• Thu, Sep 30 2010

How The Gloss Is Helping Me Weed Out People On Facebook

Like most people I know, I share links to my work on my Facebook page. I do this for two reasons: 1. I’m proud that I get to write about sex and music for such amazing websites; 2. I know the majority of my friends are on Facebook all day, so why not give them another little something to distract them from their jobs.

I’m well aware that sometimes my topics might be a bit unnerving for some people, but I just shrug my shoulders at the notion and move on to the next piece. I write very candidly and there are very few people in my life about whom I haven’t written in some thinly veiled way. I consider myself lucky to have had so many interesting people and experiences that have supplied me with mucho fodder for articles, stories, novellas, etc.

Having come from a small New Hampshire town where the majority of my high school class still remains married with children, Toyota Camrys and mortgages, I’ve always been weary about which friend requests I accept on Facebook. I’m not trying to ignore my past, but I just don’t think I have anything in common with those people – and honestly, I don’t think I ever did. Even at this moment, I have fifteen people from my hometown awaiting “friend request” acceptances that will never happen. The class president of my graduating class is a staunch Republican who vehemently opposes the idea of marriage being for anyone but straight Christians – just to give an example of the thought process of some of the people I’m referring to. I understand they are entitled to their opinions, but I also understand that these people don’t want to read my pieces on pearl necklaces and masturbation, so why bother?

Yesterday, I awoke to a Facebook message from a former classmate (high school boyfriend to be exact). The message said: “I’m offended by what you wrote about me. I’m unfriending you and blocking you.” I was stunned. I couldn’t figure out for the life of me when I would have wasted my time writing about him. I racked my brain. I went through all my stories and articles, and anything at all I had posted on my Facebook page in the last week or so. Still, I came up with nothing. I politely responded that I didn’t know what he was talking about, because I didn’t.

I called my sister and gave her a rundown of events. I didn’t even have to finish my story before she knew exactly where my “error” was – I had so very briefly mentioned him in my piece about taking a boy’s virginity, and in doing so I may have slightly alluded to the fact that since the high school boyfriend and I were virgins it was a bad experience and it would only be until later on in life that I realized just how bad it was. Basically, in a roundabout way, this can be misconstrued as he being bad in bed. Of course, this was not my intention. The story wasn’t even about him… it was about first times and how awful they can be – and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. My sister said I might as well have announced to the world he had a small dick because I technically insulted his manhood.

By the time I had officially realized what I had done, I had received another message informing me that what I write is offensive to [insert name of another person from high school] and they’re unfriending me, too. There was no time for me to come to my senses, compose a witty, snarky response that would bite him in the ass for being so small-minded and not having a sense of humor; before I knew it, I had been blocked by him. As far as the world of Facebook goes, he and I no longer exist in each others’ lives, our past together has been erased, and that’s that.

I wish I could say I felt bad, but I don’t. Instead, I feel rather grateful that Facebook as offered a forum where I, and people like me, can weed out people from our pasts who don’t approve of what we write, say or do. I’ve always been open-minded; I’ve always strongly felt that no topic should be off limits and that communication, in every aspect of life, is key. I also believe that you should write what you know; and I know this: My first love has blocked me on Facebook. However, that doesn’t change the fact that we did love each other when we were seventeen and we did lose our virginities to each other; and yeah, it kind of sucked.

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  • JBird

    Get the hell over yourself. I can hardly be friends with all of these navel-gazing singletons who have nothing better to do with their time except write blogs about orgasms. Wow, you’re special.

  • Kait

    Whew, looks like JBird is going to be defriending you on facebook soon! Wah, wahhhhh.

    Getting paid to write about anything–nevermind orgasms–is an awesome, enviable job. So what I’m saying, Amanda, is that you ARE special! :)

  • Kelly

    In the words of the divine Bette Midler “Fuck’em if they can’t take a joke.”

  • NS

    Please reread your post and edit for grammar and spelling. I’m consistently shocked by how many editing mistakes so-called “professional writers” make. The Gloss should have a proofreading department if writers can’t be bothered to proof their own work. If I were your Facebook friend I’d have to block you simply because I wouldn’t be able to deal with the errors in your status updates.

  • Niveazesi

    Wow, your job looks fun but it also carries with it a huge responsibility. You should’ve handled it with sensitivity, and you didn’t, so you got nailed. I feel sorry for anyone who had any relations with you that you could publicize. Everyone has had a bad experience, or has been the bad experience. Even if you don’t care if they write about you, being thick-skinned shouldn’t be required of every person you’ve ever slept with. Having a sense of humor is way different than what you’ve done and will no doubt continue to do. It’s not funny, it’s cruel at another’s expense.

