A Suburban City Girl in A Small Town

Moment by moment……

The Book of Face

on October 6, 2012
Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...

Image via CrunchBase

When Facebook popped on the scene, I remember thinking “Cool!“. Another way to keep in touch with people. I loved it. I friended my family and friends and began posting away. 

But then it morphed and became this entity. And the entity grew. Soon, companies were using it to expose unhappy employees. Relationships were made and broken on Facebook. It became alive. It developed its own voice and whispered in the ears of its users little monologues both good and bad. And people posted without thinking. It became a measuring tool. The more friends you had, the more popular you must be and people began friending everyone! 

I confess I was one of those who friended everyone, desperate to show the world and myself that I was worth something. My witty side came out and I found a place where I could be snarky as well as serious. I invited people into my life to share some very personal moments. I exposed my children. And I paid the price and so did my children. 

Recently, I decided my Facebook should only be for people I’m close with. So many of my co-workers and people I went to grammar/high school with were deleted. Did you hear what I said? I said I “deleted” them – not unfriended them. I know the correct term is “unfriend” however, if we were only ever acquaintances to begin with, then I can’t really “unfriend” you. Furthermore, the whole idea of “unfriending” promotes a negative attitude among people who really were never friends to begin with. 

Case in point – someone who I deleted messaged me recently upset that they were no longer on my Facebook. I politely explained to her that in all the time we were Facebook “friends”, we’d never communicated. Plus, I hadn’t seen her in several years so I felt the deletion justified. She was upset with me and took offense. 

Another case in point – My daughter Shelby is in color guard at school. The few of the girls decided it would be best if they all became Facebook friends in order to communicate. (They had also exchanged phone numbers to text each other.) Shelby came down sick with the flu and missed a competition. The night of the competition, she was in bed and watching TV. She posted that. Upon returning to school, this girl berated her for enjoying a tv show when she should have slept. Er? Knowing these two girls don’t get along, I asked Shelby why she was Facebook friends with her and she said this girl wanted it. I encouraged her to delete this person as there’s no reason why this person needs to know any of the details of her personal life. 

Facebook, like the media, seems to have grown into a larger monster than originally intended. The media was only supposed to raise awareness and report the news – not be a political entity on its own. Facebook was only supposed to connect people – not be a social entity which enables drama. Don’t we have reality TV for that? 

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not anti-Facebook. After all, it’s not Facebook’s problem (there I go – humanizing it) that people break up over what he/she said on their page. It’s the people who post without filters. However, I stand by my decision – if I would not ever entertain you in my home, I will not “friend” you. This doesn’t mean I dislike you. It doesn’t make me a mean person. It makes me careful about what I allow in my on-line home.

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