When it comes to Facebook, I have reached a point where my perspective on it has divided:
On the one hand, I’m thinking:
Oh no, Facebook, what have you done?
- Most of the people who I called ‘friends’ have turned into lazy, nosey busybodies because of you!
- They can’t be bothered to talk on the phone, never mind meeting up.
- All they are after is Likes, Shares and Comments on their endless, sometimes mind-numbing and too-personal photos.
- They have even stopped saying ‘Hi…How are you doing?’ on the messenger service. The only time I get to hear from them is when social media reminds them about my birthday. And when I thank them and ask how they are, I usually get no reply. I think that’s RUDE!
- If I had to count who my real friends were, I’d have about 10 people on my Friends list. There’s hardly much contact with the rest, so what’s the point of being on it then?”
But is it Facebook’s fault, or is it the ‘friends’ in question?
Because, on the other hand, I’m also thinking:
It’s actually about how we are using Facebook!
This opens a whole new can of worms, such as:
- Is it just my set of ‘friends’ who behave like this?
- Should I really keep them on my list?
- Does any of this actually matter?
- Should we take Facebook seriously – or not?
For me, personally, if it weren’t for Facebook:
- I wouldn’t have met my husband!
- I wouldn’t have been able to write chapters on social media in a globally published textbook
- I wouldn’t have gotten into content marketing.
- I wouldn’t have been able to connect and keep in touch with some people who I really care for – and who do the same for me, but who live in different parts of the planet.
But, but, but… if it also weren’t for Facebook:
- I wouldn’t have found out who really cares for me and who’s just my ‘friend’ so that they can be nosy and keep a catty eye on what I’m up to by following my posts.
- I wouldn’t have met some utter jerks.
- I wouldn’t get so peeved by the way we all behave on Facebook.
- I wouldn’t get so peeved by the blur that is our News Feed/Homepage/Timeline or whatever they’re gonna call it next, with the mishmash of business promotions, endless pictures of mums with their children, (which is actually not very wise or safe to do), and mindless selfies.
Here’s a question, I find myself asking a lot of my contacts lately:
If Facebook closes down tomorrow, would you be at a loss, psychologically?
What about those who aren’t on Facebook, are they still in touch with people across the globe and if so, how much of an effort are they putting into such relationships? In my own personal network, many have never used it and some have left it – and they’re all doing fine – surprise, surprise!
In a pre-Facebook world, we would either a) take the time and make the effort to stay in touch with far-flung relatives, friends and associates, or b) lose touch for good.
However, what we are now doing is using Facebook as a ruse to watch what people we know are doing and saying, but putting less and less effort into caring for them. A mere click on the ‘Like’ button seems to be now deemed enough – comments are not even typed in unless it’s something that needs to be vehemently expressed.
How lazy, nosy and goddamn insecure have we all become? We may think we haven’t, but we all have to some extent – and that just ain’t right!
The Good News
It isn’t all doom and gloom, of course. There are some quick things we could all do to make existing on Facebook a happier, genuine and enjoyable place again:
- Scroll through your timeline with kindness in your mind and heart. If you’re not in that place, don’t bother logging in. Save yourself and your contacts unnecessary emotional kerfuffles. The world will still run without you being on Facebook and you will live. You know that!
- React to something if you really want to, otherwise don’t.
- If you think a comment will make that person’s day, write it. If you want to hurt that person, because they hurt you, pick up the phone and talk. Is there any need for everyone to know what you both are arguing about? Is there?
- If you think you’re obliged to react/comment on the person’s posts all the time, is that person really worth knowing?
- Go through your “Friends” list at least 2-3 times a year and ask yourself if you or they have been in touch with each other that year. Does their very presence make you feel good or bad, or grey? If yes, keep. If not, are they worth being on your list? Don’t be afraid to hit the “Unfriend” button, it’s actually liberating.
These are my personal opinions with no intention of offending anyone.