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What is the real purpose of Facebook?

Updated on February 27, 2013

I will admit that I have Facebook and I am the proud owner of 95 "friends".  I came to Facebook late in life at the ripe age of 23 so I had missed the opportunity to friend anyone I had ever met, acknowledged, or ignored during my college years.  But 95 is not shabby number, with 95 friends I should never have a moment to spare and should be glued to my cell at all times, and yet once the majority of weekends roll around I seem to only be hanging out with my husband, going for coffee with my mom, "training" my dog (usually she is training me), or working on my course work for grad school.  My closest friends have moved away and we see each other all too infrequently, so wouldn't you think my other 90 or so friends should step up?

Indeed they should, but these "friends" are really just what I like to call 'friend collectors' or what others might call 'cyber stalkers'.  Not in an illegal way mind you, but there are in fact people who just remain on Facebook all day long eagerly waiting for updated statuses from people they have not seen face to face since high school.  To them I am not a real friend, or of any real importance whatsoever, I am simply the difference between having 999 friends and the much sought after 1,000.  Recently I friended a classmate from high school at her own request, and after I approved it I saw her profile, almost 1,500 friends! how could this be possible?  Think of how many Christmas cards she must have to send!  Remembering this girl from high school I could only come to the conclusion that she has either done something outstanding for the community if so any people knew her, or she must be the ultimate friend collector!  Looking through her list I started to see familiar names and faces, it seemed plausible that she knew these people, but then I saw my ex-boyfriend who was four years older than me, and since we were together for almost 7 years I knew for a fact that she did not know him from Adam.  Then I saw my brother-in-law's step-brother, another impossible connection!  I came to the only conclusion I could, that this poor girl was using Facebook to fill a void in her own life, the idea that she had almost 1,500 virtual friends was a comfort compared to the reality of having only a few friends in real life.

Another great example of a Facebook friend was a young woman who could not stand me in middle school and honestly I don't even think she went to my high school.  She friended me a couple of months back, I accepted.  Last week I was walking down the hall in the mall and I saw her, I went to catch her eye but when she saw me she looked away.  Aren't we friends?  She sought me out on Facebook and made the effort to make me her friend, and yet now we were face to face and she chose to ignore me.  I'm lost, it is as if you want to comb through my profile, see what my life is like, but only if you don't have to ask me directly. 

People also seem a lot more brave on Facebook.  I recently posted an article on my view on health care reformin America.  Then one of my husband's friends from college made a snide comment about what I had written under the posting.  What annoyed me was not that she gave her opinion, I believe that everyone should give their opinion.  It was that I knew that if we were face to face she never would have opened her mouth.  But the power of Facebook makes people believe that they are invincible and if the debate gets heated they can just sign-off, no need to stay and stand your ground like an adult. 

So I ask again, is this for real?  Why is this society reaching the point where we want to spend hours searching through all of our 'friends' profiles but we want nothing to do with the people in real life?  Why do people really think I care what someone else posted on their Facebook page?  If I wanted to know I would drift in to the world of make believe and find it for myself.

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    • profile image

      Netta 

      2 years ago

      I so agree

      I have a lot of friends

      Over a 1000

      Only 12 comment on my posts

      I put sweet things...valuable things....great things ...but

      No....

      So decided to starting to block them.

    • profile image

      Joan 

      2 years ago

      I put a cap on my Facebook friends (20) I currently have seventeen. How do you keep in touch with hundreds of friends? And be sincere. I've been using Facebook about ten years now. I have lost two of my previous profiles when I wasn't using for awhile and would forget my password then have to notify all my cousins by the dozen that they would have to re-friend me.. lol.. But believe me, at 82 forgetting is not hard to do.. Retaining all the sets of numbers you need to be able to get along in this world can be frustrating. When we were younger, and raising families, cousins managed to keep in touch, but as time passes and everyone moves around, visiting was one of the semi-annual pleasures that were a part of YOUNG life.. So, I find wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy Birthday on Facebook , a very pleasant way to keep in touch, without worrying about planes, trains and bus travel.. I share recipe's and recent photo's and hope they will do the same.. AND, if someone elaborates on their present daily life, well, maybe I have put a little spice in an otherwise drab day, by just "Being there." THAT'S WHAT FACEBOOK IS TO ME! Just saying!

    • profile image

      Spacecadet50 

      2 years ago

      I've closed my account and signed off for a couple of years because of this. There are about several people who where/are friends that I sent personal message to. They never replied!! Couldn't understand why they had me as a friend when they couldn't or wouldn't even speak to me. I took it upon myself to remove them. I don't have that many friends (less than 100), but I really wonder what the purpose of FB is at times.

    • profile image

      Paulie 

      2 years ago

      I suppose it could hypothetically be used as more of a good and actual thing, but more often than not it obviously is more of a game to people and taken a little too lightly. Maybe there are benefits to that, I just don't happen to see them.

    • profile image

      Shavarna 

      4 years ago

      I'm with you! I think the more Facebook friends - the less real friends. It's like a security blanket, when you need reassuring turn to Facebook, everyone on your list is going to tell you you're great, your a stunner, I love you..so on so on..... but when it comes to actually calling someone or meeting up - we can do it sometimes but most of the time we are busy, funny that! Where are we heading?

    • profile image

      ankita 

      5 years ago

      simply tym pass

      ....

    • profile image

      Letterman 

      7 years ago

      I agreed with you 100%! I had a Facebook account & cancelled it two weeks later. It is a total waste of time. It is just a contest to see who can get the most (so called) friends. If you can't be my friend in real life then I don't want to be your Facebook friend either. I HATE FACEBOOK !!!!!

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