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Facebook - The Loneliest Friend
The Craze of Facebook
Facebook is not a new craze. However, it continues to pick up speed at a rather fast rate. More and more people create new facebook accounts in this social networking ploy - including your grandma, your aunts, your uncles, and maybe even your kids- and more and more people are sending out friend requests in attempt to increase their facebook friend list. It seems to be a number game on how many friends a person can have on Facebook. Yet, even with the constant search for friends on facebook, we can still be lonely.
According to Facebook statistics, there are currently 500 million active users; 50% of them log on to Facebook in any given day. If you are into the bigger numbers, there are over 700 billion minutes spent wasted each month on Facebook. The statistics of Facebook are incredible and grossly impressive.
Yet, with the millions of Facebook users, how many people out there can actually say their Facebook friends are ‘real’ friends. When looking at some different Facebook profiles, some people have a few friends, some have a few hundred, and others, well, I don’t think I have ever met that many people in my whole life. But, because we are looking at numbers, the average user has about 130 friends. (So if that is the average, should we be questioning those that have more than 500 on a personal profile?)
It's Peanut Butter Jelly Time
Statistics of Facebook - Are you just another number?
Now I am, of course, just another statistic. I am an active Facebook user, and I pretty much log in to Facebook on a daily basis. I know I am not the only one who spends excessive amount of time on Facebook, so I think it is safe to say I don’t inflate the numbers.
I have seen way more people who update every single aspect of there life. I will only do that if the Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich I ate was particularly good. And I will admit, I occasionally spam my account with my written masterpieces (which I only claim to be masterpieces because I want to hear them called that by someone sometime before I am dead!)
Overall, I guess that makes me about average in the world of Facebook account holders. I have a little over 200 friends; I have occasionally played a few games; if I find something particularly amusing… I will share. However, I wonder if my updates are pointless. Out of the 200+ friends I have, does anybody really notice?
Yes, there is the occasional one or two people who may “like” something I say… but that is out of how many people? Are the rest of my posts just invisible or that worthless so not even a single person even likes it.
In a single status update
That is when I came across a friend’s status update. Of course it was one of those stupid chain mail status updates… which are incredibly annoying and I usually ignore them. Unless of course they are so incredibly funny and stupid I have no choice but to share. But this one particular day I came across this status update that was neither funny or stupid. It was actually kind of sad. It made you think… and think is what I did.
The status update read: “We all have around 200 friends on Facebook, if not more, but when it comes to ‘needing’ a ‘friend’ how many will actually be there for you? Guaranteed not even half of your Facebook ‘friends’ will read this or even like it. Like this status if you’d be there for me if I needed a ‘friend’… Set this as your status and see how many ‘friends’ are there for you!”
Now if you are gutsy like I am, you will post this to your wall. After all, you are just curious if people will actually "like" the status to reassure you of the friendship. Fortunately for me, I already had a good idea of how many… or how little… would actually “like” my status.
Granted, there are variances. Some people are not on Facebook daily. Some people aren’t very active. Some don’t like even their own statuses. But it got me thinking.
How many people on Facebook are really so lonely that they need this reassurance; that they take these status updates seriously. As if not posting the status update on Cancer will be the end of the world or that actually posting it will get us any closer to the cure. Posting it has no effect. It won’t raise money; half of the time it barely raises awareness because we are too busy passing over the "spam" type posts.
I remember watching the movie “Funny People” staring Adam Sandler. There was a point in the movie where they were making jokes about Myspace. While I don’t remember the exact saying, the point of it was to say how lonely Tom is because even though he is by default friends with everyone… he isn’t friends with really any of them. He is just your default friend. That popularity can make you a pretty lonely person.
How lonely are you?
So here is a test…. Take a closer look at your interactions on Facebook.
- How do you rate when it comes to all your Facebook friends?
- Do people often comment or like your status updates?
- Do most of your status updates go unnoticed?
- Do you feel popular because of all the friends you have on Facebook… or does it just make you more and more lonely with each status update that goes unnoticed?
To me, Facebook seems to be a great tool for overinflating a person’s ego, especially those who really don’t need it in the first place. Yet the ones who might already have a low self-esteem continue to float under the spotlight staying unnoticed, therefore causing their self esteem issues to get worse and worse.
Facebook in Real Life
Whose on your friend list?
There are a variety of different people on Facebook. Some who are active, some who are not; some who use Facebook as a tool to keep in touch, others who have it just because it is the social thing to do. I am pretty positive each friend is a little different.
Just like people, they are not cookie cutters. So you will have a variety. Unfortunately, there really isn’t a set category for each of these to fit into, so to make it simple, we will just describe them.
Active Facebook Friend - This is the person who lives on Facebook. Checking their Facebook is the first thing they do in the morning and the last thing they do before they go to bed. In between, they will usually update their status maybe and additional 10 to 20 times. They usually have it on their cellphone, so they never lose connection with the people on their friends list. These are the people who also report everything in their daily happenings.
- “I think I am going to make myself a sandwich for lunch!” posted at 11:55 a.m.
