It wasn't that long ago when I took to this space and wrote about the batshit woman who set someone's house on fire over a Facebook argument relating to party planning.
About a year ago I wrote about the toddler who drowned while his distracted mother played around on Facebook. And another baby was shaken to death for daring to disrupt his mother's turnip harvesting time by crying.
Look, I get it - Facebook is a playground full of distractions from an otherwise boring, stressful, unfulfilling life. Racking up coins, piles of tomatoes, or dead vampire bodies certainly makes the time fly and life worth living. (Apply sarcasm liberally.)
Now comes the story of a double murder over - are you ready? Stop harvesting for a moment and focus - a Facebook defriending.
Yes, two people lay dead - Billy Clay Payne, Jr. and Billie Jean Hayworth - bullets in their brains - because they dared to defriend the daughter of one of the killers.
That daughter, poor Jenelle Potter, just couldn't take the insult of being defriended and her pops came to her defense.
Let me stress that while Facebook is the new battlegournd in the bullying war, where middle schoolers with barely a pube on their crotches torment one another, and where high schoolers think every fart they fart is a diamond worth posting about - the people involved in this story ARE ADULTS.
At least according to their birth certificates.
Jenelle - late 20s to early 30s - lives with her parents and is constantly on Facebook.
Maybe that should read, Jenelle lives on Facebook while under the roof of her parents.
And her court record history is as long as my winning streak on Bejeweled. All of it tied to complaints of her harrassment of people who have defriended her.
Paging Mark Z - perhaps you could take a mome away from counting your billions to develop a way to permanently boot wackjobs like Jenelle from FB? Surely, when access to your website causes a mental twig to snap and land someone in the legal arena, it's time to block some ISPs?
The men who pulled the triggers - her father, Marvin Potter, 60, and a one time suitor who pined for Jenelle's affections, Jamie Curd, 38, have both been arrested and charged with the murders.
According to folks in their Tennessee town, if you crossed the daughter, you paid for it with the father and mother.
"This Facebook thing was her whole life," Johnson County Sheriff Mike Reece said. "If you deleted her, they [Potter and her parents] started harassing you. If you ran into them in the grocery store, you had an altercation with them. It was an ongoing thing with these people."
OVER. A. FACEBOOK. DEFRIENDING.
The level of attachment and importance of that website in people's lives is on display every minute of every day. It runs from innocent connections and fun between friends/acquaintances to the almost pathological pursuit of attention.
And I am not talking about the once-in-a-blue-moon posting of something like "Sigh." Although that is absolutely intended to bring the support out in droves as people assault your wall with "What's wrong?" "Are you ok?" "Can I kill someone for you?"
No, I am referring to the constant posting of every imagined slight, doctor's appointment (where apparently EVERY doctor is an idiot and EVERY nurse is a Ratchet wannabe who hates you), boyfriend/girlfriend tiff, and the constant airing of seriously soiled laundry for the masses.
Honestly - does the world need to view the skidmarks of your personal familial interactions? There is a messaging function on Facebook whereby you can communicate about your intense hatred for a relative without involving the rest of the world, or the object of the firey red hate. Or keep it confined to one another's walls. When you take it to the News Feed, there is a term for that: PASSIVE AGGRESSIVE.
As for being friended or defriended? If you hang your adult hat and ego on how many friends you have on your Wall? Your life needs an evaluation. And if your wittle feewings cannot handle a defriending with grace and forward motion? Stop soliciting gifts in Yoville and seek counseling.
I'll be very honest, there are DGMSers I have defriended, and even more whose posts I have simply removed from appearing on my News Feed because quite frankly, life is too short and the desire of some people to piss, moan, whine, accuse, and constantly beg for support of their positions is just tiresome.
If your health is in danger because of your overindulgences, I don't want to see you repeatedly dog the doctors who call you on your medical bullshit and bullheaded refusal to help yourself by making changes. And I REALLY don't want to see the string of spineless "friends" who immediately spring to your wall supporting what assholes the doctors and nurses are.
FACT: Real friends will also call you on your bullshit, not enable your downward spiral.
Facebook is a good thing. I believe that. I love when DGMS moms in labor take their connections to the hospital and allow us to be a part of their experience as they welcome a beautiful child into the world. I . LOVE. THAT.
I love when someone truly needs support and prayers and love for themselves in a crisis or a family member/friend staring something down. I . LOVE. THAT.
I love photos of babies, Halloween costumed toddlers, friends dressed up for a night out with their man/woman, vacations. I love hearing about achievements of friends (Kendall's first semester of college? 4.0, Dean's List, President's List, baby!), their spouses, their children. I love supporting someone when they are walking into a job interview.
Connection. In its purest, unadulterated form is what makes Facebook such a touchstone in a person's day. Some people are shut-ins and this keeps them tethered to the world. Some are sick, alone. It gives them community. I keep a browser window open all day long so I can pop over just to see what people are up to. I. LOVE. THAT.
I love that I can see the fun my daughters are having at college. Yes, I talk to them on the phone and Skype with them, but seeing Kendall ice skating with new friends? I. LOVE. THAT.
I don't love seeing people get into political pissing contests. Look, if you post something political, don't get your ass in a sailor knot when someone from your friend's list doesn't agree with your position and dares to soil your comments with THEIR take. You put it out there, expect what comes back. Good and bad.
If you have defriended me, or will because of this post? Don't expect me to notice, much less lose sleep. And if I do notice? I will move on, content that you had your reasons. My life isn't going to stop, my heart isn't going to palpitate, I'm not going to waste time trying to figure out what I wrote that pissed you off, and I'm not going to stare into the dark at night thinking about you.
LIFE IS TOO SHORT to live and die by some website interactions.
Sadly, for Billy Clay and Billie Jean, Jenelle is learning that too late. (If she's learning it at all. My guess is she's off harvesting beans, riding shotgun with the Mafia, and enjoying the traffic this whole thing is bringing to her Wall.)