I am so tired of Facebook, and people talking to “friends” that they have never really met. Those relationships cannot take the place of real friendships, and are a distraction from taking care of those around you.
As a stay at home mother, my opportunities for random personal encounters are few and far between. At least around Christmas time the FedEx guy makes regular stops. The ironic thing is that within my little home, I interact with about one hundred different people daily. No, it’s not the voices in my head, but a little social media outlet called Facebook.
In any given group of adults, bring up the word Facebook and you will soon have two factions. One will think it’s the degradation of communication as we know it, and the other group won’t hear them because they are updating their status. I belong to the latter group.
Recently I attended a social media conference and was in absolute heaven. Not because I was in a fancy Nashville hotel room all to myself for three sleep-full nights. But because every other woman was there with their phone in hand, snapping pictures of food and people, updating their status, and tweeting any and every detail of the conference. As I ate dinner with a group of attendees, it was perfectly acceptable and even encouraged to tweet and post during the meal. Conference leaders were not offended when you picked up your device during a presentation to post a quote they just coined. Instead they reinforced the behavior with retweets and thank you posts later. I remember thinking that this must be what it’s like to attend one of those Star Trek events where everyone is dressed up as their favorite character. It is empowering and affirming to be around people who think the way you do. Now if only there was a conference centered around the love of cake.
The point of this rambling is to say that Facebook is obviously not for everyone. It is a tool for reaching out to friends new and old, but does not fill the need for true friendship. My life is full of people who I have deep soul bearing relationships with; my husband, four kids, extended family, circle of help-me-bury-the-body friends, and church family. These relationships require large investments of time and energy, which is why I’m happy with the casual cocktail party going on at Facebook. It is a welcome relief and respite to have a place where my “friendships” are satisfied with just the push of a like button. As with all good things in life, moderation is key. Facebook is an amazing tool that can enrich your life, expand your horizons, or help grow your business. However it will never suffice as a main course, but works well as a delightful and complimenting side dish.