Contemplating Facebook Friends

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A few days ago a good friend of mine stated that she’d just finally joined FB. After congratulating her, I asked why she’d resisted for so long. She stated that she believed (and still does) that FB takes people away from ‘real’ face-to-face relationships and online relationships were a poor substitute.
Now, if I’d been a cat, my whiskers and tail would have twitched with irritation at her comment. While I’m still very fond of my ‘face to face’ friend, I pointed out that God blesses us with many kinds of relationships to fill different needs and for us to fill those needs in others. She graciously conceded that I was right.
However I started to ponder both the benefits and the drawbacks of my FB relationships.
It is no secret that FB offers instant contact with regards to family, friends (old and new), colleagues, possible dates etc. But the advantages of keeping in touch FREE with friends and family who are travelling and wanting to send pictures is one of my personal favorites. Then add on that you can contact them when and how you like, as it may be in the middle of the night for many of my wayward friends when I’m awake and wondering how they’re doing. Promoting yourself or your business is of course another of my favs. It’s like putting little flyers on doorsteps without having to walk a step. How great is that?
And who doesn’t like the visual aspect of FB? Those videos are positively addicting, and the little pictures that give you a giggle to start your day can’t be beat!
Then there is the benefit of having advice from hundreds of people from all walks of life and cultures. And right at my fingertips!
I’m still a little country girl gaping at the possibilities, but still a bit fearful of stepping into the ‘unknown’ without a valid roadmap. (Which keeps changing, I might add)
Now, I must consider the cons of FB. Because to be totally honest, I can truly lose track of time while online with my ‘tweeps’. I’m a visually oriented person, so the vast array of delightful pictures and You Tube videos can suck me in. And the instant contact with my friends entices me no end! I’m often tempted to run and see what was up on FB before I sit and consult my daily devotionals, or to chat with my off-line friends.
Then there is the privacy aspect of it. How many times have I heard about people being hacked, or being dragged through the mud by having something publicized that they may have said while they were young and impulsive? A few of my friends have actually backed out of FB as it is commonly used as a tool for future employers to find out what a person is really like. That’s appalling to me!
But as I look at my list of pros and cons, personally, FB is so worthwhile to me. But I do have to be disciplined with how and when I use it.
So I salute my FB buddies and groups. I can’t think of going through life without you all now, so you’re kind of stuck with me. (Oh, wait, I can be ‘unfriended too! ☹)
This is my post, in recognition of my one-year anniversary of being a Scriblerian. I have enjoyed my new buddies immensely, and how we have become a close-nit group of like-minds.

So I ask you…

1) How do you feel about Facebooking? Does it pull you away from other relationships?

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10 thoughts on “Contemplating Facebook Friends

  1. I originally joined FB to keep in contact with other writers and publishers. In fact, one of my publishers keeps a private group going where we can hash out some details of upcoming projects and events.

    I’ve since linked up with other friends, former coworkers, and people I would have never met. It doesn’t detract from my face to face interactions, but I can see how it might. I work in a 6-person team, and the three 20- and 30-somethings are glued to their cellphones, checking in with text messages, FB, and whatever else.

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    • Thanks for your comment! Like you, it was more of a ‘business’ move to help with my platform and to get in touch with other writers. I was reluctant at first, thinking that my email was just fine thank you very much. But also like you, I found it was great to keep in touch with others socially as well. But I’ve heard that if you have an author’s page (or an illustrator’s page like me) set up, a very small percentage of your followers actually get notified of updates. This was shocking news! And there is no control over that!

      Your comment about the 20 – 30 somethings checking their cellphones reminds me that we do live in a very different world now, and social interactions are also very different. So I guess each person has to discover what is appropriate for them. I can see how instant interaction could be enticing.
      Thanks again for weighing in!

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      • Yes, it’s true that business pages only get a limited distribution, even if the people who Follow you mark the Get Notifications option. It’s a money-making thing. The Powers That Be at FB want you to spend $$$ in “promotions” to get your message out. I did try it on a couple of posts, and I gathered a few Likes, perhaps, but no real interaction. A little irritating, really, but a small percentage is better than none.

        A friend and I go out to dinner now and then and look for tables with more than one person … where no one has an electronic device glued to their hands. It’s rare to find people interacting without the device.

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        • That really angers me! They don’t go by their own rules. But they are an enormously successful entity, I guess they feel they have the right to do what ever they want. I guess a way to get around that is to announce updates on regular Facebook too, then you get more people seeing them… ??

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          • That’s one way to do it, but some folks try to keep their “work at work and home at home.” You also should be careful that your posts don’t become “white noise” and get put on Ignore.

            One trick appears to be to build as large a following as you can. Your posts won’t reach everyone, but perhaps you’ll get some traction with the cluster who /do/ get to see ’em.

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        • Thanks so much for your advice CCKoepp! Navigating the changing face of FB is tough at best!

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  2. I too became a Facebook user to connect with writers and all things writer-ly. And that has been a grand success as I’ve become acquainted with SO MANY people I would never have connected with otherwise. And the opportunities to connect with organizations and individuals also championing the cause of abstinence and renewed abstinence seem to expand each day. But it can be a time waster so I have to tell myself only so many more minutes…. Sometimes it works, not always. 😉

    We Scriblerians are a unique and wonderful group, are we not, Miss Loraine! So happy you’re one of us!

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    • Hi Beth,
      Yes, the opportunities of connecting with like minds and promoting a cause is truly so much easier on-line. I so admire your stand!
      And with any thing that is fun to do, self discipline is easy to talk about, but hard to do at times. (Just one more peak before I go to bed… famous last words)
      Scribs rock!

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  3. I use Facebook to keep in contact with my friends and associates. I have some family that would never talk to me if I didn’t have Facebook. In that case Facebook has facilitated increased use of other media like email and cell phones.

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  4. I totally get what you’re saying here Tim. I also have family and friends that, without FB, I would not have found or conversed with. It’s still a great deal, even though they pull the strings the way they want to.

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