Tuesday, January 19, 2010

K.I.T. and Facebook

I am once again feeling a little frustrated about the issue of maintaining relationships. This time it's slightly different. I am recently aware of my efforts to contact people and then not receiving a response back. My previous concern was with having to always initiate contact. This new revelation is like the second layer - initiating but then hearing nothing in reply.

I do realize that people are busy. I also know how hard it is to maintain long-distance relationships, especially when you have friendships in your local area that you are trying to maintain. I can't really fault anyone for choosing to spend their time keeping up with those they see over those they used to see. It can be a little difficult for me sometimes to lose once-close friendships. I guess my purpose in blogging about it is to help me deal with the emotions involved with losing friends. Sharing helps me to let go and move on.

I am realizing more and more that Facebook has become a way to appear to maintain contact with others. You "friend" someone because you have known them at some point in your life. You may never visit their page or comment on their status or photos, but you feel like you're still connected. You may decide to look at their info every once in a while, but choose not to leave any indication that you visited. Relationships usually involve communication (specifically two-way) and Facebook (or Myspace - I'm not prejudiced) has helped to disconnect us even more while helping us to think that we're actually more connected. I think it would be interesting if there was a feature that would remove friends from your list if no contact had been made between either party for a certain period of time. I know I'd have a lot fewer "friends".

And that's another thing that irks me but that I am guilty of as well. "Facebook friends" - people that you don't really care to stay in regular contact with but are okay with them learning about your life online. It can really hurt to learn that you have been relegated to "Facebook friend" status when you thought you and the other person were closer than that - this happens when you learn about some major life change/event via the person's status rather than a phone call, email or some other somewhat direct mode of contact. I realize that email can be depersonalized, just like those group Messages people send out through Facebook, but at least they thought about clicking on your address versus skipping over you. Not that this really brings much comfort.

Okay, enough of that for today. I didn't even mention the whole mess of "defriending", which I'm sure will be discussed in a future rant. Until then, just because you never hear from me on Facebook doesn't mean you aren't important to me... (Right?)


  1. I think the problem is that actual relationships require EFFORT and people are basically lazy. We like facebook because the messages come to us and we can chose whether or not we want to respond. We decide how much we want to share with others. We put up the best pictures (we hope) of ourselves. In real relationships people see our ugly, awkard and sometimes mean side.

  2. I like this post Megan. I've often wondered about what Facebook is really buying us in our relationships. I think at best it can help connect you with long lost friends and at worst it can provide a false sense of intimacy and a vouyeristic type of "relationship" where you engage with people when and where you feel like it. I also struggle with what to do when people add me as a "friend" but I don't really consider myself to be (or even want to be) a friend of theirs? Like what are the ramifications of entering into this social contract with a person that I don't really want to share my life or thoughts with? It's not that I want to hurt anybody by ignoring them or rejecting them...I just think there are some people who belong in your past and not your present. Know what I mean?