Social media is awesome. For loads of reasons. We can keep up with our buddies for free. We can still see what is going on in the lives of everyone that we have ever known, even the ones that we don’t like.
I had an odd moment yesterday when I wanted to ask one of my Facebook friends a question about how she got her hair a certain colour. I hesitated before messaging her. And then I felt silly. After all, we are supposed to be friends right?
Facebook has redefined the meaning of this word for so many of us. have you ever used the phrase “Well I don’t really know her, we are friends on Facebook but it’s not like we would meet up”.
Its almost as if the word friend has been devalued by this process.
So I decided that if we were indeed friends that I would send the message and we would have a lovely chat. And if we weren’t and she didn’t reply then I would adjust my friend numbers.
We had a great chat. I got some good advice and I am leaving my friend list alone for now.
I am a social person, I love to see pictures of how peoples lives are going (I get frustrated with some of my friends that they don’t put enough pictures of things on to the internet world. I am frequently demanding that people put up pictures of their new hair cut/cat/car/microwave I WANT to see these things.) I assume that my friends must enjoy seeing the pictures of the things that I put out there too.
Everyone must want to see how adorable my dogs are when they are sleeping/eating/playing/being naughty/being good right? And the same goes for my tiny person (obviously times a million because I actually MADE him and he is the best example of baby that ever was).
There is now a function to hide people. So you are still “friends” but you never see anything that they post unless you actively visit their profile. This is like not picking up the phone because you don’t want to chat, or purposefully not going somewhere because you want to avoid people.
But this is the internet! Why must we keep people as friends if we don’t like them? I don’t think people would notice if you removed them most of the time. I bet I wouldn’t. I wonder how many people have blocked my feed now that I have a baby? That are bored to tears with hearing about how gorgeous he is or how tired I am or that we have yet another new sofa thanks to the dogs eating them?
So I think that we should all feel empowered to be more honest with this situation. If you don’t wish to my my internet chum, don’t be. Remove me. And if you do, then please do message me. It may take a day or so for me to get back to you, but I would love to chat.
I promise not to be sad if my friend numbers dwindle (I don’t actually know how many I have, I never check so I won’t have a clue). I would be a bit put out if I get up to check my Facebook over my morning cuppa and my new feed is blank apart from all of my own posts ( I am secretly confident that lovely boyfriend and my family at least will keep me) but if that is a true picture of what is going on then so be it.
Are you feeling brave? Test it. Send a message to one of your “friends” Ask yourself, would you stop to say hi if you saw this person in the street? Is the answer no? Why are they privileged enough to see pictures of you in your onsie, drinking wine with your cat, but not suitable to have a chat with?
I am betting that most people would rather not be on your list if that is how you feel about them.
And for those of you that are my friends, all go and take a picture of something great in your house, or garden or somewhere that you visit and put it on the internet. I want to see it. I want to share in your experiences. I have a friend who used to take regular pictures of a tree that she passed on the train on her way to work. It was called lonely tree. I haven’t seen a picture of it for ages and I miss it being on my morning news feed. It made me feel like I was a part of her morning routine and I liked it.