My Facebook Quandry

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In a nutshell, I’m embarrassed by just how much time I spend on Facebook. I’m also afraid of turning into one of those mindless updaters that make you want to hurl something at their heads. I especially hate the 3rd party updaters; “Jane Smith is wondering what to eat for dinner since her hubby decided to eat with his buddies at the university. She’s thinking she might have ice-cream for dinner. She’s so naughty…” Ummm, lady, you ARE Jane Smith you nitwit!

*Sigh* I have to go back to life pre-facebook, if for no other reason to prove that I can. So why don’t I, you ask? I’ll tell you why:

1. I’ve friends in different continents, countries and states so it’s nice to “see” them and hear/read what they’re up to lately

2. I can more easily stalk my little sister to see what she’s up to. Ok, I don’t really stalk her but she’s a teenager who doesn’t always communicate with me so it’s nice to go over to her wall and read about her shenanigans. I don’t judge either. I promise. Really!

3. I should be ashamed to admit this but it’s kind of nice to actually think up things to write or post coz I’m under the illusion that my “friends” care about it. To be fair, I really do post interesting stuff (said the Facebook addict πŸ™‚ )

4. It’s nice to be in touch with friends from high school and college. I really do like some of these people

5. I may not talk to all my ‘friends’ all the time but sometimes I do and it’s nice to know that they’re right there if/when I want them

Now, reasons to exit Facebook:

1. Some of my “friends” seem to annoy me more and more on a daily basis. I’ve recently taken to hiding their updates.

2. It’s clear that some of my “friends” are no longer people I’d be friends with offline. It’s time to say goodbye.

3. I don’t know how to delete some of these “friends” without hurting people’s feelings. I guess I’m not a good breaker-upper (I know that’s not an English word but I like it so it stays πŸ™‚ )

4. It’s turned me into a lazy friend and from my incoming call log, it seems to have done the same to my actual, real life friends. Not cool

5. I feel exposed. Some of these people are people I wouldn’t tell some of the stuff I post on my wall. Keep in mind that I don’t post explicit stuff or super personal stuff but still….the idea that someone might read something on my wall that would give them greater access to my life, thoughts, etc just weirds me out e.g. if an actual friendm says something like “hey Mia, have a safe trip…sorry things are tough right now….congrats on the new car…” then some random guy or gal would know that I’m traveling or going through a rough patch or bought a new car or whatever. So weird. It’s like yelling my info out in the middle of downtown DC or Times Square. Who does that???? Facebook, that’s who!

Also keep the following in mind:

1. My privacy settings are really high. You can’t even search for me on Yahoo or google. It’s completely private

2. I don’t accept hugs, play games, accept gifts etc. Basically, if it requires me to accept anything, I don’t accept it. I say this to say that only my “friends have access to my info”

I point this out to say that I really do use Facebook to keep in touch with my friends and acquaintances but it’s all getting to be just a little creepy. I’m also logging on several several several times a day, which is so lame! I know I could quit but I feel guilty. Seriously! I feel like I’d be throwing out the baby with the bath water, so to speak. In other words, I feel that by deleting my entire profile I’d be tossing out the useful contacts along with the useless ones.

So….I’m in a quandry when it comes to Facebook. What’s a girl to do?

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4 responses »

