From the Pickled Tink Blog....
Does Facebook make it all too easy to cross the line? What about creating "friendships" that don't really exist?
My best girlfriend from HS won't sign up for FB. She has said from the beginning that she doesn't have time. And I will admit - it is a time-suck. But now, after hearing about the rest of us signing up and "watching" each other via this weird virtual world, she says she doesn't really want to do it because of the information sharing. "If I'm not friends with them now in real life, why would I want to be friends with them on FB?" she asked me. Good question....one I do not have an answer to.
I certainly understand the networking parts of FB if you are using it for business, but let's face it, most people are not using it for business. It's all about adding friends and watching their lives described in short little snippets. Some are funny, some are actually useful info (so & so had surgery etc), but a lot of it is purely voyeuristic. I have definitely fallen victim to wanting to know what everyone is doing.
And here's the other dilemma....this came up because a friend ("lisa") was telling me about "messaging" this friend ("dave") of hers on FB. Well, Lisa and Dave knew each other....in the biblical sense in HS. They are now both happily married to other people - so is it strange that they are friends on FB and that they message each other? When do their spouses begin to wonder why they are messaging each other versus posting on the wall for all the world to see?
I got a recommendation for a "friend" recently that I am leaving alone for a while. The dilemma above says it all. Do we need to be friends on FB just because someone recommended it or because we knew each other in HS. I just think it's too bizarre. Some of these people are in my past because that's where they belong. They know me in their minds as the person I was back then - not the person I am now. And just seeing them on FB takes me back to feeling like the person I was then - not something I want to remember necessarily. Don't we grow and change as we age for a reason? I don't want to be the person I was in HS anymore. I'd like to think I am much different than that girl who was insecure, worried what everyone thought of her, and frankly a little shallow. Once we are older, aren't we allowed some room for letting go of the old us and truly being the new, current us. I think adding that friend will just make me feel like I did when I was 18 and stupid. Besides, we're not really friends now - I don't even know what state this "friend" lives in!
I realize this dilemma is really only my own issue, I can "ignore" the recommendation. But the fact that this "friend suggestion" lingers in my FB corner makes me think more and more abut the fuzzy lines of facebook. Does the person know they were recommended to me? Will they know I clicked "ignore" on them? Then again, why do I care? See - makes me feel 18 and stupid all over again!
To play my own devil's advocate, I do love facebook for some of the same reasons I hate it. I love that I have found and rekindled old friendships that I thought had been lost. I have found some people I was sad to lose along the way because we lost touch during one of the millions of moves between us. Having them back in my life - even virtually - has been amazing. Some are childhood friends and some are from those "stupid" 18 year old times - some of them have brought back hilarious and wonderful memories.
I guess I can't stop wondering when are the virtual friendships crossing the fuzzy line?