Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Thing About Facebook

It's hard for me to explain my fascination with facebook. I am completely aware that I have a bit of an addiction, and that's putting it mildly. But with going back to work and a no cell phone policy there, it does cut my connection time down a bit! We have also recently implemented a home rule of no social media past 6:00 pm.

I am exempt from that rule for this one post!

I find it extremely interesting how people use this form of social media. Of course it's great to reconnect with old friends, share pictures, find groups or fan pages with your favorite interest. I am quite fond of using quotes from my children as my status updates! It's a new form of funny every day around here! It's great to see what's going on with everyone, see where they took a vacation, see where they got a new job, see their newborn baby. Frankly, it's like Entertainment Tonight only with real people that I know.

However, I do think sometimes people use facebook as a middle school locker room. Passive aggression is often my favorite part of this website, and I know that's a horrible thing to say. For me, though, if I'm poking fun at someone, it's because I know they will joke back with me. Like when my status was, "I just saw that someone posted HBD for Happy Birthday. If it's their special day, you owe it to them to spell it out! ;)" For one, I was trying to be silly, and for another, I knew she would poke right back at me! But what about when it's something more mean spirited? Is it really ok to post something like, "You'll get what's coming to you," or "If I want your opinion, I'll ask for it."


And you know the person they are talking to/about is on their friends list.

Now don't get me wrong. I've had status updates that aren't all butterflies and rainbows. Often times, though, I tend to delete it because I feel bad for posting it! The other day I said something like, "When will I ever realize that some people are impossible to figure out." For me, though, I wasn't directing it at a friend on my list. It was sort of a life lesson type thing for me; a thought that I was processing.

The other thing I can't figure out is the ever popular friends list cut. One of my best friends posted on my wall the other day, "Just letting you know I took my friends list down to 128 - just sayin' :)" She was teasing me because she knows I'm basically incapable of deleting anyone, and my list tops the scales at 763. But rest assured, there are those on my list who have over 1000 friends, so my list is nothing really!

What is your criteria when it comes to your friends list? Especially if you do the friends list cut thing? I guess I just figure the whole point of social media is to connect with others, and to be honest, I've actually found that having a lot of friends can be helpful at times! I found a free bunk bed for my kids once!

I do understand those who only want close friends and family. Really. If I downsized my list, I would keep you if I saw you around town, had kids in the same class, went to the same church, etc. I would perhaps cut you if I never saw you and you never interacted with me on my page.

And what about pictures? I love posting pictures of my kids, family, and friends. Recently I had a first when it comes to facebook: someone asked permission to post pictures of my kids from a VBS they attended. I had never even considered asking this question!

I love facebook. A lot.

I have my own "rules".

Do you?


Wendy said...

First of all, glad you are back! Really do enjoy your blog posts! :)

Second of all, FB IS addicting! I'm an addict, I'll admit it! I agree with you though there are some pretty harsh statements that people feel very comfortable sharing. Talk about cyber bullying...its not just for kids!

My rules? Well when I was in the classroom I wouldn't accept any "friends" requests from students. I did there for awhile, but began thinking it was crossing some sort of professional vs personal line??? Although, I was able to help in a cyber bullying case at school because of it. My rule was: I would accept your friend's request if you went into HS or was at a former school I had taught in. It seemed to resolve the whole, "you don't like me?" stuff.

One of my big beefs is the use of EXTREME foul language. I just want to ask them if they think they sound cool because they drop the F-bomb so frequently. It's appauling, really.

My question: I reserve a lot of my "thoughts" via status updates simply because my words can be misinterrupted by some family members who take them seriously and then it turns into a whole big issue. So much for freedom of speech! And honestly, it's their guilty conscious...but anyway, how reserved are you?

Very thought provoking blog entry. Glad you're back! :)

Mrs. Haid said...

I like your no social media after 6 PM time, however... I think for us, it doesn't work as well, I have to do it during certain times.

I don't keep friends on my list that have dramatic statuses that annoy me. Or ones that are in someway discouraging to me and make me feel angry.

