Every so often, I expect Rod Serling to pop up on Facebook and tell me I’ve entered another dimension of time and space. Let’s face it: Facebook is a weird place.
When I first joined FB I thought I’d reconnect with high school classmates and become friends with people who are part of my normal life. I have done this, but I’ve also encountered friend requests from people I don’t know, people I don’t want to know and people I wish didn’t know me. I have several requests I still haven’t answered because I just don’t know what to do with them. But the stickiest situation came last year.
I was friends with my boss and all my coworkers. It didn’t really bother me but I was always aware of what I said and always kept a positive outlook on my job (which is unrealistic regardless of who you work for or where you work). Because most of my coworkers barely knew how to use FB and rarely logged on, it didn’t bother me that my posts would pop up in their news feeds. I knew my boss read mine regularly, but I didn’t have anything to hide. Then, I started my postings about cool shoes I saw, wanted or bought and things changed. Little comments would be made about styles I posted. One comment was made about where I bought my boots (which were ones we carried, but no longer had in my size). It all came to a head the day I posted a drool-worthy pair of studded boots one morning, then came to work to find a studded boot on my desk with a note declaring “these have studs.” I felt like I was being watched and censored so I immediately unfriended every person at work, including my boss.
My boss never said a word to me about the incident, but I knew she was mad because she mentioned it to several other people (really? she thinks they won’t tell me?). Ever since then, she’s been a little cool and distant towards me. I am now not a team player. The sad thing is that I am a team player. I just wanted my FB page to stay, well, mine.
The other weird thing about FB is that I now know what’s going on in peoples’ lives so it makes small talk unnecessary. I attended a multi-class reunion this summer and was struck by how much I already knew about my former classmates. Discussions about trips and families were short because what needed to be said had already been posted on their page. Seeing them in person was really nice, but I feel like I see them almost every day anyway!
Then, I was struck by how small the world really is. Regular readers of my blog may remember my good friends Kelli and Kenderick who lost their daughter, Kali, a year ago last March. The other day, a college acquaintance posted a link to a friend’s site who was running a race in honor of their friends’ daughter. It was Kali. Forget “Seven Degrees of Kevin Bacon.” I think everyone on FB is playing a “Seven Degrees” game of their own.
I enjoy FB and I love keeping up with people. I just think it’s a weird place, don’t you?
2 responses to “The Facebook Zone”
To retain my sanity on FB, I had decided to regard it as an extension of my living room. Would I invite you to come over and hang out, have a drink, spend an evening in conversation? Yes? Then you get accepted into my “friends”. This includes many people separated from me by great distances, lengths of time, and other social inconveniences, but we all share *something* in common that we enjoy.
In my living room (RL or virtual) I do not tolerate a lot of foul language, petty fighting or x-rated conversations. My home is mostly PG-rated, as is 99.9% of my FB – children may wander through occasionally, and civility reigns.
I love to giggle about fashion and makeup with girlfriends; talk politics with folks from grad school and university; books, gardening and cooking with everyone! My FB friends are range in age from 13 to 70+ and I love it!
One caveat is that I keep my FB security locked down, much as I would lock my house at night. I, too, choose to keep work/life balance and not entertain fellow co-workers in my “living room”…unless there is an off-line conversation where I explain my living room concept and privacy settings.
That’s pretty much my philosophy. If I wouldn’t invite you to my house, we’re probably not friends on FB. My exception is my colleagues. I’d invite any of them over for a drink, but I don’t want them in my FB living room!