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My Problem with Facebook - Livin' the Good Life

Oct. 31st, 2009

09:13 pm - My Problem with Facebook

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No offense, but I really do skip over most of my "friends'" entries on facebook. Why would I care what kind of daily progress a person is making on some computer game? I have no interest in reading about someone's political or religious views or affiliations on facebook either. If I want to know those things, I'll ask you.

I go to facebook to get certain kinds of information about people I care about. What are you doing today? What are you happy about? What are you struggling with? What fascinating piece of information would you like to share? Who are the important people in your life, and what are you all doing together? Do I need to pray for you, or have a heart-to-heart with you, or send you a care package, or rejoice with you? Facebook, to me, is a light-hearted, superficial way of "catching up" with friends and family. By its very nature, it reaches and shares information with a great number of people having wildly varying degrees of closeness and agreement, and so it needs to remain generic and benign. A few times I've fallen into the trap of responding to someone who was trying to get me on "their team" via facebook, and then I've been sorry. In my opinion, this is not the medium for such conversations. Instead, I want to use it as a positive way to "touch base" with a lot of people and to feel connected to them. When my facebook page gets filled up with people's game results, their political propoganda, and their religious beliefs, I feel like deleting them. In fact, I'm very close to doing just that. So, if you find yourself deleted as my "friend", it's not that I don't love you or care about you. I just don't want to hear that kind of stuff from you on facebook. I want to have some control over whether your beliefs or opinions are flashed in front of my face. No offense.

Blogs, on the other hand, are good and appropriate places to write ones opinions. If I visit someone's blog, I know I am voluntarily stepping into an extremely personal space, and I expect to meet unique opinions and biases that may differ from my own. I expect more depth and controversy. I expect to enter someone else's world and see through their eyes for a while. If I find I don't like the view, I can, and do, stop visiting their blog. But, when that stuff pops up unbidden up on my facebook, I feel like I just got a solicitous phone call or a piece of junk mail. (I want to, and often do, hang up the phone or toss the mail in the trash unread.) So, be forwarned. I'm about to start purging my facebook "friends".

Please remember, if that turns out to be you, I still love you!
How about starting up a blog and inviting me to read it?

Comments:

From:(Anonymous)
Date:November 2nd, 2009 01:46 am (UTC)
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true. I think those games auto-generate updates: how annoying for all concerned!

I have figured out that I can "hide" all instances of updates from any given game. When you see an update on your home page, run your mouse over the right hand area of it and the word "Hide" will appear. If you click on it (I think click....but maybe mouse-over...) you will be presented with the option to Hide the Person or Hide the Game. If you click on Hide the Game, you will never see another update from that game again, but you'll still receive other updates from that person.

I recently started getting icky political videos from someone I didn't expect to see that kind of thing from, and so I'm in sympathy with your thoughts on this!
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From:ext_56511
Date:November 2nd, 2009 01:48 am (UTC)
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that was me, sorry.
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[User Picture]
From:lestermom
Date:November 2nd, 2009 02:10 am (UTC)
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Thanks, Kathy. Yes, Maya and I just figured out how to delete or "hide" posts from certain people. Also, getting on the "status" list makes it so you only get posts that are personally written in the "what's on your mind?" box, which is what I'm generally interested in. But, if certain people persist in slamming Obama's character in that box, or passing on untruths, I will never read another word from them. Don't get me wrong, I do not agree with everything he's trying to do, and I will vote against some of his ideas, because I'm not a liberal. But, I will not stand for the defamation of his character.
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From:(Anonymous)
Date:November 4th, 2009 02:21 am (UTC)
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I understand. Most in my friends list avoid politics, thank goodness. I agree with you, I don't have a facebook account in order to receive political persuasion from my friends.
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From:ext_56511
Date:November 4th, 2009 02:22 am (UTC)
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that was me again.
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