Facebook: Social Utility or Tool of the Devil?

I am addicted to Facebook. I love it. I love looking at other people’s pictures, reading the funny comments.. seeing what everyone is up to. I’ve reconnected with people I haven’t spoken with in years.. and I’m happy that I have. But there comes a time when I’m not sure if maybe I’ve put myself “out there” a little TOO much…

There are articles .. prospective employers investigate you through Facebook and the web.. and crap, maybe even the lame ass blogs that some people write to amuse themselves whilst unemployed.

(At this point, I would just like to point out that I am hardworking, a real people person, wish to obtain a position that would best utilize my skills in marketing, public relations and event planning. … and in 5 years see myself as independently wealthy, living on a beach somewhere with some hot cabana boy catering to my every whim.)

Several years ago, a friend and co-worker would tell the rest of us at work that MySpace was “out” and Facebook was where it was at. We scoffed at her for a while (we are the mean sarcastic types) until we finally checked it out. Then caved. Then wholeheartedly jumped in with both feet.

Oh Facebook. My constant companion, my best friend, my soapbox, my means to broadcast my every movement so that droves of people who actually HAVE lives can know what I’m up to…… I enjoy it. I like thinking of hilarious status messages.. I like creeping around on other people’s pages to see what their kids look like, how their vacation was.. the crazy antics of their dogs.. whether or not that cute boy I kinda like is”in a relationship”.. you know, the stuff that you’d like to know but you don’t actually want to have a real human conversation with that person.

I’ve learned things about my “friends”.. it’s been enlightening and fun. I’ve kept in touch with people I would likely still not be in contact with if not for this useful tool of socialization. And I never have to remember a birthday again! Facebook does that for me and sends handy reminders!

But then there is the dark side…..

Once you are hooked, how do you stop? I currently have 686 Facebook Friends… Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside, but seriously…. How on earth would I seat them all for dinner?

Many of these people I know through the music business.. and MOST of them I have actually had human contact with. There are a few “friends of friends”.. but where do you draw the line?

I feel guilty hitting that IGNORE button when someone tries to befriend me.. remember, I’m a people person…

But seriously, I do not know you Isabella Coldpitts. I appreciate the fact that you are “friends” with 25 of my “friends”.. but I have no idea who you are. Other than we appear to both like country music. Stan Backwater…. same goes for you.. you look a little creepy, to be quite frank. And really, I don’t want you looking at various pictures of me in a kilt while you are hunched over your keyboard. But what to do? I worry about offending a perfectly decent human being who may just be reaching out and trying to broaden their circle of friends…trying to network… But I also worry about weird creepy people who I don’t know checking out what I’m doing and when……

Hence, limited profile. For all those “friends of friends” who I DON’T want seeing my family photos or various party pics… you are being relegated to limited. I’m sorry. I just feel it’s too soon. I mean, we barely know each other. I’m just not that kind of girl….. I think we have to get to know each other a little better before I share my status with you…..

Then, there is the etiquette. I was going to complain about those who become over the top self indulgent and use their status to reveal the status of their relationships .. however, I’ve been guilty of the same crime. Sometimes it just makes you feel better to share …. and have other people send you messages of condolence and virtual hugs via your wall. But I think it’s way over the top when someone directly attacks someone via their status. That makes me question whether I still want them as a “friend”.. And then, what about “unfriending”? At what point do you “cull the herd”? I’ve gone through my list of friends now and again… at what point do you delete someone out of your virtual life? Someone has to really tick me off to be booted from my list…..

Recently, my sister ran into one of my old friends from high school who I never really kept in touch with, but have as a Facebook friend. They began chatting and the friend expressed concern for me. Please note: she and I have had very little contact. She’s getting all this from the interweb… She was concerned about my lack of employment, my move to Central Ontario and even my breakup with Fernando last year (she never felt he was the right guy for me…..).

She has not seen me in person in over 25 years.. and she’s never met Fernando. I find it interesting that through FB we feel we “know” these people we don’t even really talk to. I mean, I’m not upset by this at all.. in fact, I’m touched that she’s concerned for my welfare. But it makes me think that perhaps I’m a little TOO open about what’s going on with me……..maybe I should take down some of my pics, cull the herd, not post so often…..??

But then again, if I was that worried about it, I wouldn’t be blogging……

Life: Oddly busy all things considered.

Love: I only have online boyfriends. It is my cross to bear.

Pants: Down another couple pounds.. Hitting the Y hard this week. (that’s the plan, anyway…)

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One response to “Facebook: Social Utility or Tool of the Devil?

  1. Pingback: Life, Love and Pants

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