I have started cutting people who I would not want visiting my house, either, because I kind of liken my facebook page to my house.

Missional Mama said...

I like FB a lot too and I don't cut people although I have thought to block some from things (thought but have not done yet). I like the connecting too and I say save the mean stuff for outside of the internet. FB should be for encouragement and connection!

Enjoyed your post,
Amy @ Missional Mama
BTW, I have a Missional Mama FB page if you want to check it out!~ :)

Anonymous said...

Just an update, I think I'm down to 91 now...just sayin'! :) lol

I don't know that I have any rules, but I guess when I stop and think about it, there are some deal breakers. Bad language, constant negativity (I hid my own brother b/c of this), and if I found myself rolling my eyes or saying "Oh please" at someone's post, then I obviously don't care too much about that person!

I don't want to log into facebook only to get irritated or wrapped up in someone else's drama! If that is the case, they are gone. And let's face it, some people are just dumb! :)

If I can't get on Facebook to encourage others, be encouraged, or just have a good time, then what's the point?

Deidre said...

I am one of those people who prefers to limit my friends on FB. I go through my friends list roughly every six months and delete those people who never post anything themselves or never comment on anything I post, including pictures of my family. I call these people FB "stalkers" b/c they likely read what I post, but never "like" or comment, which is the whole point of FB and the comment section, right?

I guess my biggest concern with these people is when I run into another friend that will say, "So and so said you…" (something I posted on FB). Why are these people talking about what I posted to others, but never commenting back to me?

I also want to feel like the FB friends I have know me well enough that they won't take my posts out of context, and if I get too many personality types on there or really old "friends," that might not be the case.

Out of curiosity a few months back, I posted a picture of my son and I soon after I had him in the hospital (3.5 years ago). My page was flooded with congratulations for my new baby. Really? Can you classify somebody as a friend if you don't even know whether or not they're expecting?

Also, do FB friends really count if you haven't seen or spoken to them since elementary school? Would you be such good friends if you ran into each other on the street? Were you good friends in the first place or are you just FB friends b/c you recognize the name? I figure if we lost touch, there was likely a reason. I have a tough time keeping in touch with my current groups of friends.

I agree with the above posts that I don't need to read about relationship drama on FB. I wouldn't dream of posting about a fight my husband and I had, no matter how mad I was at him, as I don't need others' opinions to an already bad situation. Plus, that might be the only thing those people see about my relationship and that's not fair to my spouse.

It is definitely interesting to see how different people view FB. Oh, that reminds me, I have a few "friends" I need to look into. =)

Cheryl said...

I feel the same way Maegan does. I just recently went on a delete frenzy as you know. ;) Actually accidentally deleting some who I never meant to. But they all noticed and either asked or sent me another request. Which told me that they were sincere people who cared about me and my family. I was derermined to delete everyone who is negative and uses foul language. I also wanted to delete everyone who wouldn't even bother to speak to me when I am out but read and see my personal life via facebook. It's just weird. I also felt the same way on the other end. Kind of stalkerish. Why was I so interested in these peoples lives when we don't even give each other the time of day. In the end I felt free. I enjoy almost every post I read and I don't have to feel weird about posting personal messages about and pictures of my family.

Lisa said...

I'm weird about adding people in the first place. I have people who have asked that it takes me forever to add b/c I feel like I have to know them better first, and I wait until I see them around town more and talk to them and feel comfortable with them. I mean, you put your whole life up there! You have to be able to trust people!

Causey Fam said...

I want to ditto what Cheryl said. I just went on a delete frenzy and it felt good. Most of the people I deleted were old HS classmates. I didn't hang out with them then and we wouldn't probably speak with each other on the street now. I figure they were out of my life a long time ago for a reason. FB makes things so impersonal. I feel torn sometimes. Somedays I want to leave it all behind but at the same time don't want to loose my (easy)connection with family and friends. It does keep me coming back, but I am trying to find balance in that.

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