—and moved on to a guy with similar issues.
I know a lady who is like this in her workplace. She is constantly gossiping, pushing people’s buttons, asking inappropriate questions, writing long and ranting emails. She has a little group of women that she shares her inappropriateness with, and they just go along with it and laugh and enable her. This lady has family issues, financial issues, you name it (and everyone knows because she details every second of her existence), and yet she’s completely clueless as to how she’s perceived by her superiors. She’s always questioning why she didn’t get a bigger raise or bonus, and she can’t fathom that it has anything to do with her personality.
Funny, I just re-read that last paragraph, and it actually describes a number of people I know either directly or indirectly.
And back to my wife. She sees this phenomenon called “perpetrating the fraud” happening all over social media sites. People will put up posts saying they are going to “take a stand” or “confront” so and so or such and such, but it never seems to happen. Even more to the point, people will try to instigate fights with close friends or coworkers, then see them in person the next day and act as if nothing happened. I remember doing this decades ago with my cousin using the online service Prodigy (yeah, before the Internet). We got into a little spat over an online game we were playing, and it progressed into sending each other 2-4 page messages calling each other names and pointing out each other’s flaws. Then we’d see each other in school the next day and act like nothing happened. But in my defense, we were like 12 years old.
I know we all need a little action in our lives, but, at least for me, that’s what movies and television and books are for. That’s why reality television is so popular. People watch Jersey Shore because it’s funny, yeah, but the incessant fighting is what draws people in. It’s the same with soap operas. People just LOVE drama.
But for those people that welcome it—no, NEED it—in their personal lives, I just don’t get it. Does airing your grievances on social media for the entire world to see satisfy some deep urge inside of you? Does dating the wrong type of person make you feel like you’ve accomplished something? Does putting your personal and professional life in danger give you a thrill? It all just seems so silly to me.
Of course, I’m probably not the best one to judge. The highlight of my week happened earlier today when I had three cavities filled. I’m in bed every night at 9:30 PM. I sold my motorcycle a month before my son was born because I felt riding it was unsafe (not because I was reckless on it, but because other drivers don’t pay attention to motorcycles—a fact I learned the hard way when twice I had someone pull out right in front of me, both times causing me to brake hard and maneuver quickly into another lane). But you get my point.
Maybe there’d be a lot less crime if we weren’t so hell-bent on experiencing drama in our lives. My wife and I were watching The First 48 the other night, and there were two rival gangs in Miami—kids in their teens—who lived two blocks away from each other. They were all friends when they were young, but as they grew into middle school, they began having a beef with each other over something as silly as reputation. You know, my block is better than yours. Then one of them was shot and killed, and the young man who pulled the trigger put together a rap song and uploaded it to YouTube, basically bragging about killing the other kid. And then one of the victim’s cohorts shot and killed the first killer’s uncle. Mayhem in the streets, all because of reputation built off the need for drama.
I’m not a pessimist. People reading my blog would probably argue that point, but I really don’t enjoy going around observing and pointing out what’s wrong with society. I relish in what is right though, and I just wish everyone could do the same. It’s one thing to observe the negative. It’s something else entirely to live it.