Being “Friends” on Facebook

At the beginning of this year, I had a bit of a revelation.
It had been on my mind for ages, I could just never quite put my finger on it. And then one day – the words put themselves together in my brain.

The moment you realise you’re just a FB friend,
when all along you thought you were more.

After that little epiphany, I started thinking about it more and more, and about my life and friends pre-Facebook. A time when I actually SPOKE to my friends on the phone. When I actually SAW my friends in person. When my social circle was small. Before people developed a complete aversion to answering their phones at all (and I LOVE speaking on the phone).
And I know FOMO well. It has plagued me all my life. You know the feeling – when you see your “friends” doing something without you, or getting together somewhere without you. That has bugged me less and less this year, and FOMO has always existed, but I have come to the conclusion that its Facebook’s real bread and butter – its what keeps people logging in and scrolling.
What really got to me though, what REALLY opened my eyes, was when people I thought were actual friends of mine, experienced major life events – and I knew no more about what was happening than anyone else who could see their Facebook feed.
That really hurt, because I was under the illusion I was closer to them.

Its taken me months to actually start doing anything about it, and I have no intention of closing my Facebook account, but I am unfriending* and un-following people regularly now. And I’m not doing it with any of those attention-seeking “I’m culling my friends list, leave a comment if you still love me” posts either.
Whilst I have used the “birthday notification rule” for some time now – the one where you unfriend someone after getting a Facebook birthday notification, but you have had no interaction with that person in over a year, but I am getting stricter with myself.
If someone makes me roll my eyes on a regular basis, for whatever reason, I un-follow them.
If someone makes me wonder how the hell we became Facebook friends in the first place, I unfriend them.

Its given me an odd sense of peace. An “out of sight, out of mind” kind of peace. Its made me determined to properly reconnect with the real people in my life.

*I loathe the word, I know its accepted, but it still sounds grammatically wrong to me.

7 thoughts on “Being “Friends” on Facebook

  1. Angel: I guess what I have learned is that IF people even voice a reaction or comment or otherwise, it’s an amazing thing. I, too, have many times felt dejected at peoples’ seeming lack of concern or empathy.

    It’s more like apathy.

    But if you look at elections worldwide, apathy is only increasing, not decreasing, as we become numb to the whole living of life except for the most basic of instincts.

    In other words, I don’t think it’s you. I just think it’s the world around you. And me. And everybody. Be well. Hugs.

    • Apathy is there, but I think its more a desire to not commit juuuust in case something more interesting comes along. I was trying to think of a word for it, but I have come to the conclusion that its just “Facebook”.

      • Yeah, people are SO afraid to show any emotion or, generally, their thoughts about an emotion, their committal to an idea, because they’re SO shit-scared of ruffling someone’s feathers. In fact, I LOVE that. It helps me crystallize in MY OWN MIND why I feel the way I do.

  2. I love this!! The FOMO thing and all and if you don’t mind – I’m going to use the birthday rule thing too!

  3. Can I just say, I’m loving that you’re blogging again!

    Also, I hope I wasn’t one of the people who hurt you, or was part of your revelation. You’re one of the people I can count on my two hands that I actually make an effort with offline, as infrequent as it may be. It’s not you – I’m just really shit at keeping in touch.

    You’re 100% right about social media having killed social skills though. I worry for our next generation and how they will interact with other humans in life without having the basics that we were taught as kids.

    • LOL! Once in a blue moon I think of something that might be worth a blog post!
      And you still indulge me and answer the phone sometimes! 😛

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