{25/01/2012}   Facebook and my complicated Facebook life

It’s a friend’s birthday.  I wish them happy birthday by text, then I see people have wished them happy birthday on Facebook, so I leave a comment there too.   I wonder if I should phone and/or email.  But I am seeing them this evening for drinks.  Facebook pressure.

Through another Facebook friend I realised I’d been de-friended by someone.  I felt a surge of upset and left-out-ness.  Then I had a reality check, after a little bit of but-why-would-she-want-to-defriend/dump/cull-me soul searching.  I don’t blame her for defriending me.  We barely knew each other the 12 or so years ago we last worked in the same place, we didn’t keep in touch for a reason (I think it was Facebook that suggested we should be friends because of a mutual friend), we didn’t once comment on the other’s Facebook and I did feel like a bit of a voyeur in her life.  I didn’t and I don’t know her, just over this surreal cyber world.

I find I am subjected to schoolgirl feelings through Facebook, “Oh no, [X] has more friends than me, [Y]’s comments get more likes or comments than mine, [Z] has a better photo than me”.  It goes on.  And it’s not pretty.

I was “friends” with someone I was at university with for my first year.  I sent her messages a few times, one saying that I’d be in her home town for a week and did she want to meet up.  We once had that sort of friendship.  Clearly it was a contrived “friendship” on Facebook because she never once replied to me.  I actually felt quite good for culling her on Facebook.

There is no reason to feel guilty defriending someone and no need to feel upset about being defriended.  There is usually a reasonable explanation, not that either side is ever likely to find out what it is.

I have found things out about people I genuinely do call friends on Facebook, from moving house to the birth of babies.  I think friends should be treated as friends, ie not told things over a very public medium; that’s for Facebook friends, who are two different sets of people.

I also find it bizarre that I and my friends share little nuggets of information from our daily lives that we wouldn’t otherwise have known.  I also know the whereabouts of most Facebook friends on a regular basis.

I bumped into a colleague once at work.  We hadn’t seen each other or spoken in about three years.  Yet we both knew things about each from Facebook, which actually kind of freaked me out, not that I didn’t appreciate the fact we were in touch, albeit in an artificial and random way.

I have probably missed some amazing Facebook-worthy events, strange things, funny signs on doors, etc, because I’ve been too busy walking along or sitting in a cafe, for example, looking at Facebook.  I am disappointed if I check it on my phone and discover there have been no new updates in the past minute or so since I last checked it.  It’s compulsive reading and it keeps you company and fills time when you’re sitting waiting while your drinking companion goes to the loo while you’re out together or while you’re on the train.

But sometimes I think that the me on Facebook isn’t quite the same me my friends see and know.  Sometimes my daily life can seem exciting when I put it in the right way on a short Facebook update.  Sometimes, I smugly check in somewhere exciting or post from abroad while on holiday.  Sometimes, dare I say it, I’ve even posted witty (I think!) comments while I’m away in an interesting non-UK destination … when in reality I’m on a really horrid job and that one event worthy of a status update was the highlight of my day, along with the fact I’ve just published something that makes it sound like I’m having a fantastic time in Paris.

And I haven’t even mentioned the minefield that is exes as Facebook friends!


So true, especially re life sounding more exciting than it is. My comments from Romania all related to buying honey at the farmer’s market, the open air museum, finding that craft market on Saturday morning etc. No mention of the 8 hour days editing a complex construction case.

I must say the thing I love about facebook is the rediscovery of fantastic people that you never should have lost touch with. Especially when you arrange to meet up and find that you still get on really well after all those years.

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