Like most people, I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook. Recently, I realized that I don’t enjoy logging on anymore and was doing it more out of habit than because I really cared about what my friends were doing. Because I honestly don’t care. That may sound horrible, but I really do not care that much about my friend’s puppies and nieces and significant others. I’m not interested in knowing the brands that they like, or that they read certain articles on the Washington Post. I don’t want to play crappy web games with them, and I don’t want to see their friend’s reactions to photos of their most recent trip. (Does that make me an asshole? Probably.)
It’s not because I don’t care about my FB friends, because I do. They’re my friends. But I’m just not interested in who they are online. I guess that’s the difference between Facebook and Twitter for me. On Twitter, I share stuff that’s going on in my life and photos of random things like books that I’m reading and cupcakes because I know that people that follow me will either look at them, or not. People who follow me on Twitter are interested in who I am online (I assume). Likewise, I only follow people whose randomness I enjoy. My Twitter followers, those who I follow and I are in three separate circles of a dynamic Venn Diagram that intersects around issues and interests sporadically, and I like it that way. No pressure, no expectations.
However, on Facebook, I’m friends with people who expect something from me because we’re connected by our “relationship”. Not only do they expect that I’ll share my life via my feed, but that I’ll be conscious enough of theirs to keep track of their birthdays and relationship statuses and recent adventures. That can be hard when you no longer have the energy to feign interest in their lives.
A few of my friends on Facebook are people who I like in real life, but really hate on online. I’m friends with a few of my relatives, but I’ve had to “mute” them from my feed to hide from the constant photo posting and violent coonery. I’ve “muted” most of my friends who are getting married or have kids to shield myself from the onslaught of gushy status messages, naked baby pics and awkward questions about breast-feeding “only for moms”. (Like, if it’s only for moms, then…oh, I don’t know, just call some of your mom friends. But that’s a whole other rant.)
The saddest thing, though, is that I have several friends (mostly gals pals) who have taken on their Facebook personalities in the real world. Imagine hanging out with someone and never getting a word in because they’re spouting random status and thoughts on their relationship, job and society at random intervals, often when you’re in the middle of talking. Try having a convo with someone who can only complain about how bad their day was. This is what happens when Facebook profiles merge with people IRL. Very scary.
::light bulb:: Maybe that’s what this is all about. Before, in the young days of Facebook, your Facebook profile was just something you did. Now, though, it’s as if some people are walking, talking versions of their self-indulgent profiles, no longer able to communicate as normal human beings. Or maybe I just need new friends?
New Social Butterfly Experiment: What does an absence of Facebook do to friendships?