I’ve had a wave of friends over the past few months that have had a case of Facebook emo rage. Emo rage is defined if you follow that link for those non-gamer nerds of you who follow my (neglected) blog. To be honest, I understand the frustration but I have to tell you — you brought it on yourself.
To me, Facebook is a wondrous invention and Mark Zuckerberg is a visionary for having brought it to us. I can’t list the number of folks I thought were lost to me forever that I have found. A few of the things that will never be the same because of Facebook:
I actually enjoyed my 20-year reunion as I had caught up with most of my friends on Facebook and could spend time having a good time instead of spending time “catching up”.
Work is a big part of your life, I spent over a decade of my life at one company. Through the power of Facebook I’ve been able to catch up with a lot of my old friends that, before Facebook, I probably would have never seen or talked to again and that would be a shame.
Recently I’ve been able to catch up with a lot of family that, for one reason or the other, lost track of each other. Facebook has been a great way to catch up, start trading family trees or what have you.
Life is a journey that can take us down many roads and many paths. At different stages you create new relationships for yourself and some stay while some fall by the wayside. Some things should be abandoned so you can move on. However, others should be there when you need them and want them to be. I’ve caught up with friends who moved across the country after high school and we just didn’t stay in regular touch, now we can whenever we would like. A group of guys that hadn’t played together in 20 years got together and played for all their classmates because of Facebook. Without it I doubt the crazy idea of “we should have a band reunion at the reunion” would have ever flown.
How Do You Want It?
Best of all, Facebook puts you in control of how you want to use it. If you find yourself getting overburdened with drama then take a break, don’t log in for a while. Or, perhaps, you need to change your Facebook experience. Because it is so new I think all of us have a tendency to fully indulge, friend everyone who asks and make all these connections that we didn’t before. It’s like the funny video with the guy from high school you didn’t even like now at your door. You can friend him or you can tell him no by just not accepting the request.
Is there a chance people are going to see you as rude if you don’t accept their friend request? Perhaps. If someone brought it up I would simply say “because of privacy reasons I keep my Facebook friends list to only my closest friends, I hope you can understand.” Who wouldn’t accept that? If they wouldn’t do you really care what they thin anyway?
I’m sorry if I sound like a commercial for Facebook, I don’t mean to be. I just see so many people who are getting chewed up by the teething period of social networking. This is completely new stuff, we have not been here before and it’s going to take us a while to figure it out. Me, personally, I believe anyone can find whatever they want about me without much work so I share a lot on Facebook. I also do it because I am socially inept and Facebook is like training wheels for me.
What my message is that you can make your Facebook experience whatever you wish it to be. You can cut it down and keep it exclusive or you can open it up, or you can find somewhere in-between, it’s up to you. Maybe you make that guy earn a few dates before you friend him on Facebook or maybe you do it right away, it’s up to you. Maybe you care what your Aunt Tilly says about that political article you posted or maybe you could care less and don’t let anyone comment on what you post. It’s all up to you so get into your privacy settings and decide for yourself.