Monday, March 2, 2009

FFFFFFFACEBOOK...............FRIENDSHIP KEEPER OR FAKEOUT?

I recently joined FACEBOOK. I know. I know! I reject TWITTER and have succumbed to LA FACEBOOK. The great thing about Facebook is that several friends, whom I had lost touch with, found me - and I, them. And, that has been fun to suddenly see an email land in my inbox on FACEBOOK from a long lost friend. Or to have a blogging friend find me. But... I wonder if it is really a healthy way to stay in touch with my local friends. I already rely on emails too much, instead of phone calls, and now instead of emails I find myself on the receiving end of little snippets of conversation on my WALL. Worse, I find myself returning little snippets of conversation on their WALL. And in this world of here today, gone tomorrow...rush, rush...zip, zip...it feels a bit uncomfortable. As in...FFFFFFFACEBOOK....FRIENDSHIP KEEPER OR FAKEOUT?

Let me clarify. It feels lazy. And, I say this because I have at least two local friends whom I've exchanged comments with....

Oh, darling we simply MUST get together SOOON...

Yes, SWEETIE....absoLUTELY HAVE TO!

And...we never do. In all fairness, I've only been on FACEBOOK for a couple of months. But, I'm afraid. Very afraid. Of my own NARCISSISM, and self loathing. Because, I am already delinquent in keeping up with friends. Once a Chatty Cathy on the phone, I was lured away by Mr. Email. In fact, I attribute my downward spiral to emails. ...being formerly known as The Email Queen... Now I send off a shortER note. And sometimes an embarrassing amount of time goes by before I respond to an email. Oh, the guilt...

I miss that chattiness in person. Perhaps that is why I am so addicted to my tea now. Somehow the ritual of preparing the tea, getting that perfect combination of milk and sugar mixed in, and just...sitting with it, harkens back to the days when I actually GOT TOGETHER with another human being and shared a conversation! My invisible friend is just not cutting it...

On Saturday, I actually got to sit down and share delicious pastries and tea with a friend. And it was wonderful. All of it. Most of all seeing my dear friend. It was also a play date for the kids, with constant interruptions bursting out of the cacophony of NOISE, but it was SISTAH time. And it flew by too fast...

There will always be excuses for not getting together. Oh...the kids, the husband, the writing that I'm taking time for, the cleaning that I'm supposed to be doing, the .... But, I'm going to have to sit myself down, and really make an effort to see people IN PERSON.

So, you'll still see me on FACEBOOK. I'll FRIEND you and you can FRIEND me... And I'll probably still be throwing up innocuous comments on your wall. But, if you live within a 50 mile radius, LOOK OUT! The wall is coming down and I'm heading your way with my chatty and huggy self. Because, yes...I'm THAT kind of chatty and YES, I'm Miss Hugalicous. And you're important to me. Besides, since my FACEBOOK Fanatic friends will now UN FRIEND me for dissing LA FACEBOOK, I'll be available...for tea!


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24 comments:

Kate said...

JCK: so true, so well said.
Facebook is such a weird way to communicate. This morning I needed to reach my son who has email accounts and a cell phone....what did I do? I "facebooked" him with my request because sadly, it was the fastest way to get him. He often does not answer his cell phone and lets it go to voice mail. How pathetic is that? He was back to me in like 10 minutes with me "facebooking" him.

Go figure.

Kathy H said...

Facebook shouldn't replace face-to-face communication; it should encourage and enhance it. I saw a bunch of Facebook friends on Thursday night, and it was great having an idea of what each other were up to so our conversations could start out at a deeper level. I'm attending a tea this weekend that was organized by some Facebook friends, and I organize a monthly book club and local work-at-home group via Facebook. When I go on vacation now, I enjoy seeing long-lost friends that I've reconnected to via Facebook.

Like anything, it's how you choose to use it.

Cat said...

I wonder about the whole facebook thing too. Our phone rarely rings anymore. The kids do all of their communicating on facebook or by texting, and I do most of mine the same way. I wonder if we'll lose our spoken words.

barbra said...

I think Facebook may be jumping the shark. Or am I just wishing for that...

I'm not on it. But I hear about it at least once a day. Larry Mantle talked about it today.

I have gone from "should I join Facebook?" to "would Facebook please just go away?"

Now that everyone is on it, the teenagers are going to run away in droves, right? There will be something new.

Cheri @ Blog This Mom! said...

When my two older girls went off to college, I found that if I was willing to meet them where they were, I'd get to have more communication with them. So FB, texting, and IM? Bring it. I'll go with the flow.

I like you on FB. I like you in person too. So? Bring it.

XOXO

Coffee with Cathy said...

