Friends, Friends Everywhere, and Not a Drop to Drink

20 Feb

image from equally great article: are 5,001 friends too many?

We’ve talked about why Facebook and I aren’t friends. We’ve talked about how insecurities can be exacerbated by Twitter. And other people are talking, too. Last weekend I came across this New York Times article on TMI on the internet. Then one of my regular reads, MWF Seeking BFF wrote a post on the same article, talking about the phenomenon where seeing how ‘happy’ your friends are online can make you feel less-than. People don’t show their warts-and-all selves online (or they do, and give new definition to the term TMI) they show upgraded, glamorous, fun versions of their lives. I don’t tweet about sitting at my desk for hours, or working with a class of kids who don’t want to cooperate, I tweet about my vacations, the people I’m hanging out with, the new cool location I found to have lunch. I tweet about how much I love my friends and tag them by name, inadvertently leaving others not tagged to wonder what they did, or didn’t do, to not get tagged on that list. I tweet about going out for girls night, leaving other girls to wonder why they weren’t invited. I don’t do it on purpose, but I know it happens because I’ve felt that when looking at friends profiles online. And I’m not even on Facebook!

If the internet is considered a teenager in the broader scope of technology, then social networking is a baby. We don’t know how this new culture of putting everything out there for public consumption will affect us longterm, because it hasn’t been around long enough for us to figure it out. I predict that these kinds of conversations will continue as long as we’re trying to sort out the difference from the permissible and the beneficial.

From the NYT article:

“I had to go on a vacation-photo diet,” admitted Laura Zigman, a novelist. “I had this bizarre, voyeuristic habit of scrolling through people’s travel photos online and then feeling like, ‘Why haven’t I walked the Great Wall of China?’ And guilt: ‘I should be taking my son to Spain.’ I don’t even like to travel!”

“You meet someone at a party, and instead of them asking for your number, they’ll say, ‘I’ll find you on Facebook,’ ” complained Dodai Stewart, editor of Jezebel.com. “Then I’ll see drunk party photos of the guy with other women he’s dating. I end up unfriending because I just can’t deal with it.” It’s impossible to electronically untangle yourself from an ex without generating a big fuss in your mutual extended network.

Go check out the article, it’s a great read.

One commenter on the MWF Seeking BFF said:

“I used to be a huge facebook stalker, but it was draining me. It got to the point where I got nervous when I was about to go on facebook thinking: “Damn, what I’m I going to have to worry about now, what am I not doing, why am I not as pretty.” I knew, every time I logged in, that I was about to ruin my day. I got fed up and as part of my happiness project I decided to delete everyone that I hadn’t talked to in over two years, hide everyone else but the people I really care about from my news feed, and make my privacy policy so that I only share personal information with close friends and family. The funny thing is that some people get offended if you put them on limited profile! But, not surprisingly, I am much happier.”

I love this idea. I’m not saying to nix Facebook or eschew social media. I just think that it behooves each of us to take stock every now and then and figure out if the things we’re letting into our lives are helping or hurting.

Advertisements

2 Responses to “Friends, Friends Everywhere, and Not a Drop to Drink”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Are you seeking Validation on Facebook? | Spread Information - February 20, 2012

    […] Friends, Friends Everywhere, and Not a Drop to Drink (biggerinreallife.com) […]

  2. 100th Post and a Giveaway! « Bigger in Real Life - March 23, 2012

    […] One of my favorite experiences has been crossing three goals off of my life list since November. I already follow Bigger in Real Life by email, and I tweeted about your giveaway and posted about it on my wall. (Or whatever the Fbook lingo is. Ya’ll know I’m not down with the FB.) […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: