Disclaimer: I’m having writer’s block, and I’m just trying to write through it. I know this post is boring, but I have to keep writing. Sorry … you don’t have to read it. I don’t even want to read it, it’s so dull.
I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook. I want to get off it forever, but it connects me to too many people that I love. I know people that don’t do Facebook say they like to connect with people the old-fashioned way. I do, too. Unfortunately, I’ve collected so many friends in my life that I don’t have enough hours in the day to call them or stay in touch. So, Facebook saved my social life. I joined in 2007 right after my divorce. I had about 50 friends for a long time, and then one of my high school friends found me. Then 100 high school friends found me. One of my college friends found me, and that world was put back together. My friends from all the places I lived found me, one by one. And, thanks to Facebook, the web of my life is put back together. I can in one second talk to my sponsor in Indiana and my friend Nancy in South Korea. I have daily conversations and a private page with some of my best friends.
Things I love about Facebook:
- It makes it easy for me to reconnect with old friends. I can see what’s going on with my friends in a way I never could over the phone or email. I see vacation pics the minute they happen.
- I see my friends through the persona they desire for themselves. Don’t we all have a way we want to look to the world? On FB, you have the power to be that.
- I can set up groups to be really connected to certain people. I have a private group with one of my best friends where we share our deepest struggles by writing. It is a refuge.
- My world has widened by seeing other places, meeting people through mutual friends and reading blogs that my friends post.
- When I meet people on my adventures, through Facebook we can remain friends. My relationships with them are deepened by the fact that we can stay connected.
- I have met some of my best friends via Facebook and through my blog which is posted on Facebook. I would not even know them if it wasn’t for Facebook.
- I have the power to create my own world. I can block people that irritate me, introduce myself to friends of friends with common interests and share things that are meaningful to me.
- I am inspired by beautiful quotes. I get some of my best laughs on Facebook from things my friends post.
- I know my friends birthdays. I never knew that before!
What I don’t like about Facebook:
- People can be vicious in writing. Whole groups of people are slayed with one sentence. Don’t believe that words can hurt? You’re deceiving yourself.
- Politics, religion and other controversial issues are discussed with abandon. Most people understand that in social situations, those topics repel people. For some reason, on Facebook, that fact is ignored.
- It takes up too much of my time. Period.
- It is public. I always see these notices about clicking certain settings and not liking stuff just to keep people’s posts private. It’s the internet. It’s public. If it’s digital, it can be screen captured, downloaded and shared. Period. There’s an illusion that it’s somewhat private, but it’s not.
- Its use as a communication tool is deceiving. It seems like you are communicating something when you post it because you think that all of your friends can see it. In reality, very few do. I’ve missed enough things that were advertised on Facebook that I now personally tag anyone that I want to see something, and, even then, unless they are on Facebook all the time, they may not see it.
I can’t imagine a world without Facebook. It is my television. It’s how I caught back up with all of my old friends and how I stay in touch with my family and friends who live in different areas. It’s the first thing I usually check in the morning, and the last thing I check at night. I have favorite Facebook friends that I interact with all the time and in very different ways. I can’t imagine that I would be as close to them without this tool. I have lived all over the country, so that makes my roots more dispersed. I have at least one close friend from every city I’ve lived in, and I lost touch with them all prior to Facebook. Maybe it’s different for me, but my world is large and without borders. Posting on Facebook is what gave me the courage to start blogging, and blogging has quite simply changed my life.
I’m so tired of the explosive words that alienate people. Of all things Facebook is, it is words and pictures. A picture can paint a thousand words. And, words can harm. They are the basis of building relationships, and they are basis of tearing them apart. For some reason, on social media, the power of words is ignored. But, I feel the slap every time some naive friend posts words that alienate them from me or alienate others for their beliefs and their lifestyle. I just wish it could be all about connection and less about power and opinion and what’s right and wrong. We’re all different, and I have friends who span the globe. Maybe I’m naive, but I want to be on Facebook for fun.
Okay … writing gods …. I’m writing … HELP!