I am…err…was an active participant on Facebook. I go back and forth with Facebook. I was almost a facebook addictive. I was frequent with my status updates but they were not related to my daily ups-and-downs in life (but subtly conveyed the message!)…got silly, shared funny moments, funny observations, hilarious quotes I read while travelling, feeble attempts at clever humor, opinions on books I read, etc…simply keeping up with friends, family and colleagues…not playing games (arghh - I hated the Farmville invites!). My list of ‘friends’ is nearly 300+. Through Facebook I have reconnected with long-lost loved ones, high school mates, meet-once-in-a-blue-moon ex-colleagues, alongwith my huge family (immediate, extended, distant cousins, met-when-I-was-a-baby kinda ones) and virtual friends scattered all over the globe.
For me, Facebook is a wonderful medium that helps “fill in the gaps”. For really close friends that I talk to often, it’s not so helpful – except for photos and the like. But for casual friends or acquaintances that are now far away, it’s good to see how they are doing, and it’s a God-send when it comes to showing my teenage cousins that I actually care about them and their world without being overly intrusive, since we adults and teens tend to live in very different worlds.
Facebook is a bit like postcards – happy news and bragging, sad tidings and milestones, and like sometimes an electronic graffiti – random thoughts, witticisms. It’s many things to many people. Of course I hide posts from people who annoy me, just like I skip sections of the newspaper. There are VERY FEW, if any, things I would ever share with EVERYONE in my life. Facebook brings them all together in a strangely uncomfortable way. I use hiding feature to mitigate some of it – everyone isn’t privy to the sometimes silly things I post that I would consider might offend them or let them know too much about my personal life.
But Facebook could mean different things to different people. Some people can be informative without bragging or gushing some just overdo it. Some people talk only about what’s new – others just go on and on about everything, including flossing. Some use it for information posts, targeted groups or professional blogs.
I revel in other people’s good days and don’t mind sharing in the dark ones. Occasionally I see a rant, but with so many people looking at content of employees or job applicants, I think more people are becoming careful about posting anything negative. I see a richness though. Have many friends and family members who show off art work, crafts, and notify of special events coming up. I love to see this stuff. Have also seen some pretty funny videos and some wry takes on current news. Have connected with people I haven’t seen for a while or family members I have never met due to geographical distance. I provide my own filters – if I am not interested, I just don’t read it.
I find Facebook brings out streaks of exhibitionist in people – everyone is trying so hard to convince everyone else that their lives are fabulous. There is a way to tell people good news or about interesting things you’ve done without sounding obnoxious. I try not to get roped in and usually I just hide people whose posts annoy me. I can argue that it’s a show-off venue, or that it’s a rare outpost of optimism in a culture where the put-down is king. I figure if anyone wants to hide me or unfriend me, they can. And I HAVE been unfriended.
Life goes on. But all in all, I value Facebook very much for allowing me to stay in touch with and reconnect with people in my life. Sometimes it becomes too much and I step away for a bit, but it’s a comfort to know I’ve connected with those people and they will still be there to interact with when I come back. I am sure many of them do the same thing.
Well…Facebook is what you want it to be!!
Have some fun: Wanna know how addicted to facebook are you – try Facebook Addict Quiz for youself.