The Facebook Conundrum

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Even though I deleted my Facebook account a good long while ago, I’m thinking of re-registering. While I was getting a perverse kick out of being on the fringes of what my close network of friends were doing, it’s turned to something of an inconvenience. I miss out on old friends coming back to town, and I’m far less informed about what’s happening with people’s day-to-day—I’m a busy guy, and like it or not, Facebook enabled me to better stay in touch with people.

I still have qualms with the privacy implications of the system, and whether or not I want people to know what I’m up to, but there are ways around that. Scotty, my roommate, isn’t on Facebook either, but he said he’s thinking of signing up. “I’ve boycotted it long enough,” he told me this afternoon. “It’s become inconvenient to not be on it.”

But there are, of course, other more complicated reasons that make me think I should stay away. Stupid as it may sound, the big one is pride. The I-told-you-sos I expect to have lobbed at me are plentiful. I would probably NYAH someone was well, if they returned with their tail between their legs. I know a few people who’ve left and comeback: Jorge and Fish come to mine. But I cannot seem to fully buy in to being easily connected to people again.

I’m going to think about it over the next few weeks, but I know that as people leave for the summer, Facebook will enable me to stay connected. And I’ve noticed already there are some people with whom I’m not longer speaking simply because it isn’t convenient.

I should probably feel worse about what that says about my laziness than about people saying “I told you so.”

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One Response to “The Facebook Conundrum”

  1. Rocketgirl
    March 3, 2008 at 4:02 pm #

    Hi Adam,

    I’m in EXACTLY the same dilemma! People who couldn’t give 2 shits about me while we were in school together, have sent me friend requests.

    While mulling over whether they’ve become better people or are just super curious if I’ve screwed up my life yet or not, I went through their friends lists, and recognised 2 or 3 people I thought were actually nice people.

    So in a sentimental weak moment, I sent THEM friend requests and ignored the original person’s friend request (after a lot of sleepless nights).

    I regretted it the moment I did that, because even though those people in school were nice, there’s a very good reason I’m not friends with them anymore. I know this sounds a little… nasty/catty, but they just weren’t worth my time. Even though they’re nice, that’s not a good enough reason to be my friend, right? And now they’re going to hop onto facebook and check out my whole life and maybe talk about it with the first friend I’ve ignored at the beginning, and… you can just see where this is going.

    So, that’s when I hate facebook and how cheap it makes communication. I hate the fact that it makes it so damn easy for us to pretend like we care. If we really did care, we’d phone or meet up with each other, or just send a proper email. Facebook is just a lame excuse for “proper” communication.

    Then, obviously, the privacy thing also bothers me. Who really sees your info and what do “they” use it for?

    But the reason why it’s so hard for me to leave facebook, is because it gives my digital camera a reason for being. There’s something about tagging your friends on it and being tagged on other people’s photos. Don’t know if this is because I’m a very visual person, but I love this way of sharing photos and stories visually.

    And also, it is a great way of digging up an old friend you really, really want contact with again – though, that doesn’t happen that often with me on facebook, because I’m friends with the people I want to be friends with right now, and if there is someone missing, there’s always someone who knows someone. Facebook just makes it easier/more convenient.

    So you see, I’ve also got a love/hate relationship with this system, but want my cake and eat it too. I want it to work for me the way I want it to work, but the problem is, it’s not entirely controlled by me alone.

    So, for the reasons above and the ridiculous agony it’s put me through, worrying about old connections who weren’t really friends and who’ve just brought up bad, stomach-churning, high school-insecurity feelings from the past that I WOULDN’T have had if it wasn’t for bloody Facebook, is why I’ve also been contemplating abandoning ship.

    Would be interesting to see how we work through these dilemmas, don’t you think?