Proper Facebook Etiquette

#733 It’s all just a bitch fest. But she’s asking for it.

Monday 20th April, 2009

My friend thinks she looks like Angelina Jolie. She does, but only in so far as having the same number of eyes and attached limbs. That is where the similarity ends. On her Facebook page it is getting increasingly creepy as she has uploaded pictures of her posing like Angelina (not in a good way). Really she’s just a little plain and with an average boyfriend. Should I try and reign her Facebook posing, or just hope that she’s grows out of it? Other friends already whisper and take her down behind her back.

Phew. One word. HARSH. Is it not just easier, nay nicer, to like your friend ‘just as she is’, rather than to try to take her down further and bring out all her insecurities? Clearly, there are confidence issues here. But they belong to BOTH you and your friends.

I am constantly amazed that despite (frequently reminding myself) ‘we’ as women have invested several years on some quite serious feminism, equality goes only so far until you can crush your fellow woman. Where some feminists called for women to ‘rise up’ out of the biologically and historically imposed subservience for equality, perhaps this is now more about a potential ‘taking down’ from within. Thanks, Bitches.

With friends it is important to see not only the good in the them, but to appreciate the relationship that you share. Hey you’re connected to each other, and not only via Facebook as a network, but you also share a network through mutual friends that is away from log-in details and Profile Pages.

Gossip used to be the whispered behind backs,(think Mean Girls circa Ms Lohan)
‘good god did you hear what she did with such and such last night, and THAT dress…’,

Now things can be more open plan, and Wall Posts and Tagged pictures in particular can draw out a bitch war, with comments like ‘dodgy dress’, ‘bad hair’, ‘haha look at you’ intended one way (in jest, just for fun) and interpreted another (with hurt, upset and emotional pain).

Essentially what your dilemma boils down to is a latent sense of insecurity. To you, your friend seems ‘in need’ and appears as the more insecure one – ‘she thinks she looks like Angelina Jolie’ – but ‘she doesn’t’. You could try to bring out another side of her. One that is not related to Ms Jolie, but more fitting for your friend. The trick here is to remind her that she does not have to attach such heavy investment into celebrity image – easy though it is to do.

Onto her Facebook ‘posing’, which is a related, but altogether separate issue. There have been numerous occasions when individuals have got into trouble with pictures uploaded to Facebook accounts – especially a page where an individuals boss/extended family are also connections. Could your concern be to do with how her image may affect her professional image? OR is this to do with a potential jealously on your part – a desire to create a similar ‘buzz’ about your own image?…
IS talking about it after all.

A nice approach would be to mention to those friends ‘whispering’ and who ‘take her down behind her back’ that words of encouragement could help to dispel her idolisation and related poses of Ms Jolie.

Maybe the answer lies not in your friends behaviour, but your own interpretation of her. Stop gaping at her page. If you don’t give this the attention you clearly feel it doesn’t deserve you can, instead, concentrate on what you do love about your friend.

Or you could, as Facebook allows, ‘suggest as friend’ Ms Jolie herself…

2 Responses to “#733 It’s all just a bitch fest. But she’s asking for it.”

  1. Dr Mariann Hardey says:

    @ Douglas,

    You have to admire the Ms Jolie’s and Madonna’s of the world who can constantly reinvent and ‘put themselves out there’.

    but as you observe – scary, or rather, FIERCE at times…

    Still we can’t all date a ‘Jesus’ or Mr Pitt…

  2. Douglas Blyde says:

    In my (limited) experience, many young women appear to have developed a fascination with Ms. Jolie. I put her in the same category as Madonna – somehow alluring and exciting for women, but absolutely terrifying for men.

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