Monday, 7 May 2012

I Think Facebook has Changed


In 2008 I fell in love with Facebook.

 Facebook gave me a lazy way of keeping in contact with people I have and have had in my life. I was able to keep in touch with Uni friends who had left for postdocs overseas, past loves, family, high school friends. In a way, facebook gave me a small glimpse into the people and life that I had left behind…perhaps the very life I would be living if I had made different choices along the way. I remember I used to be so excited to log onto facebook and see what was happening….who had updated their status, left a comment or liked a photo.

I began accumulating friends… old friends….new friends amongst the people I was meeting. I now realise that I got caught up in the whole ‘friends’ thing. I was enjoying sharing my status updates, and photos. I loved reading about my friends lives, reading their status updates and seeing their beautiful photos. Facebook enabled me to see pictures of my friend’s newborn babies and share in their joy. I was able to get to know family members living overseas that I probably would not have made contact with through more traditional means. I  even got the chance to live vicariously through some of my friends that had chosen different paths in life to myself.

Facebook was a place I could retreat to, when the kids were napping, or I had a few minutes to myself...….Facebook made my job as a SAHM seem not quite as lonely and isolating. However, as time went on things seemed to change,….

Facebook seemed to change.  There were less personal updates and more updates from companies that I had ‘liked’ somewhere along the way. I know it was my fault for over enthusiastically liking pages that I thought I actually liked at the time. But I didn’t expect several updates per company, per day…. . There were so many updates, infact, that I was starting to lose the personal updates from my friends and family amongst all the sales pitches, competitions, gaming requests, product launches and other noise.

 Many of my close friends and family have stopped status updates all together, or update very rarely. For me Facebook has lost its ability to help form and keep close personal connections. 

Maybe it’s not just facebook that has changed. Perhaps I have changed as well, because even the feel of the personal updates seems to be different. Facebook seems to have transformed into a place where status updates are almost a competitive sport. Some updates are written with the intent of making others feel inferior, inadequate or excluded.  Facebook has made it easy for people with  attention seeking and passive aggressive tendencies to fish for sympathy.

It started to get a  little old (or downright depressing) to log onto Facebook on a Saturday night, and see a group of my ‘friends’ checking in from some wonderful social engagement complete with drunken close-up photos…

As time goes on, friendships in real life sometimes just run their course, or just peter out. These people would normally just disappear from my friendship group. But now, these ‘friends’ still lurk on Facebook. Old ‘friends’ and sadly ‘family’ with an axe to grind have poped up and commented on random Facebook posts.

For me, Facebook has almost become a tool for cowards to hide behind. Cowards who cannot speak to me personally, but feel free to write their comments on Facebook for my other friends to see. This has happened to me many times now, and I’m afraid that I have lost my trust in Facebook. I used to feel excited to see the little red icons advising me that I had a comment or a message…now when I open Facebook I have a feeling of dread…..I wonder who it will be this time….

…I think I have fallen out of love with Facebook…the infatuation has gone.

I’m curious to know what other people have experienced on Facebook? I wonder if it is just me that has become disenchanted?  Have I been the one that has changed….and facebook is the same happy place it always was…. Or do you think Facebook and they way Facebook is used has changed over time?

Linking up with Jess at Diary of a SAHM for #TeamIBOT. Pop over and visit to read some great Tuesday posts!


31 comments:

  1. How sad! I have trouble with Facebook too when I realize that I think I'm still so close with someone because I've seen pictures of their kids and vacations and then I realize I haven't spoken to them in five years. I wonder if it brings us together or pulls us farther apart?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a great point! I think that Facebook has enabled more connections to be made, but sometimes those connections seem kind of empty....

      Delete
  2. hmmm interesting! Feel the same way as you up until the last bit with cowards, I have been fortunate enough not to have sly messages and comments. Mostly the people who comment on my things are people that are still in my life for real. It is still a good sharing tool for me as all my family and friends are interstate. I also have my art page.
    Yesterday I exclaimed 'I love fb' after seeing a pregnancy photo of my gf at full term and then last night logging on having a read and thinking "meh over that tonight where's my book?"
    I think its like a love hate relationship.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your terrific comment! I agree that it's a bit love/hate with me and facebook too. I love that it brings me closer to friends and family.

      Delete
  3. I use Facebook as a platform to keep in touch with my best mates who moved overseas, and who move often, and who I otherwise would lose compete contact with. That's about it. It's just a backup system...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I think I have to do some serious organisation/culling of my personal FB page...or maybe just start again with only friends I want to keep in contact with.

