Social Question

Paradox1's avatar

Question About Facebook w/Discussion?

Asked by Paradox1 (1179points) January 16th, 2011

I have been simultaneously attracted to and repelled by Facebook. This has led me to, at times, deactivate my FB account temporarily in order to relieve myself of the stress it brought upon me. I think I have learned how to tolerate my account and rarely deactivate anymore. I enjoy it more now, but only because I allow myself to keep a safe distance from it: checking daily instead of 2–3 times a day, and I have managed to prioritize it lower on my list.
I think my temporary absences have hurt my social standing, and I seem to have lost touch with FB or with my friends or both. Just wondering on some ways you have found are good to connect with people.. I have over 500 friends but I feel as though I know only 10% of that!

How do you feel about Facebook? And help with my sitch!

-Temporarily Deactivated

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20 Answers

Arbornaut's avatar

Im the only person i know who isn’t on it. Never have been.

SavoirFaire's avatar

If you feel like you only know 50 of your 500 friends, then unfriend 450 people. Only keep people with whom you actually want to stay in touch and see if it becomes less stressful.

zenvelo's avatar

are you really friends with those 500? or friends of friends of friends? I am very wary of adding people, even one’s I have known for a long time but am not close to. There is just too much noise otherwise. I’ll hide people who are playing farmville or sending/receiving hugs and hearts every day.

Consider de-friending people who won’t know that you were even on their friend list; they won’t miss you.

Re-establishing a social standing is easy, it just takes time to “like” other’s comments, updating your status every couple days, and making appropriate comment’s on other’s status.

Sarcasm's avatar

I like Facebook. I hate the people who run it, and I hate that they’re whoring out whatever private information they can find to advertisers and it STILL doesn’t advertise anything I want. But I like Facebook. It’s easy to use, it’s aesthetically pleasing and rich with features. It’s a great way to connect with people you like.

The biggest complaint I see people have about Facebook is, “Everyone posts stupid shit on it!” But in all honesty, that’s because they’ve “Friended” idiots. The platform of Facebook does not make anyone have dumber opinions, or any less capable of expressing good opinions. People post bad things because they’re bad people.
I’ve got 101 friends on Facebook. I’ve got immediate and extended family (Relatives whom I haven’t seen in over 6 years), I’ve got internet friends, I’ve got friends from the three high schools I went to, I’ve even got a friend who was my next-door neighbor and close friend till her family moved away to Arizona when I was 10 or so. Some of these people post opinions that I dislike, or do it in a poor manner, but I like them enough to deal with it and not complain about how Facebook is turning their brains to mush.

Don’t add people as friends if you don’t want them to be your friends. There’s no reason to hear updates about lives you don’t care a single bit about. And if you have any “friends” who see you as lesser because you occasionally leave Facebook, I recommend dropping them too, because that’s simply ridiculous. It’s your account, you do what you want.

ninjacolin's avatar

The theme of my response is: Facebook is a tool for keeping in contact with certain people in your life.

I hear about the stress it puts on a lot of people and I don’t sympathize with them at all. They just don’t seem to have a grasp of what facebook is. They’re almost confused by it’s meaning or something.

Facebook has no meaning.
Facebook is a tool for keeping in contact with certain people in your life.
Facebook is not a game. You don’t win or lose at it.
Facebook is not work. You don’t have to participate on it if you don’t feel like it. You don’t have to upload pictures, you don’t have to make comments, you don’t have to do anything. You can simply have an account available so that you have an option to make use of the tool to keep in contact with certain people in your life at your leisure.
Facebook doesn’t want or need anything from you. It’s a tool for your use should you feel the inclination to use it.

It’s a communication technology. Like a telephone or a pen. It’s not the only communication technology out there but it’s a global one that allows you to broadcast communications to multiple people at the same time.

Scooby's avatar

Simple, just close your account….. You’ll soon come to realise who your true friends are.. They’re usually the ones who call you up on the phone or come to your place to ask you out……. :-/

incendiary_dan's avatar

To add to what @Sarcasm said about people complaining that others only post stupid stuff: there’s a function that for some reason lots of people don’t notice called “hide”. You can press the little x that appears when you hover over someone’s post, and set it to not show you all their posts, or the posts from that particular application. It makes Facebook so much easier.

downtide's avatar

I use Facebook for one thing only: for keeping in touch with members of one particular real-life group I belong to. Facebook is used for sending out announcements of meetings, organising events and so-forth. If this group used some other tool instead of FB, I wouldn;t bother with FB at all. Sadly though, most of the members are under 25 and therefore they think FB is the most important thing on the internet.

JLeslie's avatar

Clean up your friends. Get rid of the ones you don’t know well, or don’t bring you happiness in their comments. Or, hide people so you don’t see their status.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

You’re giving facebook power over you when it should have none. I agree with @ninjacolin .

KhiaKarma's avatar

I have had a similar experience of quitting facebook. I went back, though, because a lot of my friends live far away and I wanted an easy way to keep in touch. Now I view it like @ninjacolin. I deleted anyone that I hadn’t seen in the last 10 years and have no real desire to see again. Like @zenvelo said, I don’t think they miss me. But I sure feel better knowing who I am sending information out to. I also love the “hide” button that @incendiary_dan mentioned….it gets rid of those annoying daily posts by someone who you don’t want to delete for whatever reason.

