A fellow blogger (I Rock So What – if you haven’t checked her out yet, do it, she’s brill) posted an interesting topic last night and it got me really thinking about social media, mainly Facebook, and how it affects me on a day to day basis.
I wrote a post in the beginning, when I started blogging, about how I wasn’t sure if I wanted to share my thoughts with my world and how I deleted people from Facebook that I didn’t speak to that much anymore. It felt stressful for me at the time to delete people but some of those people I hadn’t spoken to in years, or even spoke much to when we were in the same place, (school, college, work) so I came to terms with it pretty quickly. I’ve had a few moments of awkwardness, deleting someone then meeting them, but overall it hasn’t affected my life too much. The people on my Facebook now, for the most part, are the people in my life, family, friends, people I have respect for, who are interesting to me, who have made an impact on my life and I care about what’s going on in their lives.
Now, some people may argue that Facebook doesn’t accurately represent “real” relationships in “real” life but I have to disagree, as much as I hate to. I understand why some people believe this, Facebook seems like a false way of keeping in touch, like, there’s no effort required, and for some people out there that have thousands of “friends”, thats true, it is false and no effort is required, but that’s because they don’t know the people on their “friends” list, they don’t care about them personally. It is fake. Some people add people they don’t know, use it as a dating site, play games, advertise, etc, I don’t use Facebook like that, for me it’s not about having a million “friends”, for me its about relationships. I’m almost 32, I have traveled a lot and went to school in quite a few places, I’m fortunate to say I have had 445 people enter my life at some point and leave a mark, (for my dirty minded friends out there, I know who you are, I don’t mean what you’re thinking, cheeky buggers!) that doesn’t seem a lot at all. Facebook allows me to call them friends and keep in touch with them, closely or from afar, as much as I want to.
Now, I’m not going to pretend that I know everything about everyone on my friends list. I don’t. I haven’t actually seen quite a lot of them in a long time. I don’t know their dogs name, I don’t know what political party they support, I don’t know their husband or wife personally, I maybe haven’t met their children, BUT I do know that if we met we’d have a good catch up because we have stayed friends on Facebook and know what is going on in each others lives. We had a relationship at some point in our lives and it meant something to me. I respect the relationships I’ve had, or have, with certain people enough to stay invested, even though we aren’t in each others daily lives.
I often hear people say they are going to delete their Facebook altogether, when it becomes too much for them to keep up with other people’s expectations or when they don’t want other people to know they are going through a tough time in their life. Maybe what they need to do though is just delete the “people” they don’t want in their lives, from their lives…and Facebook! Have people on your Facebook that you care about and care about you, people who respect you and people who would understand when you are in a shitty situation!
Anyway, this isn’t the purpose of this post, initially I was pissed off at myself because I check my Facebook a lot, some days more than others depending on what I am doing that day. Somehow though, since I started writing this, I seem to have convinced myself that it’s not so bad to check my Facebook daily, since the people on there are people I care about.
Facebook is used, and abused, in many ways, but for the most part, my friends use it the same way I do – to keep in contact with people they care about. It’s the only way I keep in contact with some of my friends in other countries, friends I would have lost without the brilliance of that little weirdo genius, now multi-millionaire, Mark Zuckerberg.
So, what are your thoughts? How often do you check your Facebook? Do you even have Facebook? (everyone does, right??) Do you think Facebook represents real relationships? Or, is it an lazy way of keeping in touch?