Thursday, March 11, 2010

Facebook...a good thing or hinderance to friendships?

I had a friend email me last week for some information on Facebook.  My first response was, You asked a loaded question! I went thru some basics so there would be a foundation of general understanding on the way its constructed:
To access it you must have an account. Your user ID/login is your email address and you create a password. You can upload photos for friends to see, post links to articles, coupons, many other like things you find on the web, simply just a thought or something on your mind. Some use it to encourage others, get feedback or recommendations, some use it just to vent or complain. You can search for people you know to be your "friends". If their account is "private" you will not find them. Very few people are private on FB, in my opinion, what would be the purpose of having an account if you don't want friends unless your sole purpose is to spy? In a nutshell, all this is controled by settings. Once you find a friend, you send a request and if they accept, you are friends. Either party can delete a friend at any time and FB does not notify you that you are no longer friends, it just happens and you will find it later if you go to their page or try to send them a message. You can control who sees what, i.e. your wall, your photos, etc and you can control who gets to post on your wall. 

I have a FB account and will be honest that I have mixed feelings on it. There are days I find it encouraging, a way to connect in relationships with many I know and love, and other days I end up feeling its a waste of time, wondering what is up with people, questioning what someone said or didn't say, and a general feeling of socialism.  The clicks that are in friendships via social groups both thru christian fellowship, work and otherwise, have their "clicks" (as I call them) on FB too.  When I say "clicks", I am talking about people who always comment on the same peoples posts, like the same peoples stuff, and stick just in their circle of special friends and don't respond to you.  As with other areas in life, the ones that are consumed with their own lives, are consumed in the same way on FB. Having said all that, I have seen photos, met new people, been encouraged by people I would not normally come in contact with or know what is going on in their lives without the friendship thru FB. This website (along with all other social networking sites) is blocked at work due to employee misuse (something I put into place because we pay them to work not to be social) so I am not on it during the time frames most people are which makes me feel out of the link many times and when I do get on, I have 8-24 hours or more to catch up on.  It can take just a few minutes to update your status and check your friends or you can let it comsume your time unless just like other things on the web, you control it and limit the amount of time you spend on it.

Now that I have shared some of my thoughts on Facebook, what are yours?  How to you handle the obstacles that arrise out of communication?  How much time do you spend on FB, or do you limit yourself? What is your purpose of having an FB account?  Do you feel that this is enriching our society or making it just another thing to have to feel obligated to?  I would enjoye your feedback.  Please share your comments...


  1. I would like to weigh in on this subject. I do think that FB can be a great tool to keep in touch with friends near and far, as well as finding friends of old, if used with discretion. However, it seems that so often that is not the case. As far as all of the games go, well, I have 2 kids and real life to live so that pretty much counts me out.

    One thing that I specifically do not like about Facebook is that it is too easy for people to get lazy with their friends and loose touch in the personal way that I feel is important. For example, I do not want to be told that you are pregnant, or had a baby, or any other special event through Facebook if we have been friends for years and years. I think some things warrant a phone call if you are more than the casual aquantance.

    Our society has gotten so caught up in communicating through status updates, "friending" and texting that it has taken all of the effort out of what it really takes to keep a friendship thriving. There is somthing very special about receiving a piece of "real mail", or a phone call from a dear friend. We are a generation of technology driven communication that has taken away that personal touch that says, "hey, I thought of you today and actaully put some effort into showing that I care about your life".

    So, in closing, while I do think that FB can be a convenient way to keep in touch, I would'nt want it to be my primary source of communication.