Friday, July 01, 2011

FB Drama

I mentioned on my FB status a month or so ago that I was thinking of quitting. I'm sure I'm not the only one who has a love-hate relationship with FB. And like all things for us humans, we always dwell on the negative more than the positives.

I've told myself many times that I should just take the negatives with all the wonderful positives that have come out of reconnecting with people I have lost touch with. For those I do care about, even though I'm just a silent reader when it comes to their posts, status updates, rants, pictures and general well-being, I really love "staying in touch" with them, although quietly. I often have a big smile on my face when I read a baby is born, that there was a graduation or any happy event. And I truly feel bad when there is a death in the family or an unfortunate incident has happened. Because I care for these people, I am appreciative for FB to keep me informed.

But then there is the gray area of FB. In the frenzy of the early days of FB, finding friends and adding people to my growing friends list became a sport. There was this act of gloating almost, a status symbol represented by the increasing number of friends in my list. And now its come to bite me in the ass.

I'd like to keep gloating that I have stalkers or over eager exes or a pseudo fan club gone wrong. But alas none of that is the case. Its the opposite almost. I have blogged about FB when I first signed up here. And although I would like to say things have been getting better, its just more of the same thing but more in your face.

Whatever happened to common friendship etiquette? Or just common etiquette at all? If I bumped into you at the mall and said hi, would you just ignore me and walk away if you don't remember me? If you accepted my friend request but choose to ignore me after that, then why accept it in the first place? If I walked up to you in person and said hi, how have you been, I'm sure you would at least stop and say hi just to be polite. I recently read this entry on Mamamia exactly on this topic. I'm happy to read from all the comments that I am not alone!

But don't get me wrong. Its not like I demand a response when I simply comment on something or "like" something. What I'm talking about are actual messages and emails I've sent, questions directed to these people starting with: Hi (put name here)! How are you? But it seems like people feel they can be outright rude and ignore you simply because they are in cyberspace.

I'm a little heartbroken because many of the people I had tried to reconnect with had all mattered to me in some way. Their silence is more painful than if they had just written back with a one liner. We may not have been close, but I liked them and wanted to just say hi and ask how they have been. I've enjoyed their updates and they were a part of my past. Isn't that what FB is for? Why would you need FB if all you want is to stay in touch with your present circle of friends whom you already keep in touch via phone and email? If you do not want to complicate things by reaching out into the far reaches of your social circle, to the less explored regions of the "acquaintance only" category, then why join FB? And most important, why add all of us "acquaintances" to your list?

I'm asking myself these questions now. And I've come to the realization that although I don't want to, I will have to start unfriending people. I'm still a sucker for friends, so doing this is going to be tough. But instead of quitting FB cold turkey, I think this will be a good compromise to begin with. My unhealthy need to be friends with the whole world will need to be weaned off little by little. So don't worry people, I'll just unfriend myself from your list when I can't bare your silence any longer. And to those I don't unfriend myself from, you'll have to bare with me some more. haha!