Ambivalence: having simultaneous conflicting feelings towards a person or a thing. Facebook: an anomaly; not really a person or a thing, but sort of a person and a thing.
Why are people so drawn to Facebook? To connect with family and friends near and far; to satisfy deep seeded narcissism; because High School sucked for them or rocked for them and FB is page closer to unachieved popularity; or because hey, everyone could use more friends?! Why do I have a Facebook account? The last question is the easiest to answer, so I'll start there.
I like FB because I can connect with my friends. We can hang despite the fact that you're in Fresno sitting in a boardroom and I'm on Saipan lounging in my pajamas. I choose everyone I friend, but on FB the word "friend" is loosely defined.
My friends are any one of the following:
1. A person who I have a relationship with such as a sister or a colleague. You may be someone I regularly hang out with and you hold a special place in my heart. I want you to know when I finally perfect that pie recipe or when Sommer writes a letter all by herself. I also want you to know when I'm not feeling so hot because you always come through with just the right words.
2. People whom I am somewhat familiar with, who I occasionally spend time with and who I am always eager to communicate and share my life with.
3. People with whom I am acquainted, respect, appreciate and would like to get to know better. I have always thought you were witty, talented and kind. I like your posts and I am not reluctant to comment on your page.
4. Those who I don't mind sharing my life with, but I only know through other friends and accept or invite into my life. I spend time on your page sometimes because you have a really great way with words, I'm interested in your life and if we had more time, I think we could be great pals.
5. Friends of friends I don't know too well, but don't currently have any reason to distrust. Hey, if Ana says you're cool, you're cool with me.
These "friends" of mine are part of my social network and have access to my life like no one else in the world. Trust is a big part of my FB experience. I trust that my friends are genuinely interested in my life even though I know there is a always an element of netstalking going on. Which brings me to my next topic.
If you are not my friend on FB, it is also for specific reasons.
1. You haven't asked me or I haven't invited you. This may be because we haven't found one another or just don't have the nerve to request friendship. It's cool, I feel you. Rejection sucks.
2. It's not you, it's me. Either way, we can't be friends. You've asked or I've asked, but there are doubts. I don't friend students (and others) because it's simply unprofessional. I love my students, but I am not their "friend". Teachers, administrators and school personnel are role models and advocates.
3. I do not friend people who only friend me so that I can supply ammo on Mafia Wars. I also do not friend people who supply ammo for haters. Haters need love too, but not on my page. If I wouldn't invite you to a dinner with my family, or make a plate of food for you to share, I probably wouldn't friend you.
4. I didn't recognize you! Sometimes I need to see a face, sometimes I don't remember the face. It's cool too if you didn't friend me because the profile pic of tambourines and legs doesn't ring a bell and when you tried to look through my other photos you weren't allowed to view them. Vice versa. When you only post a picture of your cleavage, I have to admit my photographic memory fails me. I'm more inclined to remember your hair. Sometimes your request stays on my page for months until I finally realize that, OH EM GEE.... that's you? Confirm!
5. DUH, I BLOCKED you or you BLOCKED me! We just not that tight, yo. If I blocked you it means that you are not welcome to be part of my everyday life because I do not trust you, because you are toxic to my emotional health, because you have no business sharing even mundane moments in my life and did I mention I don't trust you. Not to be harsh but, get over it. Blocking you also means I don't care to be part of your social network, so don't worry. I may have decided to block you because I don't spend any time thinking of you and feel it unnecessary to know what goes on in your life. No hard feelings. This should save you the trouble of lurking on my page to figure out if I'm snooping on yours so that you can post some cryptic status about how I care what's going on. I'm all for building your self-esteem, but trust me, I don't care.
6. You're a stalker and you give me the creeps. Ew
With all that said, I go back and forth about Facebook. I love it because it's great to be on top of all my friend's lives and it's also great to be able to share mine. With FB, no birthday goes uncelebrated, no joke is ignored, no request for a ((hug)) goes unnoticed. It's the FB drama that turns me off. Venting is one thing, but psychoraping people with your status only makes others look stupid and I hate watching people look stupid, friend or not. Ouch.
If you're wondering why I'm blogging about Facebooking, I think you'd agree. This would make a ridiculously long status.