Facebook and the Confessions and Ramblings of a Gen-X’er

I’m on Facebook, of course, along with the rest of the almost billion users. That’s mind numbing. As of June 2012, Facebook has over 955 million active users. This number includes mobile users (said to make up half the number of users), underage kids who shouldn’t be there in the first place (FB restricts users under age 13) , businesses, social groups, and people like me, who have a page but don’t check in much.

It’s been months since I’ve changed my status. People must think I’m dead. In light of recent tragic events, I shouldn’t say that casually. There’s a bigger representation of society as a whole on Facebook, the good and the bad. There’s bound to be some non-trustworthy individuals and, in my opinion, people who have lost their minds.

A business doesn’t exist now unless they’re on Facebook. This is so if someone “likes” a sandwich, their social network of hundreds or thousands will see that they like that sandwich, and hey, maybe they’ll “like” it, too. It’s creepy. I’m not on board.

This didn’t make me a good candidate for a marketing position (that included social media) that required that I apply through Facebook and, somehow through an “app,”  grant them access to my social network. I was too creeped out to apply. I let this one go.

Call me old-fashioned. I’m of Generation X, which means I’ve seen a typewriter. In fact, once upon a time, I owned one and used it. Oh, now I’m feeling old. I don’t miss typewriters. I do miss seeing people and socializing with them face-to-face. I don’t feel like it happens as often, or perhaps, it’s just my individual circle of friends. I sometimes get the sense that people think so as long as they’re checking in with you on Facebook that they are actively involved in your life. It could be that some people are now more accustomed to a virtual replica of you, the one that puts you in the best possible light, a version they prefer over the real you that may not be up to “liking” an updated status.

What’s with the status? Before Facebook, all status ever meant to me was whether you were  1) Single 2) Married, or 3) Divorced. If you were single and dating someone, “in a relationship,” you were still “Single.” Am I right? If you’re not married, you’re single.

Now, of course, we have eleven categories of the relationship status: 1)  Single 2) In a relationship 3) Engaged 4) Married 5) It’s complicated 6) In an open relationship 7) Widowed 8) Separated 9) Divorced 10) In a civil union, and 11)  In a domestic partnership. Everyone is invited now.

I appreciate Facebook’s openness to everyone’s sexual preferences, etc. I really do. I like that about Facebook. Sure, it makes everything a little more complicated. Oh, that’s a category in and of itself.  What am I saying again?

I can’t imagine this is what Mark Zuckerberg imagined when he created Facebook. Remember, initially it was a mating dance for the college set, Harvard students and a few other campuses. People could report their status (Was it their relationship status? Whereabouts/event status?) Whether or not they were in a relationship, seeing someone, dating, and this conceivably, at the college age when everyone is really horny, changed on a daily basis, or hourly. Perhaps, this is where the idea of “status” updates began. I could be wrong.

I did make an effort with Facebook when I signed on. I joined Facebook when I was in a dance theater group. Facebook was our method of  sharing photos taken personally and  professionally. Well, what a better place to display them but on Facebook. It was free press for our dance company. The dancers were gorgeous and in their twenties and, like celebrities, always ready for a photo-op, a potential tagged photo for Facebook. I learned quickly.

No matter how much I tried to be Facebook ready, I just wasn’t. These dancer friends of mine, they were seasoned Facebook pros. Still, even if I didn’t like the photos that I was in, I still wanted to see them. I’m no longer in the group, but the dance photos remain. There have been other photos since, again ones I’m not crazy about. My husband like to put up family photo albums. Usually I respond this way,  “Oh, no. Yuck. That’s got to come off.” I guess I can put up with a few bad photos of myself for the sake of our family.

In the meantime, I am by no means passing judgement on those who enjoy Facebook. I realize I can and probably will publicize my blog. Perhaps, some of my friends will want to read my posts. But,  probably not today.

I’ve rambled long enough. Thanks for reading.

photo credit: MoneyBlogNewz via photo pin cc

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24 thoughts on “Facebook and the Confessions and Ramblings of a Gen-X’er

  1. How incredibly ironic that you post this while I was writing a piece called Social Networking Immunity. Essentially I don’t do it well and thus have no following. I too am a Gen Xer. I made myself do the FB thing and had a better mental outcome from it than expected. Read my piece called My Face under my Published Elsewhere tab. And my husband is friends with me only because I went into his computer and befriended myself. I hear ya’ talkin’ sister. Oh, are we friends on Facebook yet?

