Facebook, or How You Can Keep Your Contacts to an Absolute Minimum

Facebook-hoaxTime was that contact between people was face-to-face, or by phone.   Now, all we have to do is log on to facebook and “like” something.  Contact accomplished.  It’s about as intimate as walking by someone you know at the bus stop and nodding vaguely in their direction.

We’re getting lazy as a society.  In the good old days we did things differently.  If it was someone’s birthday, for example, you visited them,  phoned them, or maybe sent them a birthday card.  Now, you send them a Happy Birthday! on facebook.  That’s great for acquaintances, but it seems anti-climatic for close friends and family.  I always feel a tad guilty after I post my Happy Birthday! to people who should probably get a phone call.  I wonder if others feel a little guilty too.

I had a few acquaintances who used to send everyone the same letter at Christmas time–one letter fits all.   Of course they wrote all about themselves–they could hardly ask how you were in a letter designed for mass consumption. What an outrageous exercise in narcissism.  Facebook is alot like that too.

There is an upside to facebook though.  I reconnected with childhood friends and former colleagues.   I didn’t need facebook to do it, mind you (there is such a thing as a phone book), but facebook was the vehicle and I’ll give it its due credit.  I also made some new friends on facebook, some of whom live halfway around the globe.

All in all, though, I think social media, like facebook, should be an adjunct to and facilitator of relationships, not a substitute.  I kind of admire people who haven’t joined, and don’t plan to.  They’ll take their relationships the old-fashioned way, thank you very much.


6 thoughts on “Facebook, or How You Can Keep Your Contacts to an Absolute Minimum

  1. I drop in when someone leaves me a message and I get an e-mail heads up. I also found high school and other friends through Facebook and they have found me. Sometimes the phonebook doesn’t help when people have unlisted numbers or have changed their names (married, remarried). I have kept in touch with lots of people I know all over the world, but again, I go to Facebook when I get a heads up there is a message for me. All this social media is overwhelming. I can barely find time to EAT.

    This new technology is nice is you use it positively. Making ‘strange’ friends (people I don’t know) isn’t how I go about it.

  2. I retired to Turkey, half a world away from family in Canada, cousins and flesh-friends in UK. Social media is a good way of sharing life updates with them. I don’t collect FB-friends easily, it’s a process requiring discrimination and management. And thank heavens for skype! Keeps it real.

    • Yup. Facebook is indispensable for keeping in touch with loved ones who don’t reside in your community–or continent, as the case may be. 🙂

      Funny about Skype: I like it, but I know a couple of people who don’t. They find the phone easier. Wonder what they’re doing while they’re talking to me that they don’t want me to see……;)

  3. Personally, I see is Facebook as a great way to keep in touch long distance but, for me, it isn’t a substitute for more traditional methods. But then, I’m a little long in the tooth. Social media is the way younger generations communicate these days. It’s my nephew’s birthday today and I’ve sent him a card and posted a message on FB. I’m much more likely to get a response to FB. Is this sad? I don’t know.

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