My Love/Hate Relationship With Facebook

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My Facebook timeline informs me that I joined up on November 19, 2008.  Since then I have had a love/hate relationship with this social site.  I joined because my grownup daughters talked about it all the time and communicated a lot through their posts.  They also posted pictures that I would never have received until I became a user as well.

  • I love posting on their walls and downloading pictures.  It is easier for them and for me to be on FB because there is an easy, central location for sharing.  Of course, we have other communication resources as well nowadays, i.e. our smartphones!
  • I love finding old friends and keeping up with relatives on FB.  That has been fun for me, even if we don’t write lengthy private emails (something that we can also do on FB!).  We keep up with each other’s activities, and acknowledge life’s ups and downs.  I was especially pleased when my sister joined in May 2011!
  • I love the fan pages where we can like a movie, book, celebrity or television show as well as causes, hobbies or other interests.  Many of these likes mean updates and opportunities to share unique points of view or “funnies” on our FB page.
  • I love being able to link my blog to my FB page so that people who do not ordinarily read blogs can catch up with my latest posts.  I also like being able to share a post from a newspaper or NPR on my FB page.

There are probably more reasons I enjoy FB, but I can’t think of them right now.  This list covers the most important points, however.  To summarize the reasons I love Facebook:  it provides a template for sharing where I am in my life at this moment in time.  The new timeline layout does this especially well.

As far as my hate relationship, I don’t have that many to list.

  • I hate how it hooks into my childhood and teenage mentality.  I thought I’d grown beyond worrying about how many “friends” I have or how “popular” I am.  Unfortunately, no.  I’m not a highly social person and have never been, even as a child.  I always had one or two close friends and that was it.  I’m not shy, but I am an introvert.  The things I like to do are mainly solitary—reading, knitting, writing (blogging), needle felting.  People know who I am, but do not consider me a friend necessarily.  Nevertheless, in low moments I have looked for “friends” to fill out my numbers.  It amazes me how many friend requests I have made that have never been answered!  Then I wonder, “What is wrong with me?  I only have 35 friends, and so-and-so has 100!”
  • I hate the moments when I want to clean out my “friends” list.  What perversity!  I feel competition to plump up my numbers, and then complain about people who are not really “friends.”   I do have people on my list who never respond to posts on their walls or personal messages from me.  I visit their pages and they seldom, if ever, posted at all.  Maybe they are too busy, or they are only there because their kids are.  I think this urge to cull the list comes from the part of me that is so like my father—exactitude.  How can you call someone a friend if you never communicate with that person?  If that person never communicates with you?  One of my daughters suggested that people may like reading my page, but they don’t respond.  I think, “They could at least “like” a post or a status update!”  That’s what I do unless I don’t agree with or approve of a post.  In the end, I am who I am.  I review each person every few months and end up “unfriending” one or two.  I guess it is a good thing I don’t have 100 “friends” after all.

A few other reasons I have “unfriended” a person on Facebook, besides non-communication:

  • writing every post in capital letters–like they are shouting!
  • profanity
  • constant internet game updates

To summarize my hate relationship with Facebook—it is a social site and has its social ups and downs.  In the end, there are far more reasons to be there than not.

Now that you know about my FB relationship, you can friend me at:

https://www.facebook.com/mholiver

Maybe you have some reasons of your own for “unfriending” a  FB friend.  Please share!

Some blog posts that inspired this blog post:

http://www.blogher.com/9-people-you-should-unfriend-today

http://www.blogher.com/defriending-facebook

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15 thoughts on “My Love/Hate Relationship With Facebook

  1. Hi there…I must say I have never really warmed to FB…I use it mainly to play scrabble and Rummikub.
    Now and again to talk to friends.
    I am finding blogging such a fulltime job and constantly feel guilty that I haven’t visited everybody.

