My Problem with Facebook - Livin' the Good Life
Oct. 31st, 2009
09:13 pm - My Problem with Facebook
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?