Hi Friends! Just this morning I was reading a blog that inspired this long wordy post from me about my thoughts on Facebook. If you have the time, interest and or are wrestling with the concept of Facebook I hope you will indulge me and read on.
Like many other millions of people out there I have whole heatedly jumped onto the Facebook band wagon and am highly in favor of it. Why? It’s all about the connection for me. I have found it to be a wonderful way to keep up with others in my life that I otherwise may not have devoted as much time too. For many that sentence seems very cold and self serving. But let’s face it, I am also sure that there are many whom I have connected with who would not have made the time to keep up with me and my life as well. It works both ways! We all get very busy with work and family life and all of the other crazy hectic things we are trying to do or have to do whether we want to or not.
What Facebook offers is a chance to peek into the life of another and either connect, smile or just relate in general. It does not force you to actively participate if you do not want to. You don’t ever have to comment if that is your choice and some days that is my choice. In my opinion, one of the best features FB has is the LIKE button. I wish blogs also had a like button so very much! It’s such a great way to communicate your approval, agreement or pleasure about something someone has posted without having to totally engage in the time it takes to comment further. This little like button frees you to connect briefly with someone while also giving you more time to spend commenting on other things you feel more compelled to respond to. The like button is a wonderful feeling to receive too. It shows you that someone has read what you have posted and accepts what you have had to say. We all want approval and to be accepted.
It is true that some on FB probably post just to get Likes. However if that is your only opinion of why people are drawn to FB then you have totally missed the point. Plain and simple, most people are on FB for the connections. We all want to make connections with others in life but we all have different needs and ways in which we want to go about that. FB allows you to be in control of how you do that. It is not the end all and the be all to the connections we make with people in life but it is merely one other way to go about it and broaden our connections. I liken it to a telephone with a party line and a private line all going at once. You can be a part of it or not anytime you choose and are able too. Very multi purposed!
Many who don’t get the idea of sharing your life online probably haven’t grasped that you are in control of what you are sharing with whom. You can share info broadly with a group of friends or privately with only a few or even just something more personal with just one. You can do all of this in just a few easy clicks of the keyboard at any time whether those friends are online or not. The beauty of FB’s popularity is that some of your friends who are connected to FB will eventually check in and see what you have shared and can connect with you at their own leisure and time permitting just as you do. I don’t use FB to connect with someone when I know I need an immediate answer unless I know they are on FB regularly. I don’t let FB replace those more personal connections in life but I certainly would not want to cut out the re-connections with those that I have online. I truly get that I may not be in someones inner circle or they in mine but that does not mean I am not interested in them at all. I have even been pleased to find that I have more in common with some then I thought did just by reading what some share.
The ultimate answer to why share? To connect with others! I personally am a little more selective of whom I accept as one of my friends on FB. Unlike the younger generation who seem to add everyone under the sun as their friend I usually only add someone whom I have known or am inclined to think I want to know more of. I know others who have a large amounts of friends and feel the same way but have a much broader circle then I do. However there are those who add anyone and everyone to their friends list who are less prone to share as much. I guess it goes without saying if your online circle of friends is large you need to be more careful about how and what you share. Again, the beauty of FB is you can do that!
Okay now after all that rambling about why I like FB so much, let me get on to my point about the many faces of Facebook. I wanted to write this post because one of the most enjoyable things for me about being on FB is seeing how many different ways in which people choose to connect.
The Peek a Boo’s…
There are those like my hubby who only check in once in a blue moon and are dumbfounded that he has received so many Happy Birthday wishes from people whom he hasn’t seen or spoken to in years. Isn’t is great? Now he could get all grumpy and wonder why none of these people bothered to send him a card or call, but he doesn’t because he is an adult and knows better then to go there. He knows life is busy and much of that kind of thing is reserved for family and the very best of friends now days. Instead he is amazed and joyous that so many actually took the time to stop and write a quick birthday wish on his wall even when he rarely gets on and doesn’t connect with others as often as his wife does. There are many on FB just like my husband who only use it every so often. That is one face of a FB user and it’s okay!
