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Call Me Old-Fashioned But...Breaking up is hard to do in a "wired world"

Rose Cora Perry | Interrobang | Opinion | December 6th, 2010

Editorial opinions or comments expressed in this online edition of Interrobang newspaper reflect the views of the writer and are not those of the Interrobang or the Fanshawe Student Union. The Interrobang is published weekly by the Fanshawe Student Union at 1001 Fanshawe College Blvd., P.O. Box 7005, London, Ontario, N5Y 5R6 and distributed through the Fanshawe College community. Letters to the editor are welcome. All letters are subject to editing and should be emailed. All letters must be accompanied by contact information. Letters can also be submitted online by clicking here.
I don't know about you, but I'm definitely someone who opts for a "clean break," whenever possible. Regardless of whether we're talking a business deal gone awry, a messy split with a romantic partner, or a desire to cease communications with someone you're not quite certain as to how they ended up on your friends list in the first place, once the presumed benefit of continuing the relationship has been lost, I frankly don't see the point. Let's face it folks, we can't be friends with everyone and if someone no longer wishes to have us in their lives, we should respect that.

Now, if you just interpreted what I stated as self-serving, don't kid yourself - all relationships are based on some idea of mutual perk, even the seemingly altruistic ones. For example, while it is true that people participate in charity work to help those less fortunate, some also do it because they receive positive recognition from others in society, it looks good on the old resume, and because it provides oneself with a sense of purpose, fulfillment and satisfaction that you are giving back.

This "alliance strategy," of course, can be traced back to our evolutionary history: it is and always has been in the best interest of any species to maintain strong ties to its kin in order to ensure protection and survival of its kind. Kin, in the modern sense of this perspective then, can be defined as those with whom you share the same values, morals, attitudes, beliefs, passions and more — these are the individuals with whom you already have or wish to make a connection.

On the other side of things, there are those with whom you've had falling outs, or those whose values are dissonant to yours. From a "survival" perspective, this latter group stands in the way of the perpetuation of people like yourself; therefore adding to their "fitness" by expanding their network isn't in your best interest. Make sense? In other words, you are who you hang with.

So what does all of this have to do with being "old-fashioned?" Well, frankly because we live in such a "wired world," it's next to impossible (particularly if you work in the entertainment business, like myself) to maintain any sense of anonymity. Essentially what I'm trying to say is that nowadays, even if you block all incoming hate mail on one social networking site from an established antagonist, you can easily find yourself being "cyber-stalked" through another or worse, having your identity "mimicked" without even knowing it, whereas eliminating delinquents from your life, at one point, was as easy as changing your phone number.

I've had ex-boyfriends from high school with whom things ended extremely unfavourably, along with my old high school bullies, friend request me on Facebook - are you kidding me? Why the hell would I want anything to do with them? Moreover, why the hell would they want anything to do with me? I've still got my battle wounds, and those are not really times I wish to ever revisit. Thanks.

While admittedly, people are far too freewheeling about the level of personal detail they are willing to put online, I also feel that the idea of privacy is being reduced to a whole new level because of social networking sites and the web.

The other day, for example, a teenaged girl got suspended by her school because someone anonymously sent her principal a photo, stolen from her Facebook page, which showed her participating in underage drinking. Agreed, this is an illegal act that should be sanctioned, but seeing as the drinking did NOT occur on school grounds, and the photo was likely submitted by one of the girl's adversaries, I really don't feel that the principal was justified in getting involved. If anything, he should have contacted the girl's parents and allowed them to deal with her as they saw fit.

The points I'm trying to make here are as follows: First, it is never in proper taste to air one's dirty laundry publicly. Also, be respectful of others' desires to maintain their privacy. I mean, considering how easy it is to track people down these days, if they wanted you to be in their lives, you likely already would be. Finally, if someone has decided they feel it is necessary to "cut you out," accept it; continuing communications, after all, is only likely to merit you a higher place on their shit list.
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