  • nolalola27

    While I totally get where you’re coming from, there are a few points to consider:
    1. You said you come from a small town, so obviously everyone knows who you’re talking about when you say you & your boyfriend lost your virginities to each other. That means anything you say about that incident will be clearly about that guy (at least to people who know both of you IRL).
    2. Having said that, his reaction was really extreme. He should have contacted you first to say his feelings were hurt, to give you a chance to say “I totally didn’t see it that way, I wasn’t dissing on your abilities in bed at all, I was saying first times are always awkward,” or something along those lines.
    3. If I were you, and I were really bothered by it (which you don’t seem to be), I’d maybe post something along the lines of “I want to clarify that, in my experience, first times in bed are usually awkward. I’d never call anyone specifically out for being bad in bed.”
    4. Reiterating Kelly, “Fuck ‘em.”

  • a

    Whoever JBird is, I think it’s funny you have nothing better to do but comment on this blog by a navel-gazing singleton who writes about orgasms.

    But yeah, Moff’s Law. That is all.

  • Lindsay Hartman

    I can see where you’re coming from. I haven’t been defriended, but I’ve been thoroughly bitched at for even vaguely referencing a family member of mine during a post. And my biggest issue with the whole situation was, no on besides myself and this family member would have any idea who was I talking about. They weren’t the subject of my post, they were a side detail. Basically, they made a big deal out of something that will have no effect at all on their life. For you at least, you don’t have to worry about listening to him whine again.

  • Leah

    This is tough. Because I so enjoy reading about the escapades of the Gloss writers, I wouldn’t want you to feel like you had to take people out, but I guess if I was involved in one of those stories I would be a bit unnerved. Tricky business. If some of my friends became writers I would be mortified if they mentioned some of my endeavors in their posts.

  • b

    You should be “wary” of who you friend on facebook, not “weary”. Cautious vs. tired…

  • Elle

    “Why no, it doesn’t bother me at ALL that someone doesn’t like me sharing personal stories on the internet. Nope, I wasn’t insulted one bit. In fact, I’m going to write an article and publish it so this person can see how unaffected I am by their opinion, and not at all because it’s my passive-aggressive way of letting someone know they’ve been blocked. Yay me!”

  • Jane

    1. JBird is hostile and really needs to come up with something besides “navel-gazing.” Really? You need to get over yourself and your stupid phrase.
    2. It’s called get a sense of humor.
    3. The writer didn’t say anything negative about the person in question, in fact, if you read the original post you’d see that.
    4. What’s with the grammar police? Get over it – sometimes editors miss things! You’re not perfect either so quit thinking otherwise.
    5. I can’t believe the negativity of some of these comments – ack.

    • Leah

      What is a “navel-gazer” anyway?

  • Carol

    I am chocked by the negativity on those comments as well! Gee, I like your article. It’s funny how people can be so intolerant. Almost every writer writes about personal experiences, they can’t help it. And clearly no one was really offended in the text she wrote. People can be oversensible and take offense for little things or nothing (like the ones that commented above – they are so angry because of something that didn’t have anything to do with them at all, it’s just someone’s else experience and point of view, that many others can maybe relate to – that’s the job of a writer, to share).
    It’s really a big favor to be free of this kind of people in our lives.

    And sorry about occasional grammar mistakes here – english is not my first language.

  • Jane

    Exactly. What the hell is a navel-gazer?

  • Alexi

    Love this post. I think the guy’s reaction is either a sign that he still holds a flame for Amanda, or he is just plain insecure. Most people whose first time was with another virgin would have a story similar to Amanda’s. It’s expected. If you’ve never done it before, then chances are it will be crap. And as Amanda’s article said, it’s only with more sexual experience that you realise it was really crap. It’s not because the person you had sex with was terrible or the relationship you had at the time was terrible, it’s just that you both had no idea what you were doing. And it’s nothing to be ashamed about. My first time was awful. At the time, I didn’t think much of it. But now, it was horrible. And I’m sure I had a lot to do with it being that why, not just my partner.

    • Amanda Chatel

      THANK YOU, Alexi!

  • erin

    How interesting that this of all articles has spawned the most negative comments. And how ironic that Elle and JBird and the rest think their own opinions about your supposed self-absorption are important enough to share with the rest of the world.
    Getting back to the article itself– shouldn’t there be some sort of statute of limitations on being sensitive about these issues? I wouldn’t presume to know your age, Amanda, but I’m guessing that these high school antics occurred at least a decade ago. As far as I’m concerned, ten years should be a comfortable enough distance that we can all look back and laugh at it now.