Facebook: Are They Really Your Friends?

A few weeks ago I found myself in a conversation that I did not think I would find myself involved in about Facebook and how we present ourselves there.

Someone who was a friend there (or so I thought anyway) and I got into a conversation about the transparency of Facebook and just how honest we are when we make those "Status Updates" there and people who know us leave their comments there.

The conversation started over an article about Social Media and detaching from much of it in our lives. My "friend" had commented on an article that he had read and when I commented on his update we got into this conversation about how we present ourselves on Facebook, and apparently my friend was not really presenting himself as he really was in real life with family and other friends.

And after we spoke about the subject a bit I said to this person that I'm pretty much what you see here in person, I don't have to hide anything... well let's just say that things began to chill a little between us.

For whatever reason this person has totally deleted their profile on Facebook and I no longer have any contact with that person, and not through any wrong doing on my part, but that's neither here nor there. What started to bother me was just the idea of all these people who we "friend" on Facebook in the first place.

If you think about it for a moment, my experience with someone whom I met through networking on LinkedIn and connected on Facebook after several months led to this person just disappearing, so was this person really my friend?

Ummm?

Of course not, and that's the fallacy of friending one another in this manner on the web.

What are friends in the first place anyway? Are they people who just mooch off of us? Borrow money when they find themselves in trouble, and then come to us with their hand out, but otherwise don't know us when things are going well?

I'm really not sure, so here's the definition of "Friend,"

"one attached to another by affection or esteem"

here's a better definition....

"acquaintance"

And there you have it folks. This person was actually just an acquaintance, and when relationship went by the wayside, so the real question that I pose is are all of those Facebook friends just acquaintances that will go by the wayside?

I'm going to say that yes, either you'll drip many of these Facebook friends or they will eventually drop you because these relationships are not based on anything concrete in the real world. Most of my Friends on Facebook are people who I've never met in person, and probably never will....so what does that say about us?

Well, quit possibly many of the people who we friend on Facebook are just phonies, people who just present one side of the total package, and so you never really know who the person underneath the Facebook persona really is.

It just goes to show you that cyberspace gives us another place to portray ourselves as something that we're not. In my opinion, all of those people who friend you on Facebook really are nothing more than a bunch of a acquaintances who have no real vested interest in you or your life.

So other than those people who are actually family or friends in real life are nothing more than people who will never really get to know the person under all that Facebook makeup, and that's a shame because if you dig deep enough there is an actual person underneath it all.

Maybe it is time to disconnect from social networking and Facebook, at least I can ignore all of those game requests from all of my friends.


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Comments 6 comments

Megh Brandel profile image

Megh Brandel 4 years ago from Dhaka, Bangladesh

You seem to be pretty pissed off with the face-booking idea. I myself am not a dedicated fan on facebook, but I do not dislike it either as I never considered my facebook friends more than mere acquaintances. I think I use facebook just in the role of a watcher and it is a bit of entertainment for me as well. Sometimes facebook has used a social response tool as well, you can see the results in Egypt and the middle eastern places. And I see the same in my country as well. people share ideas and thought to a variety of audience using this social sites. And believe me I have watched the development of true relationships over facebook too. I guess it is just like a social meeting place, not a closed hub of close friends. Voted up and interesting. :)


animekid profile image

animekid 4 years ago from Upstate NY Author

Hi. Thanks for the comment. Honestly I'm more disappointed with the person to whom I alluded to in the hub. But it really does beg the question "Are we building actual relationships that are based on mutual respect and camaraderie or with someone who just wants to send us a request for a Facebook game or some other semi-hidden agenda? There are a lot of people there who will friend you just to send you info you could care less about or try to network with you if they think your in an industry that's similar to theirs. I have a FB page for my business and for a hub that I write here periodically, but again I'm pretty much what you see is what you get. No BS with me, maybe because I live with a few health issues and don't have the time to play games like that.


Megh Brandel profile image

Megh Brandel 4 years ago from Dhaka, Bangladesh

Umm... I guess... it depends on the person. personally I can not predict to be some one else, or act like some one else even if I want to. I am also very bad at promotional stuffs. I guess we are both a little old fashioned if you think from the new generation's point of view.i totally understand what you might feel like... but I guess I have learned to ignore all those stuffs. When I do not have the power to change the surroundings, may be i need to change my coping power.. that's what I believe.


animekid profile image

animekid 4 years ago from Upstate NY Author

I guess when your a pretty open book and someone tells you that your not really seeing who the person actually is (in my case anyway) it leaves you with a sour after taste. In the end I guess that I'm starting to feel that we are so tuned into social media and making online connections, that we sometimes forget to take in what's happening outside in the real world. Wait till you catch my hub on the use of mobile phones to watch movies.


Megh Brandel profile image

Megh Brandel 4 years ago from Dhaka, Bangladesh

Sure, I will be waiting to read more from you. :)


NiaLee profile image

NiaLee 4 years ago from BIG APPLE

HI Animekid, I did abandon my Facebook page a few months a go and I am doing great. I first found it nice to reconnect with people of my past and family. In the end, I really staid for family...and eventually left because I wouldn't get any of my siblings on the phone and a message on facebook for a month would actually the sad excuse for communication!!!

ON top of it, Facebook kept on making my profile public when I only wanted friends and close friends to see me! So, my family pics and other personal comments and items were displayed to the world. It's like having a personal conversation on the phone put on speaker for the whole world to know, good and bad people mixed up!

So, frankly, I find that facebook makes us dependant, because there is definitely an addiction linked to hoping to connect with friends and family (I don't friend people I do not know:-)))). In the end like a Christian publication was saying it shadows the relationships, change their nature. We have the illusion of being friends and connected, even with people we know... so, let's get so face and phone time!

And, we are not going to talk about those facebook addicts who get offended when we don't comment all the time, connect all the time and message all the time, because we do have a full life apart from that!

Love and peace to all, and really, have a few real good friends, take care of yourselves and family... leave the rest to phonies.

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