Facebook means something totally different to me than it did in college. When you HAD to have a university email address Facebook was way to be a part of the "cool club". It was a way to proclaim "YES I attend college!!" Facebook has since evolved..... and boy have I had to "catch up with the times". After college I rarely got on Facebook. In fact during college I didn't get on Facebook often. I mean I didn't have an iPhone (they really weren't around then, again dating myself) and my blackberry didn't have a Facebook app (yes, I proudly sported a blackberry that I really had no need for). Fastfoward a few years (you can do the math based on the few timeline clues I have left you) and a different lifestyle than college. I am now living this life known as a "Military wife" and man oh man... Facebook is something else! It's can become a breeding ground for drama, instability, and pure evil. I figured to make life easier for future military wives, I would comply a list of 5 ways to survive Facebook, living overseas, and the military.
1. Join the spouse page/group but rarely post! troll troll troll.......
Every base has a spouse page/group. Some have multiples. Heck, at the base I am at, there is a group if you are left handed or have a mole over your right cheek.... just kidding, but there is seriously a group for EVERYTHING! Join the group. Utilize the little search icon and search your questions.... DO NOT POST!!! Well I mean you can post but more than likely you will get 100 different answers or 100 of the same answers or somebody saying please refer to the post made three days ago about topic x.
See that nice highlighted magnify glass... Utilize that!!!! And of course troll the page, because frankly if you are overseas, TV entertainment is limited to AFN and this will bring you more laughs and "oh mys" than any Real Houswives episode.
2. You DO NOT have to be friends with everyone in the squadron
Seriously folks it isn't necessary to send out friends requests with everyone you meet on base! You MAY learn you don't want to be their "friend" then defriending becomes awkward. Privacy is a thing of the past these days so protect what little is left!!!
Get to know the base, give out your phone number, email address, anything but take time to get to know people before you start clicking that "add friend" button!!
3. You DO NOT have to be friends with the Active Duty Members in your sponsors squadron!
This is something that baffles me ALL THE TIME!!! Ok, so I understand you want to be friends with the spouse because that means you get invited to all the 31, Pampered Chef, Mary Kay, etc parties BUT why do you feel the need to be friends with the Active Duty member? The military was founded on the lines of respect, rank, etc.... I feel (again this is my opinion, it is my blog) that these lines have become so cloudy and mucky! Is it so hard now a days to keep work and friends separate? I can almost guarantee you that if the spouse posts pictures or a status update she/he will tag the Active Duty member in the post so there really isn't' a need to be friends with EVERYONE! And then this gets back to what if you really DON'T want to know what's going on in someone's marriage and you are friends with both.... again defriending = awkward situation! There is NO need for me to be friends with any active duty member in my husband's squadron. He's friends with them so if I need to get a hold of someone, I ask him too. I get so tired of military talk anyway, I don't want to see it on my newsfeed... but again, maybe that's just me.
4. People are CRUEL! They WILL use Facebook against you.
There are some people out there that are just plain mean and Facebook doesn't have a "mean detector" unfortunately. Mean people take screen shots and send to people that have no business seeing screenshots. We all "air our dirty laundry" at some point or another on Facebook. It's easy to do and it's instant. We LOVE instant gratification BUT people DO NOT know how to keep their nose in their own business!!!
TRUST ME FOLKS!!! This reverts back to the whole watch who you are friends with business.
5. Restricted Profile, Lists, Blocking= HALLELUIAH!!!
Ok, so you made a bad choice in accepting or requesting a friend and you do not want to go through that awkward phase of defriending because well you didn't listen to number 2 or 3 and befriended your sponsor supervisor and supervisor's wife. Well, folks, facebook has answered another one of our cries for help!! Learn to use restricted profile! You still "appear as friends" but they have limited access to your posts! If you are REALLY daring organize your friends into "lists" and only allow certain "lists" to see certain posts. BUT remember whose on these lists because you could post something on the wrong "lists" (I prefer restricted profile, simpler, and I don't have to remember anything). The of course if there is that one "friend" that just won't leave you alone (we all have met him/her) you can defriend then block! This is a little extreme, but trust me folks, sometimes it has to be utilized!!
Facebook can be GREAT!! I love the fact that I can stay in touch with my college and high school friends back home (the cool club that had Facebook when only university email address holders could get it) and that I can stay in touch with my parents, grandparents, cousins, etc. I post too many pictures of my daughter, too many surveys, and too many news articles. Facebook, overall has been good to me, BUT Facebook has also taught me a lot about what society is turning or has turned into. If you delay friend requests, you may actually sit down and TALK to people, enjoy coffee, get to KNOW the person from their mouth, not simply from there 50 plus photo albums on Facebook. For those future military spouses or current military spouses, seriously the cheesy AFN commercial is our reality. Safeguard your privacy! Very little is left in today's society!! And enjoy being "old school" and MAKING friends by conversation, not just clicking "add friend".
Now I must go enjoy a glass of wine and troll our spouse page because frankly nothing is on AFN right now!!
Love Love from Aviano!