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?
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....
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.