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    1. I just kind of laughing to myself as I read your comments. I’m glad that you’ve had a better than expected outcome. I guess I should try harder. Yes, I’d love to be friends. Can I friend you on your blog somehow? I’ll do that. And, yes, I’d like to read your My Face. Thanks for telling me about it.

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  2. I am going to agree with you completely. I do have a Facebook account and I enjoy spending 10-15minutes daily with it. But there is not a single person in my friend list, whom I do not know. So I have relatively small group of contacts on Facebook. I prefer talking to people face to face rather than starting the conversion on Facebook with, “Hi! whats Up!”. For me the funniest part is, when asks me, “R U Online” although my status message shows the same. I reply with “no, i am not. It’s my Ghost here. I always wonder what’s the need of showing our relationship status on public domain. I find it like, the theaters running movies show seats booked or available. is n’t it. When I see someone changes his relationship status from committed to single, I never forget to wish him Congrats. 🙂
    But when I am saying all this, I too respect the people’s view who enjoy spending time with it. It’s everyone’s personal opinion. But let me tell you, my opinion is similar to yours. 🙂

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    1. You’re funny. I like your it’s my ghost response. I’m sure a lot people like it. I’m not sure why I never settled into it, but I do see the value of keeping touch with friends, especially the ones that are far away. I’ve never had to deal with changing my relationship status. I can see how you would congratulate people 🙂 I think FB is morphing with the marketers stepping in. That’s just my feeling. When it involves the masses, what can we expect?

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      1. Yes we can’t expect much with the marketers stepping in. But we have a weapon to deal with this, which is “to ignore everything which is of no use.” 🙂

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  3. “Underage kids who shouldn’t be there in the first place” HAHA!

    *now back to reading*

    Wow. I didn’t realise there were all those other statuses. And I know what you mean about the pictues. I actually don’t really like being tagged.

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    1. Hi, I don’t much like the tagged pictures myself, unless of course, my pictures are wonderful but they never seem to be. Oh well! FB’s policy is that kids be at least 13, which in my opinion seems too young. But actually there are many kids a lot younger than that who really shouldn’t be on there. Most of it is probably harmless, but now with so many people on there, I think it’s a bigger risk than ever.

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  4. TBF,
    Facebook is a tricky thing, and for many – myself included – it can be a time sucker. Social Media is my bread and butter. I develop Facebook/Twitter/Blogging strategies for brands and individuals. As a rule of thumb, I usually suggest to spend at least 1 hour a day: to update your page and to visit other Facebook pages… But when used for personal reasons, it’s tricky… It all has to do with your comfort zone, on how much time you spend on the internet… I’m ambivalent. You make it what you want it to be…. Same for the pics you posts, and personal data… This is when tweaking your privacy settings takes its full reason to be…
    Eric

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    1. Hi Eric. I had a feeling you knew about this stuff. It’s nice to know there’s an expert in the house. I may be asking you for advice and pointers at some point. I could see how it would be a time suck. As the case with all social media, I feel I could be sucked in, never to return….I know there’s a lot more I could be doing with it. And as far as personal reasons go, actually really “connect” with people more. I feel so resistant.

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  5. When I finally caved and joined FB I was fairly active with it…
    then I wasn’t…
    then I kind of was again…
    then…
    eh. I don’t know. I guess I can be pretty anti-social-network sometimes. But hey, B.F… will you send me a chicken for my farm?!
    🙂

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    1. SIG, if I had a chicken for your farm, indeed, I would sent it to you! Hmm…is there some hidden code here? I live in an urban setting, surburbia actually. There are some turkeys that wander around. Would that do? Thanks for your feedback. It’s always interesting to me to hear of people’s social media practices. I don’t remember the last I was on Facebook. I feel like I’m breaking a law (not really).

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  6. When FaceBook stock became available, the news was that there were almost a billion users. I had to wonder if a whole heck of a lot of them were like me and seldom visit anymore. Could that be why the stock price fell???

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  7. I read an article in Forbes that predicts the fall of Facebook within years. It’ll go to grave like Myspace and Friendster, it says. And the next social media would be Twitter as it emphasizes on the similar interest that we have with other people. I am not sure whether that’s true, but to some extent I have found that both your post and that Forbes article make plausible arguments.

    Thank you for sharing, many blessings and much love to you. 🙂

    Subhan Zein

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    1. Thanks for your fine comments, Subhan. I’ve heard that prediction, too. No matter what happens with Facebook, I think it will change into something different than it is now. We shall see. I haven’t used the Twitter, but have one set up 🙂

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