#throwback

 

bittersweet

bittersweet

January 8, 2015

I was going over my blogs from around 4 1/2 years ago– back when I was just starting to blog regularly, and yes, I hardly had any readers — and I chanced upon an entry entitled Flashbacks.

It was about a love story that did not find its happy ending.

The story happened some 20 years ago. I wrote this blog in 2010. Apologies for reposting, but do indulge me. Let’s just call this the #throwbackthursday entry.

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Flashbacks

Sometimes i can’t help but marvel at how modern technology just made everything easier– and the world much smaller — for us.

About 16 years ago, I had a relationship with this guy who lives at the other side of the world.  He came here for a vacation… and found me, instead.  The irony is, we met a month before he was supposed to go back to his homeland and we started dating a week before his departure.  So obviously, ours ended up being a long distance relationship. We were so in love then and we promised that we would make it work, distance or no distance.

It was 1994 and we still had to depend on snail mail.  Snail mail and Fedex.  Every two weeks, we would expect a letter or a package waiting at our respective doorsteps.  We spent a fortune at long distance calls, too.  We would talk on the phone every weekend for about an hour (sometimes, two).  This went on for six months (which at that time seemed like an eternity).  Then he flew back here for Christmas, stayed here for a couple of months, then went back home with the promise that we will make the long distance relationship last…

… and then he was gone.  Gone forever.

No, he did not die or anything.  We just proved that long distance relationships, well, never really go the distance (pardon the pun, please).  We pretty much showed everybody that no matter how “in love” two people are, the distance between them can really take its toll.  I think it took all of three months after he left the second time when we came to the realization that it was difficult.  Actually, he came to that realization first (and was too immature not to tell me)… ergo, the relationship basically ended badly — with me cursing him to high heavens, that is.  So basically, he could have just died and i wouldn’t have minded at that time (that was me being mature about the break up).

But i digress.  Point is, fast forward 16 years later, present day 2010… Because of the world wide web, because of YM, emails, facebook, webcams, text messages and cellphone calls that don’t cost a fortune,  we are now in touch with people who are at the other side of the world.  My best friend/person lives at the other side of the world, too, and I chat with her almost every day.  My friends and relatives who are in countries of different time zones are always updated about the news and happenings here.  In real time.  It’s a small world, after all.

Sometimes I do wonder whether my relationship with the guy would have lasted if we had all these communication tools then.  Maybe we wouldn’t have felt the distance right away.  Perhaps it wouldn’t have felt like we were having an affair with a piece of paper.  Though it would probably be like having a virtual relationship (or having a relationship with the computer), well at least the other party answers back fast… no need to wait for two weeks.

But then long distance is still long distance.  It’s still upto the people involved whether they will let the distance get in the way… or work on the relationship until they are together once more.

In case you are wondering what happened to long distance-guy… Well, we found each other in facebook a couple of years ago.  Yeah, who would have thought.  But then 16years is a long time, and people change.  I guess you pretty much have an idea how it went…

It went nowhere. 

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It’s Mr. 1994’s birthday tomorrow, January 9. Yes, I still remember 🙂

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Photo via yahoo images

And then there was… Facebook

My Facebook account serves as my link to the outside world. 

Wait, does that sound pathetic?  Okay, maybe so.  But if I am to be really honest, then yes, Facebook truly serves its purpose of “connecting people” anytime, anywhere.  I need not go out of my area, my village… or my house even, for me to know what’s happening in the lives of my friends — as well as other people who are not really my friends.  Well, of course there are people who are firm about not having an account… but this blog is not about them.

Seriously.

My normal, regular routine after turning on my computer is to first, check my emails, then open another tab so I can check on Facebook.  Sometimes I stay in FB for five minutes (when there’s nothing interesting to see), sometimes longer (when there’s someone interesting enough to stalk… okay, kidding on that one!).  Sometimes I just read the status updates of my friends.  Sometimes I post comments.  Sometimes I go over the photos people posted.  Sometimes I just look at one photo, other times I look at the whole album.  Sometimes I get bored with my current profile pic and I change it about five or six times before I finally decide on what stays.

On good (?) days, the five minutes I originally intended for FB will be stretched to ten… then twenty, then thirty.  When there are really interesting people around, expect one hour of Facebooking (yes, I now use it as a verb).  

Time just flies when you’re onto something… The world around you seems to stand still when you’re engrossed in cyberworld.  That is, until you realize that you spent the past hour practically doing nothing but learn about the latest gossip in other people’s lives.  Oh, that and gush over other people’s pictures. 

