Friday, December 2, 2011

Facebook Relationship Status: Reply Hazy

Thank you friends for the emails and messages regarding the recent post about my change of heart with Facebook. You are sweet to care about us. We are working out our issues. Getting counseling. So far, my separation from FB hasn't led to my wanting to end our relationship completely.

We have to think of the children.

Many of you offered options on how to provide more privacy - and it's not that I was am seeking privacy controls to keep people OFF my page, but rather, I just felt feel like, as in all varieties of friendship, not everything I do and conviction I hold, every article I find interesting, each photo I take, every bite of food I eat, or, yes, each workout I endure, MUST or SHOULD be shared with everyone.

Think about it. Do you share every inch of your life with all the people you know?

In non-FB life, I don't keep a written list of my friends - placing them in different categories (the provision FB has in place to enable us to keep certain groups separate). Something about doing this on FB left leaves me feeling really uncomfortable. And kind of icky.

So, while I DID figure out how to create more privacy through "lists" (and not really, as there's a huge glitch in the only-the-people-on-this-list-can-see-what-I-am-posting-right-now "privacy" system within FB - which doesn't actually create true privacy at all) a better choice was to take a step back from posting so much content.

"But then, why are you still posting blog posts, links to your business wall, and your workouts?"

Part of my beef with the FB platform is the "sound-byte" issue. It goes something like this: Someone reads a quickly, and, at times, poorly composed status update. Then, as a dear friend, and college Professor explains, "Without ANY background, the reader "fills out" that sound-byte, and, most often, does so improperly." As a Christian, if I am sold on the importance and value of reconciliation and restoration, then I better hold human communication to a higher standard than a sound-byte.

FB is sorely lacking as a model for clear interpersonal communication.

Thus, I have chosen to point you to my blog, (where I can better work-out my thoughts), the blog I write with other writers (Daily Fast Fuel and Pittsburgh Mom), and my workouts - which due to Team Beachbody's website does not allow me to choose which FB page on which to post it. But, as a Coach, I must post it. It's kind of, sort of, part of my job. And I like receiving my weekly paycheck. As for my Fit With Jo page, I must continually invite friends to come on over, so I'll add a link on my personal page from time to time.

"But you are still commenting on other people's updates."

Yes, as I mentioned in that first post. I like FB. I'm just in the midst of figuring out how best to use it for me. And for my stress level. I still want to click "like" for a friend who successfully completed NaNoWriMo. And my husband as been training hard for a race, so, naturally, I'm gonna pop in on that conversation as well. This morning my sister posted that she was wearing "Christmas socks". Fearful for her welfare, I felt the urgent need to communicate my honest concern. Where I've backed the truck up, is on my personal wall . . .

"So just write general stuff."

That response is funny. People get ragged on for typing mundane posts like, "I just had lunch. Mmmmm", as well as for updates that can be considered controversial, "Walmart - bad!"

One can't win on FB.

Interestingly enough, I've not missed it. I don't feel "disconnected" from people. The friends who I see, talk with, text, and email daily, are, surprisingly, still in my life . . .

Without an open FB wall.

Imagine that.


Caitlin E. Cahill said...

Awesome post Jo! I understand how you feel on the FB walls! Sometimes I'll post an opinion, and a friend-of-a-friend saw it, and comes over to SLAM me. My thoughts being, "Um...who are you again?"
I have a mental battle on a daily basis about my FB uses for the same reason. I have even twice received calls from Anonymous/Blocked people and numbers, who looked up my Team BeachBody website to retrieve my number, to only leave me voicemails about my "nutty" political, spiritual, and health beliefs. KIND OF SCARY!
But then again - I guess with at the rate that people communicate and exchange information whether we sign on or not - there will always be those people who try to put their noses in other people's business...Even if you're not offering anything.
Great post, again!

Anonymous said...

"like" ;)

Anonymous said...

Hey Joline, I respect your willingness to evaluate the role that Facebook (or ANY media) plays in your life, and to adjust if you feel it is necessary.

For myself, I've decided to keep my "friends" list relatively small, less than 300 or so, and most of these are either out-of-town friends (I've found FB is a good way to communicate with that group of people all at once) or close friends who live locally. I won't add someone just because they are local and I "know" them (or they know me, or Dave); I have to have some sort of meaningful, ongoing personal relationship with them. And I get to define "meaningful, ongoing and personal."

That means I have deleted a ton of acquaintances from previous churches, school, or work. Very few of my friends are from church. Like you, I had experiences with misunderstandings and hurt feelings by opening that circle too wide. Some professional connections I have directed to my "page" (which needs work) or to LinkedIn. I don't accept friend requests from students in my classes.

These are what works for me. Thanks again for sharing your thoughts on the journey.

Joline said...

Thanks. It's been a pretty deep soul-searching time. But through working all this out, I also remembered how much I enjoy writing!!!

I appreciate your comment. Can't help but wonder who you are.

Thanks. Yeah, my friends list has just gotten huge. One of the reasons why is that FB doesn't allow you to add someone to a private group unless you "friend" them, so I DO have "friends" whom I've never actually met.

I like "I get to define meaningful, ongoing, and personal."

Thanks for your input!