Posted by: rhino7592 | April 28, 2010

Facebook ruins lives

Facebook ruins lives.

There.  I said it.  I know there are a lot of you out there thinking it, but I am really starting to reconsider my relationship with FB.  Recent events in my own friends list and a new South Park episode (not the Mohammed one) got me thinking about how FB is being criminally misused. (Not literally criminal, but it is a good adjective.)

First, as background, I started as a MySpace guy.  I had my site.  Cool wallpaper. Music selection. But it all became too much.  MySpace became more about the appearance than the content.  Which, if there was a ever a better metaphor for social life, I don’t know it.  It was definitely geared toward the high school demo, that  I have long left, though I have to admit that I enjoyed the Thug Life-style backgrounds that became prevalent in MySpace.

My best friend told me to try FB, because it was a much simpler presentation and not inundated with ads.  I set mine up and the train quickly left the station.  I have reconnected with friends from my past that I haven’t seen in years.  Now I am at 291 friends and counting.  I check the count every time I am on. (Admit it. So do you.)  Honestly, I am a little fuzzy on how I know a few on my list, but they have also connected with several of my friends, so clearly I must know them. Right? I am also quick to notice when my friend count goes down.  I am sure that I am like others who try to figure out who defriended them.  I give it five years before Webster recognizes defriend as a verb, but I am already throwing it around.

Speaking of defriending.  Whats the etiquette?  Do you defriend someone who you friended, but didn’t really know but didn’t want to be rude? How long do you wait before defriending them?  I have actually heard  my friends say that the quickness of the defriending is directly related to how many friends the person already has.  The higher the friend count, the quicker they get dropped.  I guess the rationale is that once you had so many friends its hard to tell who leaves your list.  That being said, I think it would be more upsetting if FB would update you when people defriended you, especially for those people who live in the FB world like the South Park episode suggested.  If you don’t get the reference, than you are one of those people.

Clearly exes should get defriended pretty quickly after the breakup.  If yours are prone to passive aggressive behavior, than FB is the ultimate tool.  And we all know how big a tool an ex can be, thats why they’re exes to begin with. I have actually seen examples of people using FB as spin control over the failure of their relationships.  I have also seen the ones that like to rub in their new life and that they have “moved on.”  If you have to rub in your  great new life, than maybe you haven’t moved on.  Bad breakups will also inevitably lead to you learning that the blocking feature that comes as a security measure on FB is really handy.  I have used it. Its like the other person never existed.

What about defriending friends of exes?  This tends to be a much thornier issue.  I say if they were friends of yours (in the Real World, not on FB) before the breakup, than they can stay.  If you are friends with them because of your ex, than they can be dropped. No harm. No foul. The reason for me is two-fold. First, they were the ex’s friend first so you don’t have as much vested in them.  Secondly, these tend to be the friends who will keep tabs on you after the break-up, so you can nip that in the bud.  That being said, be wary of the close friend of an ex that doesn’t defriend you soon after the breakup.   The real friends of your ex should choose for themselves and, as a sign of solidarity, they should have already dropped you.

While we’re on the topic of relationships.  FB is not the place to show your relationship discord.  Trust me, most of us don’t care, but it makes for some fabulous reading.  If your relationship is having problems, FB will only make them worse.  Most of your friends (in the Real World) already know your relationship is imploding.  They don’t need the obscure comment or inoccuous remark to make the point.  In a floudering relationship, FB will pray on your paranoia like nothing else will.  That old high school girlfriend I just friended with the two kids that lives in the next time zone? We are not running away with each other.  That comment on so and so’s page about the good time they had last night?  That was not about me.  If these two examples sound remotely like any conversation you have had in the last week, you have bigger things to work out.

On the flip side, we know you are really in love with the new guy/girl.  We don’t need to read every cute comment that you make to each other.  You don’t have to post every photo ever taken of the two of you together.  We use FB to feel better about ourselves.  Your happiness is really screwing with that goal.  So stop it.  Ok, I am done.

Next Topic.

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Responses

  1. How about the person who adjusts their preferences so you appear to be friends but can’t write on their wall or see their wall? Hmpf.

    — The Friendly Ex 🙂


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