14 Jun 2012

Thursday Thoughts – Facebook 'Friends'

I’ve been trying to write this post over the last couple of days between, work, school and the wife. This blog is a hobby and as such it falls after the previous items.

Facebook

The internets or what ever sort of label you wish to use is growing. The cultural impact of being able to broadcast to anyone in the world as the levels of access to those broadcasts increase is simply staggering.

If you don’t know the who’s who in the social media scene I suggest looking somewhere else for the educational preamble. Just let it be known that Facebook is used by myself. I use it very simply unlike others I know. They use to keep professional contact with people, contacts and possibilities.

That divergence of use has started to cause rifts with me and the people I know.

I’m ok with that because I don’t care what they think and I do not need for them to like me. We’re not friends, and in some cases, anymore.

Step back with me as I explain my use of the social nexus tool called Facebook.

My Facebook ‘friends’ are the people I talk to or keep in touch with in the real world. These include my wife, my mates, my family and other mutual people that I keep on my ‘friends’ list as our ability to meet and chat are limited by factors like space and time.

I do in fact use Facebook and I use it to remind my friends and family that I do have a blog. Some of those friends and family are hard to keep track of. Facebook makes that easy. I use it to send joke e-mails, to propagate links and funny bits of internet waste that I feel represents me enough to share with the people in my life.

That last descriptor is the key element. ‘People in my Life’

I on a regular basis, I cut the chaff from my friends list as my closer relationships evolve, change and fade. If I have little to no relationship with you in the real world you have to understand keeping a virtual (sic fake) relationship online is not going to fly.

I waste too much of my time already.

I will call people and try to meet up with them on a regular basis. I understand the trials and tribulations of life will muck up plans and adjust your priorities. So I use the next evolution in social communication next to whole physical proximal interaction, say at a pub or street. I call you up. That’s followed up by the less personal e-mail and then my game changes.

I check in, see how everyone is doing, attempting to keep in touch. If we ever fall out of touch I try to keep your number around in case we want to meet up. Now after a few months of no return phone calls, no attempt at contact on their part or always being unable to prioritize some time, our relationship has changed.

I will no longer go out of my way to contact you. This is a two way street. I will stop trying to be your friend. If you wanted to be friends with me then you’d get back to me, send an e-mail or hell write a fucking letter. So don’t get angry, because I’m not pissed.

We change as people. So do the bonds we form in our lives. Everything changes, people grow apart, priorities shift, and people grow substance addictions or simply die. The possibilities are quite numerous. No need to list them all for your reading pleasure. You should all be not dumb…

Right?

Let us get back to Facebook. When this happens, I removed you from my ‘friends’ list on Facebook. I no longer wish to carry out a simplified form of a friendship. Your ‘posts’ are not valued replacements for our conversations. They do not replace quality social interactions between two or more people.

When I run into these once ‘friends’ later in life, they always bring up my lack of presence on Facebook. I always explain, I still have a house on Facebook road, and I do visit there sometimes. I also explain that I just removed them from my ‘friends’ list. I tell them my e-mail is still working and the phone number hasn’t change in almost ten years. In most cases I end up explaining why they cannot see me on Facebook anymore.

If you are not a ‘friend’ on facebook you cannot contact me, see me or read my information. I have no need to show who I am on Facebook. I found a better tool… Blogger.

Two things happen. I get a ‘makes sense’, ‘I guess we don’t hang out much anymore’ and ‘We should have kept in touch’. Once more, the filler here is only limited by the depth of the various languages I poorly sputter allowing for a whole slew of replies to my explanation.

The other thing that happens is they are so hurt or feeling wronged by my choices, they become angry at me. Most who’ve known me for long understand my ability to withstand bullshit is pretty high, but my willingness to do so is limited by situation.

Facebook is not one of those situational events that require me to put up with bullshit.

I stay calm and walk away.

Facebook is not my life. For some it is there life. For others it’s the many places in-between and beyond the points.

If you want to be my friend you need to talk to me. I’ve already mentioned I moved around a lot as a small mini adult type creature. I lost many friends to the shifting of Old Bears instructions from on high. I’ve learned to make lasting friends of quality. I’m also able to lose them very quickly and I’m ok with that. The majority of my social development was a new place every two years or less.

Facebook does not equal Friend.

My Friends know that.