Two nights ago were were having a wonderful afternoon/night drinks/dinner with fabulous friends. For this blog I am going to call my friends Lovely 1 and Lovely 2 (to protect their privacy). Lovely 1 is a young mum who works full time and has twin 4 year old boys and she started telling us how overwhelmed she feels by Facebook.
She said that every few months she has to shut down her Facebook account because the obligations it puts on her is overwhelming. I have to admit that I didn’t really understand. Neither did Lovely 2. Lovely 1 told us she feels guilty that she is a bad friend if she doesn’t reply to everyone that makes a comment on her Facebook feed and also if she doesn’t visit her friends Facebook pages and comment on their photos/status updates etc. I have to admit that Lovely 2 and I looked at each other a bit confused because we don’t feel this same pressure. Am I a bad Facebook friend because I don’t feel this obligation? I don’t see social networking as a “face to face” conversation. If I am there at the time and I feel like responding/commenting I will, but if I don’t I won’t. If I haven’t been on Facebook for a few days I don’t feel the need to go back through everything and make reciprocal comments – I might read through if I have time, but essentially I pick up and start again from when I go back on.
Am I rude? Am I a bad friend? Should I feel the same guilt as Lovely 1?
Facebook makes me feel connected to people I care about but don’t physically have the time to call/email regularly. To me that’s the reality of our busy lives – without Facebook I wouldn’t have the connection I currently do to some of the beautiful people that have been part of my life. Facebook keeps me connected to all my old friends from all parts of my very friendship rich life without the pressure of having to call/write to each indiviual person. Have I missed the point of Facebook?
How does Facebook make you feel? Guilty or Connected?