Some people believe a blog is an “online diary” open to the world. While there is comfort in knowing that my words might cause someone to nod, share their own stories, or take action, I regularly find myself not posting. There are some topics that are definitely off-limits to me. I have no intention of blogging about any pending, ongoing things such as a real estate purchase, or a job interview, for fear of jinxing things.
I also would never post things that would be embarrassing if the music suddenly went quiet at a party. Because yes, everyone has had that moment. A woman walks in “wearing a beautiful dress, but her shoes .. where is that store, so I can always avoid it?” Of course, at that precise moment, everyone turns to look at me. Because I totally thought the music would cover my shouting voice. Ahem.
While the awkward moments can define me, when others survive such awkwardness and we discover this joint experience, discussion can define friendship. Not long ago I was online when a friend posted about unfriending people on their birthdays. She got some surprised reactions, and this encouraged me to confess. I do the same thing.
Yes. I unfriend people on their birthdays. Let me explain. Facebook is a network of machines that find connections between people. You like animals, and food? You went to what school? Enter it in your profile / bio. Mark Zuckerberg and his people are here to make it easier, when you want to plan a reunion.
Yet .. have you pictured, how it would be for our favorite TV foursome?
Samantha gets in her hotel room on a Friday night, after a
date speaking engagement. She checks Facebook to see what Miranda and Steve have been doing. Has there been another nanny incident?? Is Brady being a potty-mouth, or taking after his dad? We all know Carrie and Big John have the fabulous life with beautiful parties and a closet bigger than most NYC apartments. Carrie vlogs about it, and sometimes Samantha sees them in the background of reality TV shows.
A notification pops up. Charlotte wants to be FBFs (Facebook Friends). Feeling warm and fuzzy, and missing their long chats, Samantha clicks “confirm”. Then she remembers meeting a guy named Cosmo, slides her tablet under the bed and texts him.
Saturday morning. Samantha has to go. She grabs her scarf from over there, her blouse and skirt over here, heels by the door, the tablet from under the bed. Bumps the power button and … what is this? Charlotte’s profile is full of family photos. Over 20 photos uploaded in a day. The girls are gorgeous, Harry the loving husband and father, Charlotte the proud wife and mother who keeps herself busy with dog shows, too … but not too busy to post it all on her profile on the same day.
After straightening her skirt, Samantha throws everything in her tote, meets her driver downstairs and gets to the airport. She gets to NYC, slips into a bar for a dinner meeting, FINALLY gets home to unpack and unwind. She falls asleep watching Carrie’s latest webisode.
Sunday morning. Samantha realizes for the first time in a long time, how much fun it was to have brunch with the girls. But not a one of them has posted anything about Cosmos or brunch. Not even Charlotte, who just friended her on Friday night. “Okay, people have lives,” she says to herself, and goes about her day.
Weeks pass, months pass. Miranda checks in for networking and advice because she and Steve are planning to leave Brooklyn, to start an organic farm with Aidan. Samantha gets an offer from a liquor company for a “flavors of NYC” collection. She posts something vague about getting back to her roots, how exciting this all is. Carrie mentions Samantha by name in a vlog post, Miranda congratulates her without asking for details. And not a peep from Charlotte. Samantha never gets an inbox message, a text message, or even a thumbs-up on her post, from Charlotte.
Oh look! A Facebook notification. Upcoming birthdays. Charlotte’s birthday. Hmm. Click to her page. A monument to all things Goldenblatt. Harry, Lily, Rose, the dog even gets paragraphs full of brag for a ribbon at the latest event.
Samantha takes a deep breath. She hovers, hesitates, clicks “unfollow” then “unfriend”
Happy birthday, Charlotte.
“Next time I go on Facebook and one of those friggin notifications pop up,” Samantha thinks to herself, “I’m better off pouring a drink and toasting to Sunday brunch.”