  2. Mary, you hit the nail on the head with your reasons you dislike facebook. I also feel like I revert back to my childhood/teenager mentality sometimes. It’s not a feeling I especially want to experience again either. I also hate the ultra conservative red neck mentality of some of my friends. Their posts just makes me plain mad! But on the whole, it is fun to connect and reconnect with people-people I never thought I’d talk to again, and new friends like you, too:)

    • Absolutely! I agree. I have met new people too, like you. The ultra-conservative bent of some of my acquaintances has been a turn off for me too. I have conservative friends and some relatives who are conservative, but they haven’t gone overboard. They don’t post scathing stuff. I have to agree that my FB friends now are quite enjoyable.

  3. I hear you! So many times I have contemplated just deleting my account. I am not a FaceBooker, really. I post photos there, but as much as I love to write on my blog, I can’t for the life of me think of anything I want to say on Facebook. I see my high school classmates (not necessarily friends; more like acquaintances) having all out verbal brawls over politics or simple opinions. I see a cousin constantly complaining about his cell phone provider. I see SO many people who post status updates like, “It’s Friday.” (Thanks. I probably knew that.) I get SO annoyed I want to just quietly bow out, but then I can’t stand the thought of not being able to peek in on others’ lives. FaceBook has us wrapped around their little finger and they know it!

    • I’m glad to hear other people feel as I do. Definitely love/hate! I can’t imagine not being on Facebook for the very reason you mentioned–I’m naturally curious and nosy, so I love to keep up with people–but at times it is meaningless.

  4. I feel exactly the same way about Facebook. Few of my friends post on there these days. I guess the novelty wore off, but I continue to check in every day, just to see if anything is happening.

    • Me too! I use it to promote my blog too–getting it posted to Facebook. I don’t have very many friends there, but I have renewed a few friendships through FB. Being naturally nosy, I like to check it out.

  5. I rarely post anything but my posts on Facebook these days, but I do communicate with a few friends that way. It did put me in touch with some very nice people when I posted Faceless last week and according to WordPress, it’s my leading referrer. I haven’t let that many people friend me and if they post too much nonsense, I just hide their posts, I don’t unfriend them. I could give it up but probably won’t,, at least for now.

    • I also use it primarily as a way to promote my blogs, but I have been able to keep up with some old friends that way–primarily people I don’t see socially anymore. It has also been good for keeping in touch with my niece, nephews and their spouses.

  6. I have only defriended one person, who was my best friend in middle school. I defriended her because of an ongoing feud between her and her ex, playing out in her status updates. Somehow, he was posting things as her status updates, too, instead of just as comments, so I was constantly finding this ugly vitriol on my news feed. I had seen enough to know she does not conduct herself in a way I can tolerate, so out she went. As for anyone else who might get on my nerves… I hide them instead of defriending them. That way I never see their status updates, but they can comment on mine and they don’t get the “slap” of seeing that I’ve nixed them. I do the same for game notifications, which I find tremendously irritating!

    PS – how are you feeling? I now believe my problem is gallbladder, too, but less painful than yours. Doc visit next week to find out!

  7. If I had been wiser, I would have done as you have–just block the offending “friend.” I always battle with the two sides of me (courtesy of my inherited exactitude) and my desire to reach more people. I don’t know that I have ever offended anyone by “defending” since they have been folks who never posted anyway, but slashing through my “friends” list has been unnecessary.

    I still have the pain, but I have been to the gastroenterologist. I got an earlier appointment, finally. I had a colonoscopy on Monday and I have an M.R.I. this coming Sunday. The doc found polyps on my colon. They are now being biopsied. She thinks the M.R.I. will had a great deal of insight into my problem, leading to some solutions. Thank you for asking! Good luck on your doctor visit!

  8. Hi Mary! Great post; it touched home with me. I’m one of those facebookers with a ton of ‘friends’, but not because I’m trying to get more than the next gal has (it all started with Etsy, and at this time, I have no intention of starting a fan page for my business). I don’t play any games on facebook, and I don’t spend a whole lot of time there. You have very good reasons listed for a love/hate relationship with facebook and I can identify with them. I have one more to add to the hate list: facebook is such a time sucker. At least for me it is, and I am now one of those who peeks in and then splits. I’ve got things I want to accomplish before I die. LOL! I did take about a 3 month facebook vacation, and it felt great! I’m thinking of doing it again! My world didn’t end the first time. :O)
    I hope you are feeling better!

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