Friend or facebook Friend?

When the well mannered modern mother first "joined" facebook she might have been mystified by those people from her past or present clamoring to be her "friend."  Some of those people she may barely remember or, in truth, barely know now.  Someone more facebook savvy than she might have needed to explain to her that in facebook world "friend" means: anyone I have ever know/anyone who knows someone I know/anyone I would like to know/as well as the traditional definition of friend. In some cases she might even conjecture that some facebook users are following the old adage "keep your friends close and your enemies closer."

She might have also been surprised by the blatant disregard for the feeling of others that is often exhibited on facebook - one assumes in the haste to share one's fabulosity with the larger world rather than out of pure malice.  For example, she might be made uncomfortable watching one old college chum post countless photos and vignettes about her wonderful visit to city X only to read the cheery but obviously hurt comment from another old college chum who lives in city X say "looks like fun, hope you will call next time you are in town..."  Or she may have watched another scenario play out where "friend" A has declined an invitation from "friend" B with an artificial excuse only to then go and post photos of the party she herself threw that same evening to which (sadly) "friend" B was not invited.  The examples of such thoughtlessness, as you know dear reader,  are infinite.

Now of course the well mannered modern mother can not include everyone in her rolodex all the time nor should she try.  But she should know the difference in her own life between a facebook friend and a real friend and try to take the feeling of those people into account when possible.  And who know, maybe, if people spent just a few more minutes thinking before posting the social network would be a slightly more civil place.


Amy said...

Yes, yes, and yes. Especially the "here I am with my friends having fun that you weren't invited to!" -- certainly everyone cannot be invited to every event, but civility would surely suggest that the uninvited not be subjected to photos and discussion of the event!

Kate said...

great post! i have a love/hate relationship with FB. I definitely know who my real friends in life are and have "hidden" lots of FB friends. I really dislike FB posts that are political rants or incessant bragging of exotic vacations and gifted children. gag me!

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