real friends & FB friends

Last week, a girl I am an acquaintance of decided to log out of facebook for a while.  Her reasoning was that if people really cared about her, or what’s going on with her, they could call or email to talk to her.  There’s more to this story, and I fear it is a mostly sad story, but it made me think. ** Let me just insert here, that there was nothing wrong… I emailed her & everything is fine.  I discovered later that the purpose for having her on my heart was to make me think about the Facebook deactivation, which did happen a few days later **

Facebook.  I went  a very long time before succumbing to the mind-numbing addiction that is Facebook.  I guess I figured like my friend, I didn’t “need” it for anything.  I had friends, I kept in contact with them, and that was enough for me.

Since joining, I have made connections with people from my past (which has been neat, especially since my dad was military and we moved around a good bit).  I have also made significant connections with family that I knew about, but never knew.  Those parts have been great.

On the other hand, I feel that there is a strong sense of false connection with several people as well.  I know it’s false because if/when I run into these people out & about, there is a sense of awkwardness.  I mean, we’ve commented on each other’s walls, commented on photos, shouldn’t we be “friends”?  Shouldn’t we be able to carry on a conversation in the real world if we can converse in the Facebook world?

And yet, it is not so.

I know super-proponents of social networking will say that the point is not to make every FB friend you have a soulmate; I’m not saying that’s my goal.  I’m just saying, that to me, it all feels a little false sometimes.  Now is one of those times.

I know that there is a person hurting, I think I know (although I pray I’m wrong) I know the cause of her hurt, and yet, Facebook lulled me into a sense of complacency about our relationship; to the point that I never made an effort to kindle a real world friendship.

Am I going to disconnect completely from Facebook-land?  No, probably not.  I did, however, change my settings so that I get nothing but private messages emailed to me.  I figure, if I’m not getting emails that tempt me into just “hopping on for  a second”, then maybe I can avoid being on much at all.

I don’t want to have “Facebook friends”, and “real friends”.  If I cannot be real with you, than why bother being fake?

I managed to maintain real friendships before Facebook, I’m sure I can manage without it as well…

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8 Comments on “real friends & FB friends

  1. Yeah… I don’t like the superficial “friendship” it causes either.

  2. Good news is, I remembered I had my friend’s email address, and nothing bad is going on…
    I am seriously considering completely disconnecting from Facebook. At this point, it is becoming more of an escape for me than anything else, and often times I am choosing to use the escape when I shouldn’t be.
    Definitely something I will be praying about.

  3. Grrrr… why did you have to write about this? I was doing so much better when I deactivated my account… been on waaaaaay too much today. 😦 Wish I had more self-control… it’s just so easy to want to pop into “grown-up world” to see what’s going on… I need to pray about it, too… right after I check my wall. Just kidding :). Love you!

  4. Haha… you know, at this point I’m just trying to figure out how to stay connected to all of the Weiss side of the family I’ve “met” via facebook. I really don’t want to give up seeing their status updates, since that’s all I have, but at the same time… *sigh*

  5. Thanks for posting this, Whitney. It makes me think about how I use Facebook. I appreciate your honesty and your desire to have genuine relationships.

  6. Thanks Jamie! You are definitely one of the people I would be very sad to lose contact with because of the deactivation. I’m glad that it appears we will still keep in touch even without Facebook. 🙂

  7. Well said my friend! I took a two week fast and it was freeing. I am back in Facebook land myself and questioning why I logged back in again. I love seeing my good friends comments to various thoughts but I have to say a clean up in Facebook is necessary. Its addicting and totally unnecessary! As always, love reading your thoughts.

  8. Yeah, I do miss seeing things from a few people, but just a few. I know it was a much needed deactivation based on my reaction to it. I don’t really miss it, but I find myself going through the day, and if something cute or funny happens, I am composing what the status update would look like in my head. Weird and a little sick… so, a break is definitely needed. Probably a looooong break. 🙂

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