The manifestation of friendship was a concept that was always foreign to me. I always figured that I should follow the golden rule as my grade school teachers taught: “Do unto others as you’d have them do unto you.” Simple. I could do that. I wanted to get along with everyone. So it was easy to call anyone my friend just-so-long they treated me like I treated them. You were my friend if you were nice and didn’t want me to get hurt. It wasn’t long before I got entirely confused by this.

(I’m often questioning whether I’m well-adjusted.)

My browser loaded the latest newsfeed again and I quickly scanned the status updates. There were a few photos, urls to articles and there’s a long post with a few supporting paragraphs. I quickly speed read. It was familiar. I’m not sure why long posts are my mind’s preference of content but I assumed that it was because my mind always thinks it took the most effort to write therefore it must be important.

The status began like this: “I’m going to delete you if you...”

I sighed. I knew what this was about.

The person always writes about the changes in their lives and that no one is supportive of it and they haven’t heard from people in quite awhile… they always mention the people who pretend to have their backs and don’t. Or, they talk about the lack of likes to their posts and comments. I have some sort of empathy and I feel sorry. It does suck. I relate. Losing friends you took the time to invest relationships with does suck. Or people who seem like they don’t care. Then I check myself. I quickly try to remember if I ever wrote a status update like that. I always do this mind dance and as usual I don’t think that I ever did, or I don’t remember. I can’t rely on my memory for this. I’m going to go out on a limb and say, “I honestly don’t need the attention.” Yep. People writing statuses like this want attention. Calling y’all out!

Do I always comment on everyone’s status update? Do I like everything? Mostly, but not really. I’m sure everyone follows that same habit. They don’t comment on everyone’s post on their list.

I’m in a unique situation where I’m always logged on and have the luxury of time to respond, almost in real time daily (I’m in the technology field where I’m logged into social network and study learned behavior). Yet, I don’t comment on everyone’s status. Sometimes it’s because I realize that I might not know the person as well as I thought even if I added them. I like things when I believe I know the person just enough to agree—at times I don’t even agree I just want to acknowledge that I read this and I can empathize. All this takes some effort. Liking and commenting actually can be like a second job if you’re not careful. I may get the time to read but just like writing this blog post took some effort, like more than an hour, composing responses to ensure that you’re not misunderstood does take some effort on social media. For example, I loathe going in the rabbit hole of debating back and forth on people’s statuses (sometimes I give up and delete myself—well I used to lol). What I assumed would’ve been a quick response ends up not being communicated well in tone and all of a sudden there are supporting messages to elaborate.

So, why this post title?

I had to learn about lurking. What is lurking?

lurk /lərk/verb
to read the postings on an Internet message board or in a chat room without making any contribution oneself.

Well, I akin it to being a peeping Tom or voyeur into people’s lives. You’re curious. It’s normal for humans to have this curiosity.

Again, I’m in a unique situation where I can see analytics. I see usernames, ips and traffic of people who use the internet. I constantly see my exes “lurking” on my profile (and have called them out on it because they aren’t on my list). How can I blame them though (this probably should be a follow up post)? I’ve stopped calling them out even if I don’t reciprocate (anymore haha).

So, people lurk. They find you fascinating and might have a few reactions to you. Some do care but might not have the confidence to say something.

Maybe there’s no opener. Can you imagine what people might be thinking when they comment?

Hey Jade, I met you at a party years ago. I added you on Facebook, we never communicated since then but I just wanted to like your profile and add comments. If I knew we were going to disagree so much in opinion, I probably wouldn’t regret commenting and having all your friends attacking me.

Hey Jade! I’m commenting and clearly I didn’t know my grammar was so terrible that I’d seem like an ignorant prick!

Hey Jade! I’m commenting because I don’t give two F’s about whether my coworkers and mutual friends see this comment.

Hey Jade, I’m on your status just to start drama with all your friendsssss.

See, there can be many reasons why people don’t comment. Give them a break. A piece of advice, next time you feel like writing a status like that: Go to a friend’s page who you haven’t commented on in awhile and comment on something they recently posted. Or, scroll back to see something in the past and say “Whoa missed this post!” It works! They might even navigate to your Facebook page and like what you just posted. Cheers to watering the friendship plant!

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