- “Wow! That was the best lunch ever!” posted at 12:15 p.m.
- “I don’t know what to do today. Maybe I will settle down with a book for awhile!” posted at 12:20 p.m.
- “Read a few chapters and got bored. Back on Facebook again seeing if there is anything interesting going on!” posted at 12:50 p.m.
- “All that messing around on Facebook makes me crave a snack!” posted at 1 p.m.
- “When life hands you lemons… get yourself some lemonade!” posted at 1:05 p.m.
- “Drinking alcohol early in the afternoon. Guessing it is going to be a fun night! J ” posted at 1:50 p.m.
- “I love tequilla!” posted at 2:30 p.m.
Okay so you get the point! These Active Facebook Friends update you on everything. They also have a tendency to comment on everybody’s stuff to. They are nice friends to have if you like the interaction. They are the annoying friends if you find your facebook feed is nothing but their status updates. In fact, there is nothing left to the imagination!
Passive Facebook Friend - This is the person who has a Facebook account but really doesn’t use it. They probably got it because someone who is active on Facebook said they needed one. They opened up an account just to get them off their back. They rarely comment on anything. They rarely like anything. They rarely even post a status update. They just go on, accept their friend requests, read through some status updates and go on their way in real life. They will occasionally upload a picture, but Facebook is obviously not a priority to them.
Would you like to play a game?
The Gamer Friend - This is the person who is on Facebook purely for the games. They will send you requests to join them in Farmville or Cityville or some random ville that you have never heard of! They will send you gifts and hope you send them back to return the favor. Sometimes they comment on other people’s statuses, sometimes they don’t. They are all business… and their business is the games.
The Average Friend - This is the person who is on Facebook to keep in touch with others. They will occasionally comment, they will occasionally upload some pictures. They do realize if they miss a day on Facebook, it is not the end of the world. As average often describes… they are by no means exciting. But, they will comment on stuff if they have something to say.
When you look at these types of friends, you might say these are the extremes - and they are. Some will fit in a couple categories; some will fit into all of them.
So who are your friends?
Stop Joking around...
Why so serious?
What it really comes down to… some people take these chain mail status updates too seriously. Most people, including myself, have friends that fit into all these categories. However, when you are looking at 200+ friends, how many people do you think will actually respond?
The reasons for not responding are numerous. If you have a friend who has 500 friends, maybe they legitimately didn’t see your posting. Maybe they saw it, laughed and moved on. However, you should never base who your real friends are based off of your Facebook Friend Lists.
Facebook is a great tool. I was in the military for the past 5 years and I have met several people who come from all over. Unfortunately, when you move, you also lose touch with them. Facebook allows you to keep up with old friends in a fairly quick and painless matter.
It is also great for family. My family lives in two different areas. I have family in Wisconsin and I have family in California. Obviously I can’t be in two places at the same time. Facebook allows my family to keep up with my family and me. They can see my kids grow… even if it is just through pictures. They also know what I have been doing… whether it is me through my status updates or the pictures I post. Facebook is an ingenious tool that if used properly has many benefits.
Facebook is a great networking tool. It is great for the online writer because you can share your art. It is nice because you can friend other writers and through Facebook, where you can network and help encourage each other. Lately I have made a few writer friends on Facebook. The interaction with them has been nothing short of amazing. I have even met some in real life. In fact, some of these "internet" friends are actually more interactive than ones I know in real life. And the best thing is, through their interactions, I can tell whether or not they are procrastinating or if I have another future hub to look forward to! Of course, it can also get me procrastinating as well!
In the reality of Facebook sometimes you really are just a number. You, and me, just like everyone else… we are all just Facebook Statistics!
Just another tool...
Yet, what it comes down to is Facebook is just another tool. I am not saying these people are not real friends. But let’s be honest. How many of these people do you regularly interact with? If you saw them in the store… would you run up to them and give them a big hug!!! Maybe not. These people might be family or close friends you see every single day; maybe they are old classmates or those old High School flames; or maybe they are just someone you befriended to help on your Farmville farm. While you may know them through facebook, you might not even recognize them if you see them in real life!
So, out of all these deep thoughts, I do know one thing is for certain - we need to stop taking Facebook so seriously.
I am guilty of this, especially when I see someone who has a status update that makes no sense and 40 different people like it or comment. Then, when I try to put something meaningful on my update and nobody even seems to notice, it hurts. I feel ignored.
Let’s face it. Facebook is not the real world. The meaningful people are the ones who are always by your side. They might not even be on Facebook in the first place because they are too busy living real life! We all know who are real friends are and I hate to say this, but in the reality of Facebook sometimes you really are just a number. You, and me, just like everyone else… we are all just Facebook Statistics!
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About the author
Barbergirl28 is a wife of 12 years and a stay-at-home mom of two beautiful girls and one handsome little boy. After high school, she joined the Army to become a photojournalist. To this day, she continues to have a passion for writing and photography. After leaving the military, she obtained a license in Cosmetology and also studied Massage Therapy. Her passions include writing, photography, cooking, crafts, health, and fitness. Currently, she is working on a book and freelancing at Hubpages.
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