Can Facebook be Your Friend?

• 15 April 2009

This recently published article in Real Simple summarizes oh-so-perfectly my love/hate relationship with Facebook. Perhaps some of you feel the same way? Oui? Non? Well, regardless of your feelings on the subject, this is a great 5-minute read.


Sara said...

Right now it is so that if you don't exist in Facebook, you don't exist.

This might change if people started to sign out of the service but there's a good chance that a new, popular SNS comes up. If you really want to network with people, you need to be there where they are and Facebook is at the moment the easiest way to be visible at one spot for everyone at the same time.

I don't even really get this complain about time suck. It takes just as much time as you want to. I log on every day but just for appr. 5 minutes and that's enough for me to read the latest updates of some of my 700 FB-friends' lives, to decide join or not to join any groups or events and possible post something on my wall.

The only thing I'm really concerned about regarding fb is the privacy. Both in terms of the rules of the service which are incredibly lose but also about the people's respect of other users' privacy. I really don't want to share everything to everyone.

Horsley Family said...

I had a really rough go with facebook. I started an account about 6 months ago... and cancelled a week later. It just got too overwhelming for me. I'm not the type of person that can just ignore comments/questions that would come my way, but I really just didn't have time to answer them. Is that rude? All sorts of weird people (I wasn't thrilled about getting back in touch with) were coming out of the wood works:) hehe. I'm sure I'm the only person in the world that doesn't have a facebook, but it hasn't seemed to hinder me. I'm a little old school though, I'd rather just pick up the phone and call my friends.

sunnygirlsf said...

Thanks for posting the link!

I'm on facebook. Had it for a year or two when I'd get emails saying I'd gotten a message on facebook. I ignored those emails.

Then when the emails began telling me the contents of the facebook messages, comments, etc. I got interested. (Last year).

I work with teens and they've inflated my friend count - some of them are acquaintances but some are truly friends. I adore that I can stay in touch with friends and family around the world.

I'm on a few minutes a day and use the time to check status updates, respond to inbox messages and comments on my wall (if replies are needed).

For Facebook to be successful for someone, I'd say it's key to set privacy settings to restrict people from seeing information you want kept private OR don't post that information to begin with. There are no rules to follow: no need to be witty with status updates, no need to update in fact. I set my settings so people don't know when I start dating someone and thus one day am not dating them.

Another key is to be offline (the little icon in the lower right corner of facebook) so that people don't chat with you when you want to just get on and get off facebook.

I adore connecting with people and it's been fun to update with "new haircut" and have people leave comments or "like" it. Last night I had to post about a friend's four year old daughter who was quite ill and was on the way to the ER. Instantly at least 10 people said they'd be praying.

It does seem to be something people either love or gate.

Oh...and a facebook account is not required to exist. :)

You are who you are whether you're on a computer or not. Doesn't change who you are!

Seems to me people are not going to change when they're on facebook. If you're kind in person, you'll probably be kind on facebook. If you're cliquey and exclusive in person, you'll probably be the same way on FB. So I stopped taking things personally on FB and just look for the connections I can make with family and friends.

(I have hundreds of invites pending to joing causes, groups, etc. I ignore/decline all of them. No rule saying you have to belong to any group on facebook!)

sunnygirlsf said...

(sorry for the lengthy comment. Got carried away.)

Stephanie said...

Sunnygirlsf: I don't mind your lengthy comment at all. In fact, I enjoyed reading your thoughts and opinions. Thanks for sharing!

LobotoME said...

hi steph - i recently deleted my facebook account - it just seemed to me to be another reason to be online instead of IN life. ya know what i mean. everyone who i adore, knows how to reach me w/out a facebook acct!

xo, J :)

liz stanley said...

my biggest dilemma is what to do about long gone ex-boyfriends that friend me. arg. i thought they were out of my life for good? what's the etiquette for that? i ended up friending them, but have kind of regretted in ever since.

lisielou said...

I really liked this article, had already read it in the magazine & it summed up how I feel about facebook too. I have really enjoyed reconnecting with people I've lost touch with -- even had a dinner date with an old friend and his wife and my hubby & we had a great time catching up. I only check my account every other day or so, like LobotoME said, those who love me know where to find me and I'd rather spend my online time checking out my favorite blogs!

Amy said...

That article states exactly how I feel! Definately a love/hate relationship. It's fun to run across friends that you would really want to catch up with, and family, but really that is all.

Laurie said...

Great article. Thanks for posting it.

I think Facebook is most disconcerting for those of us who are way past high school.

It's been fun to reconnect with some old friends, but then it gets a little wierd to see the constant updates. I tend to not take a very active role with Facebook, but it's nice to know how to find people if you want to. It's good, as many things are, in moderation.

J+S said...

Love this article. I'm going to copy you and put this on my blog too. You are amazing, and I look forward to reading your blog every day.

smileybella said...

Oui oui oui! The epitome of love/hate. We've actually having a break at the moment. PS: Lovely blog.

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