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What's not to like?

Last night, I logged on to my Facebook account just to post updates about the project I’m busy with at the moment.  The plan was to relay a message to the members of that group.  Since there were members who are pretty new to the group, people I haven’t personally met and are still practically strangers to me, I thought of checking out their FB sites. 

First I looked at some pictures… family pictures, pictures with other relatives, tagged photos from other people… photos of their children playing various sports… I was viewing the tournament photos of one of the boys, when after several clicks, I ended up looking at old pictures of the dad.  High school pictures and college pictures from the late ’80s and early ’90s.  I lingered a little, tried to find out if there’s a certain degree of relationship between me and the dad (meaning if I knew him from somewhere).

And then I suddenly stopped.  After the third photo circa ’90s, I had to veer away from the account.  It suddenly felt creepy. I mean, I had no idea who that person was, yet I was viewing pictures of his youth.  Imagine me cringing.  I felt like a stalker!!  I was quite ashamed of myself.  I’m still cringing right now.  

Personal Space

Time and again I have mentioned how I value personal space. I try not to get too close because… well, it’s just uncomfortable.  When it comes to baring myself, I am pretty choosy.  Besides, I am vain.  And so I choose the things I would want people to know about me… what I want them to see.   Basically, I’m pretty conflicted… Facebook is good for my vanity and my narcissistic tendencies.  On the other hand, it doesn’t do well with my thing for personal space.    

Gosh, I can’t imagine other people viewing photos of me taken in high school. I mean, total strangers looking at me like they know me when they really don’t.  That’s why when I found out that you can change the security settings and you can choose your audience, I changed mine right away.  But then there are times when I still get messages from total strangers saying they saw my picture and they want to make friends with me.  Eeeeew. Scary.  Unless he’s the real George Clooney or Chace Crawford, expect the invite to be rejected (or better yet, erased from the face of the cyberworld!).

So when I caught myself looking at the old photos of this guy I didn’t really know, it made me wonder if my view on personal space is somewhat lopsided.  I mean, here I am ranting about how I don’t like strangers trying to creep into my world, when on the otherhand, thanks to Facebook — and yes, modern technology — I can easily find out a lot of things about people who don’t know me from Adam.  I don’t seem to respect other people’s personal space, do I?

But I won’t be too hard on myself.  If you don’t mind posting your photos, your life’s status, your love life, even your favorite color on Facebook or on any other social networking site, then you can’t blame other people if they end up knowing a lot about you.  That’s why there are security settings.  And basically, you post at your own risk.  Each of us is responsible for our own posts. 

Nevertheless, I have learned my lesson.  Since I adhere to the rule, “Don’t do unto others what you don’t want others to do unto you,”  I vow to stop looking at the albums of people I don’t really know.  Nor will I obsess about the status updates of some people who don’t really matter in my life today.   Maybe I should cut down on Facebook altogether, say no to friend requests.

Except of course if I see something like this…

Can be my lone FB friend... I wouldn't mind!!

the only exception

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photos about Facebook via weheartit.com. Chace Crawford photo from wikipedia. 

Rejection in the Time of Facebook

Facebook Friend?

 

Have you ever rejected someone in Facebook? (That is, if you have a Facebook account.) 

If you do have an account then you know what I mean… You check your notifications one morning, then you find friend requests from people you don’t really know… or people you used to know in earlier life but never really talked to.  And so for a moment you contemplate on befriending them because, after all, you have matured and you are friendlier now.  Or maybe because the stranger’s profile picture looked just like George Clooney… oh wait, it IS George Clooney in the picture! Duh?!

Sometimes I feel bad not responding to someone’s friend request that I just let the invitation sit for, say, about six months… Okay, so maybe that person would have already figured out by now that I didn’t really want to accept the friend request.  Though at least technically I haven’t really rejected said person so I have no reason to feel guilty.  But then again, not confirming the request is pretty much telling.

Facebook friend wannabe

So am I a bad person if I hit the “ignore request” button? But then again, do I really want to be friends with Monsieur Delifrance from Paris or Mr. Macho-Wearing-Tank-Tops from uhm, the gym?  What about this high school classmate that I NEVER breathed a single word to, all those years we were classmates?  All I remember is that the boys used to tease him a lot.  And Mean Girl Me couldn’t help but laugh whenever they teased him (gimme a break, I was very young then!).  And then now this guy wants us to be Facebook friends.  If I hit the ignore button, then it’s like rejecting him all over again. 