  1. You present some interesting additional dilemmas with respect to using Facebook. I don’t have a Facebook account but I’ve been reading a lot of complaints about them. They all seem to concur that the functionality of the spam filters is poor. They cause genuine discourse to disappear and let shameless commercial promotion and advertisements through, especially for applications. I’ve heard repeated reference to the kind of drivel you referenced in the first paragraph. In that humorous vein here is a mindless nitwit 3rd party update: Panty Buns (myself) is having coffee and hasn’t shaved. He’s having coffee at the computer after having had a phone call from a relative. He’s not going anywhere today but wishes you a Happy Spanksgiving (or a happy Thanksgiving if you are not kinky, or a happy Un-Thanksgiving if you are a First Nation (native american) person on the West Coast of the U.S.). Oh, that’s right….. I AM Panty Buns!
    I hadn’t thought about having relatives on different continents. I do of course but they are distant relatives. Being reclusive I don’t eve stay in touch with close relatives. If I had it together maybe I would add them to my address book and do an email them all as a group (one email).
    It is too bad that Facebook is so close to being a monopoly and that people are reduced to wishing they were a more benevolent dictator.
    Wouldn’t it be nice if there were internet providers and networking hosts that allowed us to segment our interests, friends and content in ways that we chose ourselves instead of some preconceived only thoughts “inside the box” pigeon-holing. It would be nice to be able to keep naughty friends (like me) separate from close family and separate from REALLY naughty stuff. To have a separate spaces for intellectual discourse (or whatever else) available to a small group, or just one other person, or published to the whole world, or whatever we wanted without someone sitting there deciding for us what is okay and what is not.
    I read that MySpace has been acquired by Rupert Murdoch who also owns television channels 5, 9 and 11, Fox, The New York Post, Direct TV, The Wall Street Journal, and a plethora of other radio, television, magazine, newspaper and other media (not to mention owning scads of politicians). His henchmen like Roger Ailes and all his talking head army dominate everywhere. They censor political discourse and it seems all of the sharing services, media, service providers etc. are eager to jump on the pro-censorship bandwagon.
    I appreciate that you don’t post explicit or personal stuff on Facebook, but that doesn’t mean you are exempt from the potential of arbitrary and capricious censoring or filtering by the “Big Brother” “Facebook Team”, but let me put forward a POSITIVE THOUGHT:
    Thanks to Facebook’s notoriety for having things disappear unpredictably, the “friends” you delete won’t know whether you did it or whether it was a Facebook glitch.
    Too bad I can’t do a search and read the “really interesting stuff” you’ve posted without joining Facebook, but then again I would probably not be “appropriate viewing” for some of them. I had thought everybody had to say they were over 18 to join Facebook. What’s the deal there? If you have to sign saying you are over 18 how are under-age people on Facebook? Aren’t there ANY social sharing sites that are over 18 only and are NOT hardcore but still uncensored?
    I suspect the following two things are true: That Facebook will deny they do arbitrary and capricious censorship, and that if you bring up any kind of anti-trust subject with respect to them or promote potential competitors it would somehow disappear.
    Sorry about straying into the censorship stuff. You brought up much more practical dilemmas.
    Thanks for your wonderful comments on my blog. Just in case you are going somewhere, are having a rough time, or bough a new car: Have a safe trip, sorry you’re having a rough patch, congrats on the new car, good luck, and have a Happy Thanksgiving.

    • I see your point and appreciate your third-party self updates. Happy Thanksgiving – or whatever – to you too πŸ™‚ You’re welcome about the comments on your site. I think that because I rarely say anything too objectionable, I sometimes forget to see that censorship affects a lot more people than I think. I do appreciate that it helps me keep in touch better with my family and actual friends. I will start deleting people systematically until all I have left are the people I like and want to have.

      • I liked the comment you left on the post entitled: “The Internet Free Speech Ruling Prudes Want Overturned” as well. You might find some of the subjects in my reply to your comment of interest. It touched on both racism and sexism. There have been more comments on the Facebook issue . So much info came in by email from N. Lynn and Marge that I may wind up having to write another post on the subject of the Rupert Murdoch-Microsoft-Yahoo-Myspace-Microsoft-Bing-Facebook business relationships with potential Google involvement. It’s getting to be one big corporate end-run around the anti-trust laws in Europe and America and the implementation of more censorship to go with it. I’m glad Facebook helps you keep in better touch with your family and friends. You are a positive thinker. I’ll be the negative thinker wondering who they are going to try to silence next. Meanwhile maybe Panty Buns will be naughty and look for ice cream. Love your writing. πŸ™‚

      • I love hearing from you. I was happy to stop by again and read more and even leave a comment.

        About Murdoch: At first when I was reading your post I thought “well, what’s wrong with someone making business purchases that are good for him and his business” and then I saw all the other things that are connected to him and I don’t feel so blah about it anymore. I see now how owning so much in one area (news, communications, etc) can lead to a great potential for censorship because one person’s decisions have the potential to impact so many mediums. Wow! I don’t even know what to say after that.

        I appreciate that you perceive me to be positive because I’ve been working very hard to be optimistic. By nature, I tend to be pessimistic and it’s depressing. As for naughty and ice-cream, all I can say is that it’s always a good time for ice-cream. I once had the nerve to sit by a window and watch it snow heavily as I indulged in a big bowl of ice-cream. In other words, I’m an ice-cream baby πŸ™‚ Enjoy yours!

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