Sunday, May 9, 2010

Facebook Thoughts

For the last few months I've been having a kind of love-hate thing going on with Facebook. What started out as a really good idea is now full of clutter and time wasters. I do not participate in any Farmville or Mafia type stuff, but it just seems to take a long time. And as I've been on leave of absence, I was spending more time on it than I probably should. However, having said that, I genuinely love that I have reconnected with a lot of old friends and am now able to easily know what is going on in their lives. Its fantastic! I love hearing about what is going on with them.

I was away from the internet for about a week and that is always refreshing. During that time, no Facebook was great. When I did check in I saw that not always a lot happened and it made me rethink its usefulness again. I don't want to hide people, but is there a way we can make it only post status and photos and things that people put up and hide applications? I don't want to loose my connections with friends because this is such an easy way to get a rundown of what is going on, but it again made me rethink its usefulness.

I considered this more a few weeks back when a friend on my list wrote something that was pretty rude, and well, just down right bitchy. To paraphrase - she was tired of hearing people bragging about their travels, kids and great husbands. It wasn't directed at anyone in particular, but since a lot of people seem to write about these things, it is possible she could have alienated about 80-90% of her friend list. It was just so negative and passive aggressive at the same time that it really struck a nerve with me.

I think I was just mostly shocked because not once have I ever thought negative of anything that anyone has posted about their personal lives. And I guess I also never realized this person was so hostile. Opinionated yes, but hostile, no. We hadn't connected for years, but I can't help but wonder what happened along the way to make someone so angry. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and can write whatever they want on their wall. Its all yours to put out there. It just made me wonder - does everyone else wish they could write something similar? Should I envision people sitting at their computers getting annoyed when they read about something incredibly funny a "friend's" child has said or done? Is it abnormal that I'm not upset when a friend posts something positive they did, or a milestone achieved in their life?

This really made me question the usefulness of Facebook and behavior of people in general. I like to think that people are generally good. But are they/we? Are there more people out there who like to see others fail, or don't want to hear that they are well? In that case, is it more appropriate to drill the Facebook friend list down to those 20 or 30 people that you are extremely close to?

I haven't decided which side of the fence I am on. But it does make me wonder...if there is that much negative energy being sent to people when they write about something positive in their life, what good is that? I'm not necessarily superstitious, but just as people believe in the power of prayer, I equally believe in the power of negative energy - its harmful to both sender and receiver.

After working in a highly negative environment in the past many years ago, I now usually rid my life quickly of things that do not contribute to the positive because I see how harmful they are for others as well as those creating the negativity. I don't even have to be the subject of negativity, to observe it makes my stomach turn. I think it's safe to say its my number one pet peeve. I just recently left a group here that I was a member of in Dubai because there was suddenly too much negativity going around and really the women were starting to fight like immature school girls. It made me recall that same work environment. Just unnecessary and a waste of energy.

Before I digress and rant more...back to the question at hand...Facebook...useful social tool or time waster..or if you are into conspiracy theory, statistic collector for "big brother"? I'm not sure which it is, if any.

I can say my week away has been good and I hope to be able to check in with Facebook once a week or so...I want to say I can do that, but honestly, that is really difficult because I love my friends dearly. I am truly happy for you and all the amazing things going on in your life. I love keeping up with what is going on with you - this includes everything from drinking a cup of coffee to an amazing trip to Timbuktu.


Sew Pretty Dresses said...

Well clearly I have not been on the computer enough! I don't know how I missed this post! I think you said it all well. I had a hard time deleting some people because I genuinely liked them but just didn't interact with them a lot. Does that make sense? I loved reading their posts, and hearing about their lives, but I never REALLY knew them to begin with, so why am I following them now? It not like I am going to make arrangements to see them(nor did I feel they were going to make those arrangements to see me)so why follow them? So I started deleting. I got a bit carried away 20-30 people gone but it's not like they have noticed and have tried to refriend me! So I figure it's all good. ON the flip side it has been so nice following you, Tasha, Lisa, Dan and all the others. I kept those I felt I would attempt to see if given the chance. It's been ESPECIALLY nice following you as you are halfway around the world. So I get the uncertainty of what to think of it all. My biggest problem now is there are a few that I reconnected with that NEVER post. But I have no way of getting in contact them if I delete them so I keep them. I don't know. And I did look at my list and ask myself who would be the most likely to say terrible things behind my back, click-delete. Not many on there just a few.

Pam said...

I think that's a really good rule and approach you took...I did the same when I deleted a few months friend requests and then no exchange of communication or common interests, so I'm going to delete some of those. Like you, I have really loved the ones I've connected and re-connected with...and its nice for me also b/c I am so far and don't make it back much.