Saturday, February 06, 2010

Thoughts on Facebook "Friendships"

I'm beginning to wonder about whether Facebook is actually good for some friendships. It is getting more and more hype these days, particularly for it's ability to reconnect people. But what isn't touted are all the other activities that one can engage in on Facebook that can actually harm a friendship. I'm serious here.

Take the whole "becoming a fan" thing. Just the other day one of my Facebook friends joined a group called "I Hate ___". Except what they were hating is actually something I genuinely appreciate and respect. Then today that same friend loudly proclaimed a political leaning that I'm strongly against. I'm beginning to question whether I want to continue to be friends with them on Facebook and deal with the ongoing passive attacks on my beliefs.

Without Facebook, my chances of being in contact with this person were incredibly slim. And I'd forgotten her outspokeness and political leanings. I actually had fond memories of this friend. Now with all of the silly opportunities to proclaim you're likes and dislikes on Facebook, I've lost a lot of respect for this friend. And I've started getting angry reading about her FB activities. It's made me consider searching for groups to join that proclaim my stance in opposition to her. But it's not worth it and I'd rather not be reactionary.

So for now, I think I might just "hide" her. And I'll definitely think twice before "becoming a fan" of something - not because I'm afraid of offending my friends, but just because maybe my FB friends don't need me to parade my beliefs in front of them.

Oh, and if you're someone who hates Louisiana Hot Sauce? Sorry, bout that, but I became a "fan" today. Supposedly it will get me a free bottle if New Orleans wins in the Super Bowl tomorrow.

3 musings:

Michelle Gregory said...

i love it and hate it, but when i see people who have reached their "friend" limit at over 4000, i just have to wonder.

Sarah said...

I have many thoughts on this. I'm sorry if I offended you with becoming a fan of not eating Grandma. :)

I agree with you on these things...and recently, I've decided to defriend people who won't let me write anything on their wall...usually I find this out on their birthday. If I can't be trusted to not embarrass or say mean things to them (which I never have in 18 months of FBing), then I guess we're not really friends anyway.

Just this weekend, I defriended someone for this reason and a few others, and I keep asking myself why I didn't do it sooner. I kept hoping she would respond to my "likes" and comments. She never did. She talked "around" me. I think I was actually hidden.

Then there was the old elementary school friend who friended me and then before I could even look at her information, she not only defriended me but BLOCKED me from ever contacting her and I can't even see her in the directory.

A Musing Mom said...

Michelle - I know. I wonder too. How does that work? Can you ever really keep up with that many status updates?

Once I got a friend request from someone who was obviously just trying to beef up their friend count. I ignored it.

Sarah - [gasp!] You recognized yourself! Seriously, you do point out some other unique dynamics raised by Facebook. Sometimes I don't know whether people's antisocial responses are because they lack social skills or should be taken personally. FB makes it difficult to read intentions - yet another way that maybe it's not serving "friendships"/connections as well as it's creators like claim.