What a great post and a wonderful way to open some reasoned discussion on this topic. I think there's room for both kinds of communication: E-mail and Facebook are perfect for working out details and passing along ideas-in-progress and keeping up with daily comings-and-goings but nothing beats face time for nurturing friendships.

Madge said...

i've gone through all kinds of emotions on facebook. i finally figured out it is it's own thing and i'm accepting it. i'm friends with family, co-workers, a couple of bloggers. i don't know. it's just another thing to juggle i guess. but i like it. today.

Manic Mommy said...

I chat with my neighbor two doors down and she relates an anecdote. My response? "Oh, I know, I read it on Facebook."

I chit chat with my 20 year old cousin, who lives on the other coast. I would never pick up the phone to do that.

Conclusion: Facebook has its time and place.

blognut said...

I have grounded myself from facebook because it was consuming me. I find myself doing it from my cell phone and updating my status with things like, 'Anne is doing laundry.' Who in the heck cares what I'm doing? No one! Why do we feel the need to do this?

MsGourmet said...

Facebook is a great *tool* but it can never replace *real* Facetime with the people in your everyday world!

Ellyn said...

I totally agree. I think Facebook has a place but shouldn't replace real friendships.

OK. Now I have to go to FB and check on what everyone has been up to today.

phd in yogurtry said...

I worry about the same. Which is to say, I am guilty of the same.

My solace is this -- I know a lot of women who seem to spend ALL of their time engaged with family and work and little else. Letting so many friends fall by the wayside.

So, at least there is some contact being perpetuated here in the cyber world. I know about the daily goings on of my hometown girlfriends thanks to email. I would not otherwise, except for those once every two year wrap ups. So much lost that way.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I'm with Cheri--if you've got older kids the new technology is indispensable. We had a birthday party here Saturday night and my oldest son who's away at college couldn't be here--so we passed the cell phone around and posted messages on his wall.

San Diego Momma said...

I'm having a hard time with the online/offline balance, so I truly relate to this. I'm spending more and more time behind the screen (literally and figuratively) and I think I also need to get out there and HUG!

Jen said...

I HATE the phone, but I would really like to see people in person more! I am staying away from Facebook, Twitter, all of it, until Dylan is older and it is the only way for me to communicate with him. Of course, by then, it will be something new.

People need more hugs! (HUGS)

Gina again said...

Facebook annoys the heck out of me but it has made staying in touch with people that I wouldn't normally pick up the phone and talk to a regular activity. We still aren't having deep conversations but I sometimes weed their little green patches.

Heather of the EO said...

Oh I think about this so much. I miss hand-written notes in the mail too. Nothing like that feeling.

I've often said that I want to gather all these lovely internet friends and put them around a campfire where we can SEE each other (by fire light) and HEAR each other's voices.

I'm on Facebook too, but I think I'm kind of afraid of it. It's so overwhelming! Poke, hit, wall, photos, videos, games, invitations ACK!!!

pasadenapio said...

Everybody's urging me to get a Facebook page. I'm going to, but not willingly. Seems like just another thing in my life that I'll have to maintain and check in on. Crap.

bereccah said...

so well put! i mean, i don't think i even remember how to write a letter, which is sad, considering how much EVERYONE likes to get mail. we are all so connected digitally but so remote in reality - how does that happen? anyway, you've inspired me to come up some real "face"time with my friends...thanks!

Janet said...

I joined in January as you know and I'm already bored with all the throw beads and smiles and butterflies. I have NEVER liked talking on the phone. When email came along, it was a godsend for me. I now see Facebook as a way to relocate people I've lost touch with and catch up. I don't stay on it all day. It interferes with my blogging. :)

Reluctant Blogger said...

I am not a fan of Facebook at all. I do use it but sparingly. It is all the crap you get sent - the stupid "someone thinks you're cool" or whatever things and yes, the fact that there is this drive to collect millions of "friends". I find that behaviour on Facebook is so High School - and I hated high school. So that's why it's not for me.

I love Twitter - I have a great bunch of people on Twitter and that feels more one to one and intimate than Facebook. More grownup.

But they are all just silly chitchat really - not meaningful conversation. I don't think you need to see people or be with them for that but I think you need something more - email/phone whatever is your preference. Something that is between two people not posted up for everyone to see.

Nora said...

Facebook is so ODD, isn't it? It's like it's own little world. And you're right, it's no replacement for a cup of tea with your friends (and their actual bodies) in the room.

Fowler family said...

I'm going to have to go find you on fb now. It seems like it is the latest craze. Originally I wasn't sold, and then my mom and sister started playing scrabble together on it and I was jealous of their "tight" relationship, so I joined.

WIsh I lived closer to see you and your chatty huggy self :)

painted maypole said...

oh, i've been thinking about this. what if I just took half the time I spend on FB and blogs and invested it into real life, face to face contact?

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