Facebook, friendships and frenemies

A former colleague once told me that she deleted her FB account because she couldn’t take one more “status update about how happy people were.” She said she got frustrated by other people’s seemingly perfect lives and relationships. I found that odd. First, if [they] were her friends, and in love (or whatever), shouldn’t she be happy for them? Second, there IS a thing called the hide-button. And third, there is no such thing as a perfect life. Things may seem perfect because the author chooses carefully what pictures to display (unless, of course, someone tags you, but that’s a whole different dilemma), and what to put in the status updates.

Maybe I am weird because I am not an envious person. I’d rather see a stream of joyful updates than the ones anticipating the second coming of Christ any day. If people are succesful, I think “good for them”! At least it shows that somebody worked hard to get where they are at. It shows willpower and I respect that. But, on the other hand, if people just want to shine in the halo of someone else’s money or success, that’s just bragging and I find that annoying.  Then again, I just, ta-da, click the hide button. It’s genius! It prevents my feed from getting blasted with boring comments about the weather, someone’s dinner or diaper changes.

Then you have the people posting conspiracy theories on how Mark Zuckerberg wants to control your life. Well, here is a newsflash for you… It’s YOUR choice to make a FB profile. I sure hope nobody forced you to do it. You can also control what to share, and whom to share it with.

And if someone “unfriends” you? Don’t take it personally! If you have a quadruple digit number of “friends”, how many are your real friends? FB is GREAT for networking and keeping in touch with buddies, but if your list surpasses, oh, let’s say a thousand, I’d be really careful about what I post. I’ve seen people of the aforementioned category post pics of little babies in the bath tub, cute, sure, but once a photograph is online, it’s only a matter of time before it gets in the hands of the wrong people. For J-school peeps, this is a no brainer, but you’d be surprised. I’ve seen self-proclaimed journalists committing several “sins” on FB, and that’s way more disturbing than a couple sharing a slice of wedding cake.

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