OpryLeigh's avatar

I don’t understand this whole “facebook takes over your life” thing. I check it a couple of times a day (if possible) but nothing about it stresses me out and I certainly dont need to check it everyday. I suggest blocking anything/one that would stress you out. For example, things like Farmville requests piss me off, so I have them blocked. Now, I only see my friends status updates.

glenjamin's avatar

Some people find FB addicting, as I did for a short while. But now I check it once a day for about 5 minutes (as opposed to spending say an hour on it). I see if I have any new notifications, check on the most recent status’ and leave, no problem. I think when it was ‘new’ for me I was so intrigued by it, now it has lost most of that luster. I talk to probably 10% of my ‘friends’ just like you, but this is pretty common (after all, how could you possibly talk to 500 people?). It doesn’t bother me really, though I did stay away from it for a long while because I was on it too much at work.

cookieman's avatar

Related note: As suggested above, I too did a little house cleaning and deleted some “friends” I never communicate with.

Most didn’t even notice, but these two gals (who I hadn’t seen in real life in over ten and twenty years respectively) – immediately re-friended me with an angry message attached.

How dare I delete them!!

I said, you never talk to me, now you care?!?

Paradox1's avatar

I don’t agree with the statement that Facebook has no power over me. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I also can’t imagine I’m the only one that thinks this. Perhaps I am playing devils advocate here, but Facebook DOES cause me “stress” by being a part of it. I am guessing that this stress is in response to my specific and unique personality, and may or may not be felt by others the same way. I do value privacy very much, and this could certainly be the cause of my concern.

The thing that bothers me most was pointed out by @cprevite whereby “digital action” has very real and definite consequences in your life away from the internet. I have yet to receive angry messages from those I have de-friended (though I have gotten: “Why did you [do it]?”), but I feel this situation would certainly create stress for the receiver. For example: What happens if you run into these people if they live in your city? What will they say at a high school reunion? You get what I mean. How do you respond to parents (or others you do NOT wish to befriend online for any reason) or grandparents for example that coerce you into “friendships”?

If Facebook is considered on the level with the telephone, I suppose it is only a more twisted version of what “stress” a telephone creates for its users. The concern with FB is that its implications are far deeper and more imminent for its user, as anyone from fired teachers to some of our most unpopular children can tell us. I am not saying there are not benefits to FB. What I am suggesting is that there are very real consequences in any human interaction and connection, even if mostly beneficial. I also propose the theory that by trying to connect the world, Mr. Zuckerberg is in fact leading us to the new frontier of Digital Cloisterism whereby human interaction takes place primarily behind and through screens. discuss

lillycoyote's avatar

I’m not that invested in it, I guess. I like it because it helps me stay in touch with distant family, old friends, and has allowed me to renew relationships with people I have lost touch with. I really like it for that. It has actually been wonderful for that and I’m extremely grateful that many of my friends, old and new are on it, and family are on it but I’m an old fogey facebook user. I’m not that emotionally invested in it. But I would miss if it went away.

JLeslie's avatar

@Paradox1 That is why I call it crackbook. I don’t know how old you are, but if you are younger I can see why facebook would or could be stressful. It is like an extended for of peer pressure and clique obligation I would guess. We, who are older, remember a time when facebook did not exist, so I think it is easier for us to realize it is not that important. Any of our close friends who need to reach us can call or text, the other friends probably would just wonder where we have been if we stopped making comments on fecebook.

Maybe take a two week break, and see if anyone even notices you have not been logging on. People who are wondering where you are will check and see you have not defriended them. Later, if you do defriend, they will already be used to you not popping up with a status or comment, and might not bother to check.

Or, shut down your account, if you are a teenager blame your mother (how old are you) and in a couple of months when you aren’t grounded anymore, only friend the people you really know and want to friend.

Paradox1's avatar

@JLeslie Thank you! But I do hope I’m not coming off as a teenager =D

OpryLeigh's avatar

@Paradox1 If it genuinly causes you stress why don’t you just close your account? I don’t see the point in keeping something in your life that causes you stress.

JLeslie's avatar

@Paradox1 I really have no guess how old you are. The vocabulary you use in your original question makes me think you are in your twenties or older. Some words are more sophisticated than most teens. But, your concern about social standing regarding facebook, made me think high school was a possibility. I completely understand needong to worry about offending people by blocking them, even as an adult, if they are in one of your social circles, but if you have 500 facebook friends, the majority of those people aren’t in your important circles.

What exactly causes your stress? I am still confused. Are you getting a lot of notifications you need to respond to. Or, messages in your inbox? Or, do you feel compelled to see what other people are writing?

If you are concerned about writing something that can come back to haunt, that is a healthy concern. Keep it light and funny. The teacher who was fired, was fired because she wrote mean things about the children. She would never say those things into a microphone on stage at an assembly, so it should not be on the internet. We can only write on fb what we are willing to have written on the front page of the newspaper with our name attached to it.

If we comment on someones status, and that person allows everyone to see their status, then everyone will see your comment. This is my biggest gripe on facebook. We cannot control who sees our comments, when the comment is on someone else’s wall.

To acknowledge a point you made above. I recently wrote on my facebook status: Facebook is Like a virtual United Earth, I think Gene Roddenberry woould have found it very interesting.

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