Now I feel just like JLo (yes, the new American Idol judge).  We both just can’t say NO.  Watch American Idol auditions and you will know what I am talking about.  (This is not a paid advertisement for AI, you don’t really have to watch the show if it’s not your thing.)

Back to Facebook.  What I am saying is, nobody likes being rejected.  Unfortunately, while to some people Facebook is a great way to ‘find’ friends, well it can also be an avenue to reject people. 

Facebook friend hottie

But of course, you can’t say yes to all friend requests, especially the ones coming from total strangers.  They may look hot and yummy (did I just say yummy?!), but didn’t mother tell you not to talk to strangers??  I guess Mr. H & Y wouldn’t mind being rejected.  Besides, even if he does mind, you don’t really know him so who cares, right?

What about Mr. High School Teased-a-Lot?  Is it right to reject his invite?  But when I think about it, do I really want to know his status updates? Do I really care?? And if I see him walking somewhere, will I even smile or say hi to him (like Facebook friendship gives you a connection). I think not.  I don’t even how he looks like now (no photo uploaded), so I wouldn’t know if it’s him. What’s the point, right?  

Several months ago I received a friend request from another high school classmate (let’s call him Mr. Teased-a-Lot #2).  Despite the same misgivings (I didn’t really know him, I never talked to him before, etc), I accepted the request.  Funny thing was, the profile photo he uploaded was the picture of the wrestler Batista. Yey, I am now friends with Batista.  Maybe I can smile at him (Batista) when I bump into him.  See?! What’s the point in being Facebook friends with someone you don’t really know anything about?  

Facebook friend ferret

The next time I checked, his profile picture was a ferret. Great, I’m friends with a ferret.  Now I am thinking of ‘defriending’ the ferret, but I don’t want to hurt his feelings.

Rejection.  Some people really just ask for it.

Truth be told, I can only think of one Facebook rejection that I had.  Back when I was pretty new in Facebook, I sent friend requests to friends (and not really friends) both from high school and college.  I remember sending this guy (an old college crush) a friend request thinking that he knew me from school anyway – because I was always stalking him (haha, that was a joke, of course!!).   Seriously, at some point in our college lives, we talked a few times. And so I was just being friendly. And mature.  Yeah right.

Two and a half years later (that means today), my friend request is still probably sitting—or rotting – in his friend request box.  Or maybe he has ignored it the moment he saw it.  So there, I was rejected in college… twenty years later, I was rejected once again, this time, in Facebook.  How fun is that?

A Goddess Rejected

Because I don’t do well with rejection, I stopped inviting people to be my Facebook friends.  As much as it pains me (such drama!) to hit the ignore button on someone’s invite, my psyche also can only take so much rejection, so why risk it? 

Besides, the people who really matter know where to find me. 

In real life. Not in Facebook.

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photos via weheartit.com ; Macho Man Randy Savage via google images

Flashbacks

Sometimes i can’t help but marvel at how modern technology just made everything easier– and the world much smaller — for us. 

About 16 years ago, I had a relationship with this guy who lives at the other side of the world.  He came here for a vacation… and found me, instead.  The irony is, we met a month before he was supposed to go back to his homeland and we started dating a week before his departure.  So obviously, ours ended up being a long distance relationship. We were so in love then and we promised that we would make it work, distance or no distance. 

It was 1994 and we still had to depend on snail mail.  Snail mail and Fedex.  Every two weeks, we would expect a letter or a package waiting at our respective doorsteps.  We spent a fortune at long distance calls, too.  We would talk on the phone every weekend for about an hour (sometimes, two).  This went on for six months (which at that time seemed like an eternity).  Then he flew back here for Christmas, stayed here for a couple of months, then went back home with the promise that we will make the long distance relationship last…

… and then he was gone.  Gone forever.

No, he did not die or anything.  We just proved that long distance relationships, well, never really go the distance (pardon the pun, please).  We pretty much showed everybody that no matter how “in love” two people are, the distance between them can really take its toll.  I think it took all of three months after he left the second time when we came to the realization that it was difficult.  Actually, he came to that realization first (and was too immature not to tell me)… ergo, the relationship basically ended badly — with me cursing him to high heavens, that is.  So basically, he could have just died and i wouldn’t have minded at that time (that was me being mature about the break up). 

But i digress.  Point is, fast forward 16 years later, present day 2010… Because of the world wide web, because of YM, emails, facebook, webcams, text messages and cellphone calls that don’t cost a fortune,  we are now in touch with people who are at the other side of the world.  My best friend/person lives at the other side of the world, too, and I chat with her almost every day.  My friends and relatives who are in countries of different time zones are always updated about the news and happenings here.  In real time.  It’s a small world, after all.