      Delete
  4. You don't need "friends" like those. Unfriend them. It's really very liberating. Trust me :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. oh the dreaded 'unfriend'...I have done this occasionally, but it seems a bit 'high-school'. I guess I just have to get my big girl pants on and do some serious cleaning-up of my facebook friends!

      Delete
  5. I feel exactly the same way, I just couldn't have put it so eloquently and matter-of-factly as you just have. Great post, and 1000% true. I recently deactivated FB for 3 weeks. And I realised I missed out on too many things I wanted to see from a small group of people. So I reactivated and went through and "unsubscribed" and "unliked" all the bullshit. Now when I log in, I see updates from people I truly care about and want to keep in touch with. It not only makes me feel better, but it also has cut my FB drastically...no more weeding through all the CRAP! I think if something does not make you feel good about yourself, give it up or change it. Maybe you could start a new account and just add the family/close friends you really want to keep in touch with.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for this great comment! I'm so glad to read you have had a similar experience and that cutting out all the crap has made facebook fun for you to use again. After reading all the comments on this post, I'm going to do the same thing!!

      Delete
  6. Be ruthless and weed out "friends." People who never comment on your posts? People who are boring? People who make you feel inferior? Out, out, out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I get the feeling I'm going to get really, really ruthless!!

      Delete
  7. I use it a lot less than I used too, as well. I only have very few friends on my personal page and mainly use it to keep in touch with those overseas, and have de-activated it once or twice before... but I always seem to come back! Go figure!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Mandie :) It is comforting to find that I'm no the only one having issues with FB. Thanks for commenting!

      Delete
  8. Oh!!! Yes! i have now started deleting friends (people I use to know.. but would not phone up to ask them out for coffee..) that comment all the time on my facebook and sometimes its quite negative.. I don't like that!! So I delete the comment and then usually delete them.. I have a few people awaiting friendship requests in my inbox which i really don't want to accept.

    I find its mostly from Drew's male friends who really have no business commenting on why I am covered head to toe in a poo explosion at 3am in the morning.. :)

    I'll be your friend on facebook and say lots of nice things to you to make you feel all nice and gooey inside!!

    xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much Yvette!.....I got carried away with adding friends on FB. I wish I had been more selective in the beginning. I'll be your friend on FB too!!

      Delete
  9. I used facebook in 2007 and none of my friends really had it so I stopped. Now they all use it and I don't. Personally I love not having it as now if they want to get in touch they actually have to do something personal like phone me or meet for coffee.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Rhia! It's interesting to read that you don't use FB...I think I might just be heading that way too :)

      Delete
  10. I think you are right! Facebook changes all the time it is the way they designed it from the beginning to be an ever changing social network but people are people and the best and the worst will always come out eventually. The only thing I would say about the business pages though is I would recommend "unliking" any pages you are interested in seeing updates from due to the fact that it is their business thus their desire will be to stay viral in the newsfeed :) You can always check in on pages without "liking" it :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for your thoughtful comment! I guess by it's very nature social networks have to adapt and change to keep pace with the times. However, I feel that FB has lost some of the charm it had several years ago.

      Delete
  11. I completely understand. I have been feeling this way about my personal account. I feel like my blog world and personal world are somehow colliding and I am losing 'me'. Does that make sense? Rachel xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Rachel! It does make sense!!

      Delete
  12. Just came back to add... I apply the BBQ rule. If I wouldn't invite them to a BBQ I was holding tomorrow, I unfriended them. My list is small and exclusive :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I like that rule :) great idea!

      Delete
  13. I completely agree. I'm becoming quite disenchanted too and hardly post on my personal page anymore and get "reminders" to check in. Who knows, maybe it will come full circle and change back one day!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Misha! Good point! I thought that I was getting back into facebook a bit when I started the SportyMummy blog page...but my personal account is still floundering!!

      Delete
  14. I find FB way too addictive so have just had a one month break (I deactivated my account). I'm now back, but it really has helped me get some perspective and I am not going to let it rule my life again. There are so many other fun things to do in life!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow! good on you for getting that perspective...I suppose the earth would still turn if I deactivated my FB account too right?...Maybe? :) !

      Delete
  15. I know what you mean. Facebook seems to be much more business and advertising minded now- it used to be a fun place where your friends were. I think people have gotten a little more nasty on the internet too. But what do you do?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Robyn! I'm so glad you understand :)

      Delete
  16. I don't use my own profile page as much any more. And I actually culled a lot from my friend list because they were people that I haven't seen in years, and probably will never see again. I used to be on there quite a bit, but I've put some boundaries in place for myself so I'm not always logging on and mindlessly wasting hours of my life.

    ReplyDelete