Two nights ago were were having a wonderful afternoon/night drinks/dinner with fabulous friends. For this blog I am going to call my friends Lovely 1 and Lovely 2 (to protect their privacy). Lovely 1 is a young mum who works full time and has twin 4 year old boys and she started telling us how overwhelmed she feels by Facebook.

She said that every few months she has to shut down her Facebook account because the obligations it puts on her is overwhelming. I have to admit that I didn't really understand. Neither did Lovely 2. Lovely 1 told us she feels guilty that she is a bad friend if she doesn't reply to everyone that makes a comment on her Facebook feed and also if she doesn't visit her friends Facebook pages and comment on their photos/status updates etc. I have to admit that Lovely 2 and I looked at each other a bit confused because we don't feel this same pressure. 

Am I a bad Facebook friend because I don't feel this obligation? I don't see social networking as a "face to face" conversation. If I am there at the time and I feel like responding/commenting I will, but if I don't I won't. If I haven't been on Facebook for a few days I don't feel the need to go back through everything and make reciprocal comments - I might read through if I have time, but essentially I pick up and start again from when I go back on.

Am I rude? Am I a bad friend? Should I feel the same guilt as Lovely 1?

Facebook makes me feel connected to people I care about but don't physically have the time to call/email regularly. To me that's the reality of our busy lives - without Facebook I wouldn't have the connection I currently do to some of the beautiful people that have been part of my life. Facebook keeps me connected to all my old friends from all parts of my very friendship rich life without the pressure of having to call/write to each indiviual person. Have I missed the point of Facebook?

How does Facebook make you feel? Guilty or Connected?
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5 Responses
  1. So Now What? Says:

    I'm the same as you, whatevs, but my sister in law was telling me last week that she got rid of her account because of something that went down with her friends and a photo from a party, blah blah. Sounds like it got incredibly like high school. I use it more to keep in touch with relatives up north and down south and my other sis-in-law in America. I love the fact, you can drop one line or keep updated with peoples lives, but not have to have an hour long phone convo. :)

  2. Dovic Says:

    I feel exactly as you do but I get annoyed at all manner of facebook panic/criticism. For me it is a wonderful way to stay connected and is so UNintrusive. I go there when I want, I comment when I want, and for all those wonderful connections I have I keep in touch with how they're feeling/what they're doing.

    I think people can take the whole social networking a little too seriously. It's fun, it's nice, it's accessible. It's easy to spend TOO much time on it but that's the same with online full stop.

    I understand it's not for everyone...but yeah, for me it works.

  3. Girl Clumsy Says:

    I don't get Facebook pressure so much as Facebook's hard sometimes to see photos/updates about an event you weren't invited to... or other things that you're not a part of.

    It's also a place where things can be taken out of context easily.

    For someone sensitive like me, it's probably not a really very good place to be!

    I also always wonder why a lot of people friend me - they never talk to me on Facebook, or comment on anything I do. Are they waiting for me to reach out first? I never know.

  4. Annieb Says:

    Thanks for the comments. It's such a new area this social networking - hard to know what's right or wrong. I thinkt he rules are still evolving. Girl Clumsy you are more fabulous than you give yourself credit for x.

  5. Anonymous Says:

    Good Post Annie..Its a complex world we continue to create. I've got some views to share on this post... but... Sadly I've also got a meeting to run right now. I'll be back!