The Social Butterflies…
There are those who are on FB all day long! Well not really, but they often seem to be as they have quite a bit of continuous comments. They are sharing everything in their life. Some are sharing quite a bit of photos as well of all their activities. It is easy to be green eyed jealous and take on a negative attitude about these type of people. Don’t go there! Some are trying to promote themselves for various reasons (which usually becomes obvious after awhile) and some are just in general very chatty. Don’t allow yourself to believe that just because someone is online a lot that they have no life at all as I have heard way to many people say. That is just not true! It may be true that some people are fabricating a life, but for many it is simply not the case. Many people share often because they have many other friends whom they are connected with who are also sharing their lives regularly and daily. Just because you do not have a circle of friends like that online do not assume others don’t either. We all have different levels and attitudes of social behavior and that is easily seen when you step back to view others online connections.
Remember FB is an online social connection and just like in real life many people use social connections to promote and grow their various platforms. You will see many who are only online to promote their choice of organizations. I have seen everything from religion, politics, charities, social groups, businesses and now quite a bit of blogs. I think this is great and really goes back to the very basic formation of why FB was created. Remember just because they are there promoting something does not mean you have to respond or comment or anything. You can look at these if you choose to or not but it can be very informative and often shows you just a bit more about the person of whom ever is posting. I like seeing the promoters!
These are the FB friends who are sharing things they like. They are sharing quotes, pictures, you tubes videos, news articles, websites, pinterest posts, blogs, other FB sites, ect. The list goes on and on. Sometimes the expressionist will post their own comments along with whatever they are sharing. Sometimes they will only be prone to share something but never comment. Expressionists keep FB interesting. Expressionists can also be prone to a lot of copy and paste sharing posts. I have learned to ignore these, and try to remind myself that the motive behind why some share these is usually good so no need to get annoyed about it. I just choose not to participate. I do however often enjoy resharing something from the expressionists that I find enjoyable though. I like the expressionists, they often make me smile!
They are your FB friends who have utilized online gaming applications. They are playing games online as a favorite pastime. Let’s cut these people some slack. I can understand because I have been there as a former Farmville girl. It can be quite relaxing and addictive at the same time. The gamers can connect with other gamers to move up in a game status and gain more points, prizes, ect. Some games are challenging and some are mundane. Either way, try and remember it may be something that your friend enjoys. There are many people who get very annoyed by gaming requests from others. Sometimes the gamers are not sending you requests themselves the applications are. Sometimes it is from the gamers and they are merely feeling you out to see if you would like to connect in the gaming world with them. There is no need to get upset by this but complimented that they want to include you. If you choose not to participate you can click no. I don’t know many adults who would be offended that you choose not to play. However I can see how they might be offended by someone who puts them down for playing. No ever puts people down for attending sporting games do they? So don’t go there with them about online games, okay? If you are getting a lot of requests you can block the app entirely so you no longer need to see it.
The Lazy Bees…
That’s the group I am in. Woohoo! We are the working crowd who are a little bit older and tired but still want to reach out and make a connection with others. We often have expressionist quality’s and sometimes even a bit of a promoter in us as well. We check in often to see what is up with whom but with a grain of salt attitude. We do care very much about others but also know FB doesn’t always portray someones entire life. We want to see what others have to share but do not always feel the need to comment. We push the LIKE button often because we are lazy after a long day. We usually are sitting on our laptops and watching TV and FB simultaneously. We like to multi-task! We are trying to squeeze in a few social connections in a very exhausted life. LOL! We want to hear your rants and your praises. We want to know about your ups and downs but often do not know what to say. We try to keep things upbeat but don’t mind sharing the realities of life at times too. We open our hearts and connect deeply occassionally but really enjoy just shooting the breeze too. A favorite past time of lazy bees is connecting with others during actual events and sharing comments online. Football season brings the lazy bees to life! It’s so fun to see the screen lighting up with all the cheers and scowls during football games. Lazy bees also know how to use mobile devices during those times we are not so lazy. Grammys and Music awards are another fun lazy bee past time. We love to make comments about our stars and chat about everything from their looks and outfits to their voices and speech’s during the show. It’s so fun to share this with so many others during the actual time of the show all from the comfort of your very own home. We do this because we are lazy! We’re tired, but we ain’t dead yet and we still want to connect. We know you are busy too and we just simply enjoy the connection with others in a world where sits on the front porch with friends are very few and far between.
Well, that’s my take on Facebook and all the bonus’s of it. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it! Always remember how you use FB will not be the same as another. There will be others like you and there will be others who are motivated entirely differently. The choices are yours! Thank you Mark for creating such a great tool for all of us to enjoy! We really do appreciate it!!!