I realize most people use the social media platform to show the world their ideal selves, throw up their highlight reel. I use mine more like a blooper reel, to be honest, and for the most part, that serves me well.
I don't care if people know my house is sometimes messy, or if my kids sometimes misbehave. I make mistakes, and I post about those. I fail in the kitchen, in the home, in trying to be fashionable, in writing, in life. And I post about it. Because I'm a real person and I just don't have the energy to put my best foot forward. Sometimes I don't even have a best foot, it's true.
That said, just because I share things that aren't all roses and sunshine all the time, doesn't mean Facebook friends know me any better than they know anyone else. They certainly don't know me better than I do.
That said, I got a dog a few weeks ago.
Before I got this puppy, I had done a lot of research online, finding the right match for our family. I'd been looking since October. I also have had and trained a few dogs in my lifetime, though none so small (he's a Chorkie, and will top out at 8-10 pounds) and none while I had a family.
Facebook, though, didn't know that. Facebook only knew that I posted a picture of the little guy along with the status: "Going to see this little guy tomorrow. If all goes well, we'll be getting a puppy."
This was enough to set the social medium on fire, apparently.
Amid the squeals of omgcutepuppy, there were a few concerned yet respectful comments inquiring as to whether I knew what I was getting into with a puppy. Understandable. As much as I share on social media, I hadn't found reason ever to go into my history with dogs, or even (aside from one comment months before) to indicate that I was researching puppy options for the family. I put those fears to rest with a brief explanation. Then I got this comment:
"How long are you home everyday? Aren't you gone quiet a bit with grad school? And doing other stuff. A small dog that is going to top out at ten pounds most can't really go more then two hours with out bringing them outside when they are itty bitty puppies. With two kids who can go from fine to freak out in two seconds a small puppy could easily get hurt,or a broken bone or worst case dead are you prepared for them to fight over a puppy and how to handle that? Also asking which is better to house or crate train makes me think you have not really 100% thought this through and you're just thinking omgPUPPY. And while they may look cute I also don't think a yorkie corgi mix is really a good mix for your family. You could end up with a nightmare nuerotic dog real quick. Please look more up on both breeds and search around for puppy classes and if you really do plan on impulse buying a puppy and get it to puppy classes ASAP. And I hope you're not paying a ridic amount for basically a mutt."So much wrong with this comment. Not that I have to defend my life or my choices, but I'm not gone hardly at all. I'm home basically always. I thought crate training meant training the dog to go to the bathroom inside. Crate training and house training were the same to me. So, yes, got me on misuse of terminology. Not a Corgi mix. Not an impulse buy. And for someone so concerned about the apparently downtrodden and horrid life this dog is about to have, that last line calling him a mutt and not wanting me to spend money (ie: ensure I make a commitment to this decision) stands out as odd.
How about we deal with this: "With two kids who can go from fine to freak out in two seconds a small puppy could easily get hurt,or a broken bone or worst case dead are you prepared for them to fight over a puppy and how to handle that?"
I'm sorry, but no matter how well you think you know me, Facebook, it is totally inappropriate to imply my children would kill a dog. They are six. They're not going to tear it apart like a stuffed animal because they can't control themselves.
This was my reply at the time.
"Thanks. I'm home all day. My kids won't break the pup's bones either. I've bought and trained dogs before, as well. Though they were 25-40 American Eskimos. My kids also won't fucking kill the dog."I figured that would be it. Thank you for your slightly inappropriate concern, here's why it's not valid, have a good day. Nope. More puppy drama ensued (puppy drama, Facebook. Are we serious?)
I was unfriended and then a status was made about how my home isn't stable and said ex-friend wasn't going to stand by while I let a puppy into this house.
You're right, Facebook. This is clearly a dog fearing for his life, daily.
I made a few statuses about it myself, because when you're fighting on Facebook over a dog, you can't let such an important topic drop, amirite?
The first status just let Facebook know that while I appreciated its concern, I simply didn't tell the medium everything, and rest-assured, I pretty much had a handle on my life at all times, as wacky as my statuses may sometimes seem.
Thankfully, most of my friends have good senses of humor, and I got these types of responses:
"Good lord is this over the fucking DOG? Buy the dog, fuck anyone who thinks you're under qualified or over paying. Can you take a dump without everyone commenting on the size/shape/color?"
"Hang on, I have lots of relevant advice for you. I would hate for you to make a decision for your family without my super important input you didn't ask for."
"AS EXPERTS ON YOUR LIFE AND LITERALLY EVERY SINGLE DOG BREED OR CROSS BREED IN EXISTENCE, LET ME TELL YOU WHY I THINK YOU'RE A TERRIBLE PERSON FOR BUYING A PUPPY."
We continue to have fun with it. I let everyone know I also have a fish they didn't know about and everyone clutches pearls in jest. Someone asks me if we're breaking up.
And I'm just putting this comment here because it makes me laugh:
"Well, I guess that depends on whether you think my kids are big enough assholes that they'd straight kill a dog.
If yes, we may have to go our separate ways. But don't worry. I'll pick up the check. Right after I impulse buy a puppy that I never researched until right now when I posted about it."
"like how have your kids ever come across as aggressive puppy tossing cage fighters? Sure they have their twin moments, but even that seemed like when they were younger like all kids. They don't come across as unruly maniacs who would grab a dog by one end and pull it in half. They seem p level headed from how you discuss them."
Aggressive puppy tossing cage fighters. I die.
Okay, so we all have our fun, the other status that I can't see because I was unfriended is going on, and it's all about how I seriously should NOT get a dog because it spells doom and I'd just be the worst pet owner.
Yup. Totally the worst. This poor creature.
Anyway, I could have let it drop. But, I mean, how often do you get to participate in puppy drama? I'm guessing it's once in a lifetime. So I made one more status. Your typical, searching-for-validation-even-though-it-couldn't-be-farther-from-necessary post.
"I mean, like, there's a difference between brutal honesty and alleging someone's six year old, fairly competent (if emotional) kids will kill a dog, amirite? I think I'm right on this one. Just saying."
I got almost 200 comments validating me when I didn't need to be validated, because I play Facebook. I like validation. I like statuses. I like comments. I like conversations. I also appreciated the level of pure ridiculousness we had reached.
I mean, I'm busy a lot of the time. But when I'm not, you can find me on Facebook, fighting for my right to own a dog.
So, in conclusion, when you go to comment on someone's status about something you know all the stuffs about, take heed. Maybe the person also knows what they are doing. Maybe their kids actually won't kill a dog.
Always remember, Facebook, you're not my mom.