Ten years ago, who would have thought that one day you would be able to log on to your computer and reconnect with long lost friends, roommates, and exes, all through a website called Facebook? I love Facebook! As a matter of fact, I can honestly say I am a Facebook addict! Well, I WAS a Facebook addict until one day everyone and their dog (literally) started adding me as their friend.
Now, I’m Facebook friends with my Mom, my 80 year old Uncle, my 7 year old nephew, AND my 7 year old nephews DOG! Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m actually excited that all of these people have signed up for FB accounts. Now, I am able to easily keep in touch with my family members, many who live half-way around the world from me! But the reality is, that having all of these people join Facebook has forced me to completely rethink and change how I use the site.
I used to log on every day, sometimes multiple times a day and update my status. Now, I was never one to say, “I am going to take a shower,” or “I’m eating cheez-it’s for lunch,”…ok maybe once or twice I did dumb status updates like that, but I always tried to do fun, witty or thought provoking updates, many of which were never meant to be shared with family. So what am I supposed to do when all of a sudden, all of my family members want to be my friend?
I know there have been a million articles on how to handle social media sites and who to friend and who not to friend, but for me, it never seemed so cut and dry: Do I just stop posting things? Do I try to figure out the ever changing privacy settings on the site so my updates only show to certain people? Do I drop my family members and just keep my friends? Do I drop my friends, and just keep my family? And how can I tactfully drop people without them feeling offended?!?
One of my nephews advice was, “don’t worry about it, if they want to be your friend on Facebook, then they will just have to deal with whatever you put on there!” Easy to say for a 22 year old college kid, but for a 40-something mom, personally, I always think twice. As a matter of fact, there have been several times that I have posted something and then deleted it a few minutes later just because I remembered who all I’m friends with now! Who knows, maybe others are more like my nephew and just don’t care; maybe it’s just me, and my own fears of what people will think about what I’m posting but I do have concerns. I especially find it disturbing when I run into people who I think are never on Facebook, and they start commenting on things I have been posting for the past few months!
I’ve tried all sorts of tactics and still have not found one that is useful in solving my dilemma. For me, it goes back to advice that people used to give long before the advent of social media sites and that is: “It’s important to have a good relationship with your kids, but remember, you are the parent of this child, you are not their friend!”…so does this Dr. Spock-esque advice just get thrown out the window all of a sudden because of the social media craze? How come all of a sudden it is ok to be friends with your kids on Facebook?
So I have a suggestion for the developers of Facebook: we need two versions of the site; Facebook for Friends and Facebook for Family. Think of all the dilemmas this would solve! Are you a College student? Now you don’t have to worry about crazy drunk pictures being posted for all of your family to see! Are you a mom who still likes to party? Now you don’t have to worry about prying eyes judging your every move! Want to truly speak your mind without offending your family or embarrassing your family members? Now you can! I’m sure someone reading this post will find some kind of flaw in this solution, and yes, I know there is probably a way to accomplish this same thing using the privacy settings, but for me, having two sites would be ideal!
So there you have it, my latest suggestion for Facebook or anyone with some cash who wants to partner with me to make our own version! Until then, I’m sure I will continue to struggle with what to post and what not to post, and continue to struggle with who to friend and who not to friend, so I apologize ahead of time if I drop you and then add you again, but I am hoping one day, I can finally just make a decision on how to handle this social media dilemma.
But today, I think may have to drop my nephews dog…I hope he won’t be offended!
Until next time…Namaste!