Then you’d better proceed faking it, because your real face is not at all a delight.
Do you also have this relative in your family whom you find simply way too embarrassing? I have one. Let’s call him Uncle Joe. He is the nicest person ever, but he makes the most inappropriate jokes in the most inappropriate moments. So when my friends would come over I would secretly sneak them into my room hoping Uncle Joe stays in his, watching a soccer game or something. Every time there was a family gathering or a party, you could be sure that after some booze Uncle Joe would make you blush feeling embarrassed for both of you.
Don’t get me wrong, we loved Uncle Joe. Sometimes, when it was only us, he would make the most hilarious (although still inappropriate) joke that would bring everybody to laugh-tears. But sometimes, with other people around, we wished we could just lock him up in some sound proof closet till the party’s over.
Guess what? Couple of days ago, I found out I’m somebody’s Uncle Joe.
I lost a friend the other day. Don’t worry, nobody died. I’m not even sure whether “lose” is a right word. Can you lose something you never had in the first place? It was a friend on my favorite social network, one of the first people I’ve met there. I’ll call him “he” for the sake of simplicity. Using a gender neutral “they” to describe one person other than Their Majesty the Queen (and Co.) really hurts my brain (yes, I have a very sensitive brain). But keep in mind it could as well have been a “she”.
So, I thought I had a friend. We made each other laugh. We helped each other. We had some real conversations. Until one day it stopped.
Until couple of more days later he had a party. Apparently, he was expecting his bosses to attend. I didn’t have a personal invitation, but it was a free entry. So I came. My jokes came, too. More than one; they refuse to travel single. Nothing bad ass, all within the limits. I know my manners.
Later and totally by accident, I found out… that I was locked up in the closet.
And by a party I mean a post. And by his bosses I mean some influencers with gazillion of followers. And by a closet I mean… definitely something else (use your imagination, people).
The difference between a real party and a post in this particular context is that within a post you can put a person “in a closet” without asking them, and moreover, without them even noticing. Especially if it’s a big party and a person has already left. All embarrassing evidences destroyed, as if it never happened. Now, whenever you look you’ll see people in tuxedos, drinking champagne, saying “therefore”. Everything’s ready for the bosses to arrive.
To be fair, I also delivered some serious content on topic that other people seemed to have appreciated. This content stayed, successfully joining the tuxedo gathering, although I distinctly remember arriving in jeans. But other than that… Uncle Joe in the closet, all traces whipped out.
I thought I had a friend. Who, when he needs to “put me in the closet”, at least will give me a heads up. Who, when he has a problem, will come and talk to me. Who, when asked directly why he is acting as if I’m surrounded by the barbwire with the signs “like this post and you would die a sudden death, comment on it and the death would be slow and painful” all over me, would have the decency not to invent excuses. Apparently, I didn’t think well enough.
Seriously, what was I thinking? He became way too important now to hang out with me. Especially if I don’t pat him on his back lavishing him with ‘great job’s and ‘awesome’s for every sneeze. Especially if I give him an honest feedback. Especially if I cannot do anything for him on that social network with my less than 1000 followers. I might have been an entertainment once, but now I’m a threat of embarrassment (are you crazy? important people are watching!), completely useless otherwise. It all totally makes sense.
Ironically, in one of my previous posts, which I wrote by a complete accident, I said that the interaction with the people within that social network is very close to human interaction in real life, which I won’t expect from a social network in the first place. I put it as a good thing. Now I think it’s too close to real human interaction. If this was a drama fiction story I’m writing here, I’d say, this incident felt real, hurt for real, disappointed for real. Good thing that I neither like nor write drama. So you can strike that other sentence.
Well, I won’t lavish praise on you, but I’ll give you honest feedback so you can improve and grow. I know it helped. I can do nothing for you on that social network, but I can make your day. I know I did. And when I will notice that you need help I will be there without you even asking. No, it’s not a special treatment. It’s just the way I treat my friends.
With all this being said:
My dear (now-semi-)important ex-(I’m-not-sure-if-ever-)friend,
I wish you all the best on your way to the top. And I really hope that… No, wait. Three, two, one… sorry, don’t care anymore. Need to go. Real people are waiting.