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Monday, 1 October 2012

The People of the faceBook

So one thing is clear, everyone has an opinion about what should be put on Facebook, how often, and what it means about the person posting...There are judgements flying thick and fast in the ether and in print. The latest craze in blogs seems to be the demonising of “oversharing” parents. My question is WHO makes these rules? Who says what is interesting? Who says what is needy or approval seeking and what is appropriate?

I took myself off because I was beginning to get irritated by my friends (no, I'm not innocent in this judgmental behaviour either), and because I was constantly being told I didn't use it 'properly' (I talked books, sport and movies, never posted pictures of the kids, rarely even mentioned them). Ironically, the same people who complained are the ones suggesting that I go back on...While my daily post was annoying them, they miss it now that it's gone.

A friend posted on his profile (ahh, the irony!) the Guardian article that stated if you have a lot of FB friends and post frequently, you are probably exhibiting Grand Narcissistic traits (or Gross Egotism). It was a criticism of frequent posters yet while he posts rarely, he's also on Twitter - so is a daily post on FB more narcissistic than frequent posts on twitter and occasional posts on FB?

There are so many shades on this new and ethereal beast - a friend’s teenage daughter said people looked at a girl’s FB page to see how many friends she had and how many likes their comments got before deciding whether to be friends with her. I was unsure whether this 'friends' meant on FB or in real life as well...I suspect it was both, which makes me shudder, given in 10 years we'll have a teenage girl ourselves...

Why do people choose to use it? Why do they choose to share what they share? Is it healthy? I know for me, there was a certain level of addiction, and I've had 3 friends take themselves off, only to come back on. I was chatting in an online forum about Fahrenheit 451 and one member posted the following " There was no Internet in the 50s, and here am I, in Edinburgh in Scotland, writing to you in where? California? Does this reduce the isolation, or increase it?" Does Facebook, with our constant chatter bring us closer together or divide us?

In a possible backlash, I’ve noticed some posts along the lines of “I may not comment on them, but I love to see the photos of your family and hear about your daily lives. Repost if you feel the same – I’ll be watching”. However, this post opens with “To prove a point”. Is the point that a lot of people are happy with the deemed over sharing or is the point that no one looks at what anyone else posts on Facebook and it is a purely egotistical exercise? I guess it’s all up to how you use it…




33 comments:

  1. I think one of the challenges is that the whole social media thing is so new that there hasn't been enough time to figure out what the rules should be.

    Four years ago, most people wouldn't be snapping photos on their iphones and posting them directly to facebook but now it's the norm. 2 years from now we probably won't be using facebook because another smarter site will be around.

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  2. Yes, it's all quite unknown. A friend who's a teacher did a course on how this generation of children are the first who's childhood will follow them around forever (as a child of the '70's, I'm glad mine didn't!!)

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  3. I'm guilty of being addicted. I have tried to cut back posting every thought that pops into my head. I quit it for a month, then went back on. But I also "hid" or deleted a lot of people/pages that I felt I was wasting time on or wasn't really friends with/interested in. We love it because my husband's family are all over seas, so it's great to share things with them that way. I don't think there is any right or wrong way to use it, it's up to the individual using it. If people don't like the way someone else is using it or think they share too much, they can hide or delete them.

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    1. The thing with fb, in my opinion, of course, is if you don't use it and engage on some level, then you aren't really keeping in touch...so I figure everyone should use it how they like to use it, and their friends can join in (or not)

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    2. I'm agreeing with you (I'm tired and that reads like an argument)

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  4. I am a bit addicted to facebook, but I post hardly any photos of my children, the more I blog, for some reason. I have also turned off the chat function after getting a few late night propostions from drunken guys I went to school with! I figure those guys are never going to read my blog, and I don't want them looking at my kids. I guess we all have to make the rules as we go along.
    xx

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    1. 30 Rock had this funny bit about how FB was for sleazy middle aged married people to hit on their old high school crush...guess you agree ;)

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    2. Meaning the drunk guys, not you! Argh! I keep thinking I might be offending people...

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  5. I guess I share what I am interested in seeing from other people (if that makes sense) I like seeing family photos ect, so I post them too! I'm pretty new to having a blog facebook, so I'm still cautious about what to post with that.
    visiting from IBOT :)

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    1. I actually think that's how everyone uses it (and should) but it's interesting how quick people are to say whether other people use it in a way they view as wrong...

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    2. For some reason I can't comment on your yarn bombing?? Anyway wanted to say we went to a park and someone had knitted a rainbow seat cover for the swing. It was so cool!

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  6. I love Facebook for the keepin in touch with long distant friends and family aspect. Even family that live relatively close but we don't see often, it's great to see their kids growing up and hearing about their lives, and I have had people say the same, they love to see the monthly pic I post of Mia and see how much she has grown. I mostly post status updates about topical stuff or something that i want to get advice on, I don't do huge life updates. If people want to know more details about what's going on in my life they can read my blog. I think Facebook needs to be kept in perspective. I have friends who got off Facebook because it "caused too much drama. Inn life" but I think it only gets that way if you allow it. I will admit I do like to stalk people I used to go to school with, it's fun to see what they are up to now without having to actually see them or talk to them in person!

