I’ve lately engaged in a little cleansing on Facebook and I’m proud to report that the friends who are privileged enough whose posts make it on my newsfeed has been reduced to a small fraction of the virtual friends I actually have.
My purpose for this was, well, I don’t care about the things that most of you post. A lot of you just post pictures of your dinner or passive aggressive lyrics pointed at an unnamed romantic partner, anyway.
But there’s this girl who I have not yet hidden. Her name is not Cleopatra, but we will call her that today.
Good ol’ Patra has a shit show of a life. And she likes to talk with a very creative language that almost resembles English, if you squint and tilt your head and expand your focus enough.
I chose not to hide her posts because, in my very pretentious, privileged, white-girl-from-suburbia way, I was amused by them. Every fight between her and her boo, every time someone betrays her, every time something good, bad, or indifferent happens: it all goes online.
But, with all of my voyeuristic tendencies and need to know what Patra is up to, I have noticed something in the wreckage: the only people who interact with her (and there are plenty of them) are just. Like. Her.
She’s surrounded by the ghetto on her Facebook. They love her and frequently express their support for her during trying times. They all were delighted and showered her with love when she had her baby. In fact, all of the young women who interact with her online have babies of their own, and they are all young. Most of them single. I know because I stalked them, too.
They all type in that same, seemingly uneducated way. Lots of caps locks. Lots of attitude. Lots of improper punctuation. A lot of them have come up with their own systems for punctuation, I have noticed. A trend that gets under my skin but is so quintessential to how so many people interact with others online or through texts.
I enjoy sitting back and judging her. It’s a guilty pleasure. It’s the ostentatious butthead in me.
But I can’t help but acknowledge the likeliness that she will never change. This is her life. Everybody she’s surrounded by…they all act like her. It’s part of her culture.
And is her culture really so bad? Is my making fun of it helping anyone? Do I have a stick up my butt?
Some things I have noticed about Cleopatra while making fun of her:
- She receives tons of emotional support (measured in Likes and positive comments) during her happy times
- She has an army of people who are willing to go back to prison if someone messes with her
- Her baby is undeniably adorable
- There are more people than I can count on her profile who only want her to succeed
What can I conclude? That, maybe, I’m a jerk. And, maybe, she and her friends view my profile and think “God, what a stuck up, latte-sipping, self-righteous, privileged, bee-otch.”
Because I kind of am. And she’s kind of ghetto. Tomato, tomato.
Patra and I both spend way too much time creating a false appearance of ourselves on Facebook. We channel so much energy into making our lives look perfect and stress so much over things that really are not accurate reflections of our character. Who cares if I strive for accurate punctuation? Who cares if Patra strives to create her own original system of punctuation?
The people who like my posts and surround me with love are just like me, too. All latte-sippers. All ostentatious. All bee-otches. What makes me think that I am better than her? It’s pretty easy to assume I’m the shit when I get lots of attention from lots of people who think the same way I do.