One day I searched the name of a friend of mine on Facebook. She’d been having a difficult time and I wanted to send her a message to ask how she was doing. But when I typed her name into the search bar not one, but two profiles appeared: the one which was familiar to me, and another one, of which I’d known nothing.
This person – I’ll call her J. – had always been nice to me and we spent quite a lot of time together (she is not Taiwanese; I met her in another Asian country). She had told me quite a lot about her personal life, but since we’d been knowing each other for just a few months I was aware that I did not know her deeply.
She had always acted in a cute, friendly and open way, and she seemed very well-behaved and quiet. Her Facebook profile reflected my impressions of her. But, as often happens, people are not what they seem, and what they show to others is not necessarily how they really are, but how they want to be perceived.
As I looked at her second Facebook account I was astonished. Not only was she in a relationship (something she had never mentioned to me, but, of course, why should she, as we are just friends?) But two other things were strange: her job was not exactly what she had told me, and she had joined several night club groups – and when I say night clubs, I mean the kind which advertise themselves through pictures of half-naked girls. Among her friends there were many girls with heavy make-up and sexy dresses.
I will not try to guess what this all means. But one thing is sure: I feel I cannot trust her any longer. Unfortunately, this an experience I’ve made many times, though I decided not to write on my blog about these things.
If she had shown me her real self I would have accepted it. Everyone’s free to live life as they please, and if she had told me she had a boyfriend or liked to go clubbing or whatever, I wouldn’t have had any problem. I won’t judge it and won’t avoid a person because of that. But friendship has to be based on mutual trust and communication; without them people are but strangers.
It is sad to know that it is often better not to trust and not to be deceived by appearance or sweet words.