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    1. Wow! I'd love to witness "too much drama on FB"! I guess when my kids are teenagers I will! (be careful what you wish for, Lyd)

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  7. I do love Facebook, it's great to keep in touch with overseas and interstate friends and family. However it can also be such a horrible tool. People can lose employment, friends, custody battles and more simply from what they post on Facebook. It really does need to be a judgement call.

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  8. Yes, and the identity fraud side too...

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  9. I think it has a great place for keeping people in touch and up to date, but like anything it requires a sense of balance. We need to be able to switch off and invest in real time interaction and relationships and we need our kids to do the same. That is why I always teach that it is more important to give kids the skills to deal with all forms of social media as the platforms will keep changing. And there are many adults who need to remember this as well, particularly with reference to time limits and oversharing. But yes it is all still new and everyone is still learning and figuring it all out. :)

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  10. yes, I agree there's a lot to teach the kids about it, and same goes for adults as well!!

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  11. I use it to keep in touch with friends and family. And to play endless scrabble games with my mum and sister (addicted). If people annoy me, I hide or unfriend them. If I don't hear from them in ages, I unfriend them. I don't feel any guilt in this, FB is not the definition of my friend circle, merely a communications tool.

    While FB can be addictive, I think it's important not to take it too seriously!

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  12. I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with FB. I love being able to keep in touch with family and friends and I use it to organise to catch up with a large group of friends so there is less back and forth with text messages to work out what everyone is doing. My blog FB page though is used for posting links to my posts, funny pictures and occasionally interesting links that I have come across.

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  13. I really swing back and forth in my love-hate relationship with Facebook. Ultimately I guess I think that I'm not forcing anyone to be my 'friend', so if they think I'm oversharing, or undersharing or whatever they can always make me disappear from their feed. I get more annoyed about some of the advertising than I do with anyone's status update habits. It has lead to me connecting and reconnecting with some awesome 'real world' friends, so I'm still glad it exists.

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  14. Oh, I'm very on/off with Facebook - I love to keep in touch and see peoples photos etc but I hate all the inspirational/motivational claptrap that gets posted. On the whole I like it but like everything else, it's how you (and others) use it.

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  15. I have a love/hate thing with FB, I have lost real life friends over it actually, they took what I wrote to be about them when it wasn't and there was nothing I could do to fix it, she was pregnant at the time and is quite unreasonable anyhow, but it was a lesson to me. xx

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  16. I'm a bit of a "lurker" I guess you'd call it. I don't often post my own statuses but I love to comment on other peoples! I never know if this makes me creepy, or does it mean I am being "social" by creating a conversation. Either way I love it for keeping in touch and I think those who experience drama or issues with it probably have those same problems where ever they are ;)

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  17. I deleted my Facebook account... for a number of reasons;

    1) because I'm a teacher and my student's try to stalk me
    2) I don't trust their privacy policy

    and, probably the most important...

    3) I was freaking addicted to it! In a meth-head sort of way! I'd wake up and check Faceboo, go to sleep with a blue and white screen flashing behind my eyes, check it every hour... at least!

    I went cold-turkey.

    Best thing I've ever done. I consider myself a writer and leaving FB has helped me to concentrate on that.

    Only issue, I was invited to join Aussie Dad Bloggers but I kind of need to be on FB to do so... what do I do?

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  18. I am addicted to FB. But am simultaneously bored of it. Oh God...the conundrum to end all conundrums .
    I too got a few weird conversations from a guy I went to school with. Weird weird weeeeeird!
    I don't know, I don't really tie myself up in knots
    About whether its causing damage or social isolation, I mean it's just different right? Like the phone changed communication too, things change, society changes. I guess there's pros and cons. I've reconnected with some great old friends thy I wouldn't have otherwise. Also with rellies OS. It has its uses!

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  19. I guess it depends what you use Facebook for. I like to keep in touch with people and connect with those whom I don't see as often as I like. It's like all social media, moderation. Overall, we need to respect each other and remember it's not all about likes, or friends. Isn't it about connecting and keeping in touch?

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  20. This is great. I hate the judgement of now to use social media. I have an Art History undergrad degree, and I think of it a bit like Art. Art is whatever you think it is. Whatever you think is good Art, is good Art. Not what someone else tells you it is. I think social media is the same. What you want to use it for, is what it should be used for.
    Katy

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    1. sorry typo city in my comment x that should say 'how'

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    2. nailed it! ^^^ I totally agree

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  21. I like FB for keeping up with what my friends and extended family are up to. I can let them know I am there by just a 'like'. If there is something I don't want to involve myself in, I just scroll past. The crap ads are rather annoying, and it clogs feeds.

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  22. My blog Facie page is WHY different to my personal one, that rarely gets used, and I have had a massive cull on that recently!

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  23. I am not a fan of FB. I am an infrequent sharer. I never scroll my feed. I don't have the time to faff about on FB with six kids! When I am on the net I am either blogging or shopping or researching. I love to explore Pinterest however!

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  24. Wow this is so true even now. My social media strategy is simple - I reflect the parts of my life I wish to share. Not everything goes on social media but the full range of my interests sure does.

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