Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Dear Facebook Friends

Here are some things I will not share with you:

1) I will not tell you via Facebook that I am in a new relationship. (The odds of my ever actually being in a new relationship are slim to none but in case lightning strikes.....) If we are close enough, I might call you or e-mail you or stop by to see you but I will not bump you (along with the rest of the world) on Facebook.

2) Even if I hated my job (which I don't), I would not confide in you about it because people seem to forget that Facebook isn't private and any number of people who do not have your best interests at heart may be lurking, including co-workers and other moles. In fact, confidantes and Facebook are almost a contradiction in terms.

3) I will not ask you to help me find my baby lamb in Farmville or collect guns in Mafiaburg.

4) I will not tell you about the million points I just scored in Bedazzled or Bejeweled or Be-whatever.

5) I will not send you Love Hearts or virtual flower bouquets or Hugs and Kisses.

6) I will probably not invite you to join any groups or sign any petitions or ask any new friends into your circle. If you want to do any of those things, you're on your own.

Having said all that, I will help you cheer your teams on to victory (as long as they aren't competing against Jimmie in NASCAR). I will celebrate with you when your child excels and sympathize with you when he or she stumbles. I will congratulate you on anniversaries, weddings, engagements and birthdays. I will sometimes click on to the YouTube videos you post, especially the music ones.

I like it when you pop in to let me know what you're up to - how your work day is going, what's up with your family, where you went on vacation. I like seeing your pictures (unless they contain pick up truck beds full of coyote corpses - sorry, guys). I like neighborly news about mutual friends. I enjoy knowing how many mushrooms you found and how many fish you caught (although it makes me drool with envy). I enjoy the occasional heated political discussion.

I think Facebook is a positive development in communication because it helps you keep in touch with people you might lose track of - former co-workers who changed jobs, friends who've moved, new friends with shared interests, like my NASCAR pals. Facebook sometimes help you hook up with people you thought were long lost from your life. It keeps you current with what is going on with your favorite teams, politicians and issues.

Having said all that, Facebook is only the shallowest of ponds. You can dip your toes in it, that's all. If what you want in the way of friendship or knowledge or communication is deeper and stronger and truer, Facebook isn't that. It's like Headline News. You have to go beyond it for the rest of the story.


  1. Your blog captures FB life. Time to weed the friend list and be more selective on who is accepted as a friend. After all who wants to spend too much time looking for what and who you are really interested in following.

  2. Elizabeth - I think some of us get caught up in the "prestige" of having lots of FB friends. Makes us feel popular and secure. Sort of the opposite of - "what if you gave a party and nobody came?"

  3. Elizabeth (Eluvsracing)June 22, 2010 at 1:56 PM

    I'm not so much into the prestige of having lots of FB friends. For me it's more "not accepting" friend requests. Now I just "ignore" the request if it's some one I don't know who knows a race buddy. Sometimes I delete those who produce a lot of messages, games, etc. who I really don't communicate with. Most don't seem to get upset about this.

  4. Eluvs (I still mainly think of you as Eluvs!) - I'm not talking about us necessarily but some people seem to live to rack up those numbers.....like having 750 FB friends is the same as having 750 real friends. How can you possibly keep track of that many? I have deleted some too who only come through as players of the games and I have also ignored several. Most of my FB friends are either ex-coworkers that I liked a lot or now, NASCAR people.

  5. This could be one of the most authoritative words I ever studied in a long time, I'm talking about this component of your article "... you when he or she stumbles. I will congratulate you on anniversaries, weddings, engagements and ..." it gets me to look more intelligent after reading it.

  6. Really love all these stories.. have been reading them daily. Please add more if you have any… Thanks a lot again for this awesome work.