Essay: Argh. Facebook.

It’s 10/11/12!  So exciting!

Here’s what drives me crazy about Facebook.  For a site that is supposed to keep you closer to your friends, it fails.  I have never, ever logged off Facebook without feeling lonelier than when I logged on.
What Facebook is quite good at is keeping me in touch with my friends who are on the periphery of my life.  I have a friend from elementary school and we are friends on Facebook.  I know more about her life now than I have since we parted in high school and I’m quite happy about that.
But here’s the deal. Aside from my other friend who is a prolific poster, quite funny and delightful, I don’t get enough about anyone from Facebook.  My friends who are my real face-to-face (or email-to-email if they are far away) can’t possibly post enough on Facebook to replicate what one get-together will do.
When I read their posts between seeing them, I end up just feeling more
separated from them.
And while Facebook is handy for the “I wonder what’s going on with [insert anyone from my past]” type questions, the result is ultimately unsatisfying.  For instance:  last week I wondered what had become of a friend from high school with a unique enough name that it was easy to search for him.  There he was, with a page and everything.  I investigated his page and I can tell you that I know pretty much nothing about him except the city he lives in, the fact that he apparently plays the banjo (or at least holds one for the camera as if he plays it) and he may have a dog and a cat.  So what’s the point?  I don’t really want to contact him and become “friends” on Facebook, I just want three paragraphs about how his life is.  If he had more posts, I could pull together a summary, but it’s not like the rank-and-file have publicists.  In fact, right now I know more about Channing Tatum than all of my ex-boyfriends and that just seems wrong.
So I go on random “wonder what” hunts and come up with fragments of lives, thanks to Facebook.  The site is all about the lure of the connection with little actual connection.

3 thoughts on “Essay: Argh. Facebook.”

  1. Excellent insight about facebook. I always feel like slug when it comes to my posting habits. I rarely see the updates of any of my real true friends, because of how they changed the updating system. FB is such an odd entity. I love it and hate it at the same time. Right now, though, I'm using it to update our family about our Frankenstorm status. If the news out there is anything like ours, many of our friends and family are worrying about us right now. Hopefully the FB posts will help them relax a bit.

  2. It is handy for that. I've checked FB four times today (three at work) to check up on people on the East Coast and It's been nice to have the updates.

  3. I have really enjoyed being able to keep up with my work colleagues and their babies since I retired. There are also some out of town cousins that keep in touch that way. Sara's blog has saved me, but I am really appreciative of FB today with the storm in the East. I so enjoy your musings even though I may not comment often. My Kudos to you.

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