Sometimes I do wonder whether my relationship with the guy would have lasted if we had all these communication tools then.  Maybe we wouldn’t have felt the distance right away.  Perhaps it wouldn’t have felt like we were having an affair with a piece of paper.  Though it would probably be like having a virtual relationship (or having a relationship with the computer), well at least the other party answers back fast… no need to wait for two weeks. 

But then long distance is still long distance.  It’s still upto the people involved whether they will let the distance get in the way… or work on the relationship until they are together once more.

Tumblr

could have been us…

 

In case you are wondering what happened to long distance-guy… Well, we found each other in facebook a couple of years ago.  Yeah, who would have thought.  But then 16years is a long time, and people change.  I guess you pretty much have an idea how it went…

It went nowhere.  He’s just so 1994.

 

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photo credit: weheartit.com

6 minutes of Facebook

so there i was sometime last week, checking my Facebook account, finding out what’s going on in my social circle… 

… one facebook “friend” misses someone… another one was raving about his workout… one was in between flights… one was in pain — had something to with his legs or something… about five different people posting how bored they were…  one was seemingly annoyed at someone else… and the posts went on and on…

when i got tired of reading the current status or posts of my “friends,” i went to look at my profile, my wall, to find out if someone’s saying hi to me or is saying something nice about me… or if someone is sending me whatever gift, blessing or what-have-yous that you can give to your FB friends…

then i sent an fb mail to some friends and some cousins… even checked if there was someone interesting enough to chat with…

and then i went to view the profile of some of my friends… then the profile of my non-friends… then i checked if i was somewhat connected to an ex-boyfriend… seeing that i wasn’t, i still tried to view his profile just the same…

… and then, WHAM! …  i stopped.  it was like i was hit by a lightning… or better yet, it was like a piano fell right on top of me (Looney Tunes style), making me stop right there.  i looked at the watch and realized that i have spent practically an hour just viewing facebook…  one hour?! it has been that long?!  what the h#@% was i thinking– or in this case, doing? oh yeah, facebook. i was doing facebook.

the realization suddenly hit me… i have wasted too much of time doing nothing but finding out what other people are doing.  people who, like me, were also wasting their time when they can be doing something else. something more productive.  that one hour that i spent in facebook world could have been used to compose a masterpiece.  or i could have spent that hour reading a book, learn something new, learn a foreign language… learn how to cook Mediterranean food, for heaven’s sake!   but no, i spent that hour — and most hours of my day– finding out what’s going on in my so-called friends’ lives.  gosh, most of them aren’t even really my friends. i mean, there are people i never met in my entire existence who are now my facebook friends — simply because they sent me a friend request and i was too nice to say, Get lost, stranger! (of course, i will never do that! manners, manners!).  and there are still others whom i never, and i say, NEVER, talked to in school when we were still in school… but of course now that we’re all grown up and supposed to be mature enough, we are now fb friends.

before i turn snooty and everything, my point is, i realized that i was spending too much time with fb.  time that i could have used up elsewhere.  but then, fb can really be addictive! i mean, who wouldn’t want to know how bored other people are, right?  you get my drift.

and so i decided to take an fb sabbatical.  i told myself i won’t check my fb for two weeks. maybe after two weeks i’ll realize that it’s not so bad not being in the loop after all.  i mean, there must be life outside the fb world, right?  and it wouldn’t hurt not being a stalker of sorts for two weeks, right?

i am proud to say that i am doing pretty well. oh yeah, i kinda caved and cheated earlier — i had to get an email address which was saved in one of my mails (yeah, right, like i can’t access it at yahoo).  and so i gave myself 6 minutes. 6 minutes to take in whatever i can on that given afternoon.

6 minutes of facebook and this is what i got:  i gained another relative (by affinity, because the person based it on my husband’s family name)… i learned that one “friend” misses someone so — wait, wasn’t she the same person missing someone last week?… someone just had sumptuous lunch… one friend loving the world, another one hating it… i found out i had 2 new friend requests, strangers all — whom i happen to share a mutual friend with, 1 friend request from someone i swear i never talked to in high school…  i got a couple of blessings… i got hit by an alligator pillow… and i was invited twice to join the Haiti cause…

… and before the computer self destructed in front of me (in 5 seconds, Mission Impossible style), i said goodbye to my social circle and logged off…

Darn it, i forgot to get the email address i was supposed to retrieve…