I’ve been on Facebook a while now and it’s been helpful but not the be-all and and-all of my online or real social life. When I started out on it, I was just overwhelmed by the thrill of finding long-lost friends, even acquaintances both from school and from work. To date, I have 600+ friends which was the idea at the start, but which now, is getting to be quite a bother.
With all the changes on FB since, I’m just glad I can choose to limit what I see and who I see. Still, it’s a tedious process of selecting preferences for each person whose profile, status update, photos, or what not I happen to see when I log on sometime during the day.
I have successfully culled my chat list and only a dozen or so relevant people see me online when I am. I have been good with avoiding playing games while on FB, too, so I have no “harvests” or “neighbors” to worry about. The thought of unplugging from FB has occurred to me, but I have to admit that it’s one way I keep in touch with the world I left behind when I moved to New York 13 years ago. (Wow, that long.) That’s the reason why I’ve thought about it but don’t see myself doing it.
I am also trying to be politically correct about my FB conduct, because I find it unnerving or awkward that I’ve been “limited” by certain “friends”. For some, I don’t really care. For others, it raises suspicion. (Why?) And what amplifies it is that FB now gives you a choice about how much you see of a “friend” on your list. So the question arises, what is it that you don’t want me to see in YOUR profile? Hmmmm… of course we can all proclaim “PRIVACY PLEASE”. Still.
And I have to wonder why I was just not unfriended (or better yet, blocked) and simply limited. So this person still wants to “see” me but doesn’t want me to have the same view into their world. Again, the awkwardness of unfriending. Why would one unfriend me and then risk the chance of being in a social gathering with me again — how does the FB strain parlay into an actual interaction in person? A-W-K-W-A-R-D.
I have only blocked one person ever – and she will stay on that list only because I’ve made up my mind that her world and my world will never intersect on a social plane. I’ve “forgiven” whatever it is she had done to m ake me block her in the first place — but I’d like to leave it at that.
Other than that, there’s the “unfriend” option. The “Limited friend” status — which, if you ask me, should be the norm for everyone.
I am not a very public person — proof of which is that I never put a picture of myself in the “avatar” in all the iterations of my personal blog. Somehow at 47, and with a good even if grainy picture, I felt it was about time. Besides, I felt it gave the blog a personality. Neither am I very private — and you will see that if you’ve read through my posts. I recognize my being part of larger world. A recluse, I will never be. I am too much of a people person to just “disappear”.
FB has had its downsides. In the hundred of greetings that I get during my birthdays, it hurts when people supposedly closer to close to me don’t even greet me publicly in their facebook profiles or on my wall. It makes me wonder if that point is that someone shouldn’t see. So I stopped greeting those who seem to make a conscious effort not to.
Same goes for tagging photographs. I have the setting on such that any tagging would require my permission. Again, I don’t want to just be tagged by anyone. One time I tagged several photos and the tag wasn’t approved, I just untagged and left it at that.
I’m not trying to overthink it. Just thinking out loud. And wondering — on this colder Sunday afternoon before folding the clothes that just came from the dryer.