Wednesday, February 1, 2012

In the minority

Today, a friend of mine tweeted a link to an article: "How to see when someone unfriends you on Facebook". And I thought, Really? Why would anyone want to know?

I mean, in the first place, if someone unfriends you and you didn't notice, or you can't tell which of your so-called "friends" it was, then obviously they weren't very important to you in the first place. And secondly, knowing who has unfriended you often only leads to drama... which is what I told my friend. Who hasn't said anything to me since, but as we're not Facebook friends, I don't need to worry about getting unfriended.

I know people who unfriend others at the drop of a hat, for nothing more than having a different opinion or saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. It's the Web 2.0 way of "I don't friend you anymore!" and stalking off. Seriously? Are we still in kindergarten?

This social media thing... meh, I'm not a fan of it. Yes, I was an early adopter of Twitter (April 2007) and Facebook (May 2007)... well, not so early if you consider that Twitter launched in March 2006 and Facebook opened its doors to the public in September of the same year. But still, early enough that they weren't so "in" or "popular" at the time.

But I digress. What I meant to say is, despite being an early adopter, I never liked Twitter -- in fact I found it confusing. As for Facebook, well, I posted some pictures there but mostly used it to play Scrabble using the Scrabulous app (now known as "Lexulous" after the developers got sued by Scrabble).

So the joke now is that I have 97 people following me on Twitter (most of whom don't even tweet anymore) and 895 "friends" on Facebook. I've been active on Twitter in bursts lasting months at a time; the latest burst started in mid-January. Meanwhile, I've been adding people on Facebook but hardly ever posted any updates until recently.

The truth is I know social media is the current Big Thing, but I don't think it enhances my life in any useful way. I use Twitter to get tech news and interesting stories or writing tips, and yes in some ways these are good but then sometimes I also feel inundated with information and I question myself: if I weren't aware of any of these things, if I didn't have any of this extra knowledge, would I be worse off? Probably not. The amount of stuff I read or want to read is overwhelming, so much so that I hardly absorb 50% of it. Most of my retweets consist of things I want to remember.

Facebook, though, is harder to dismiss. It's a sad fact that if I don't read people's status updates, I don't know what's going on and get left out of my friends' lives. No, not all 895 of them are friends friends, if you know what I mean! Some are my students (current or former), others are acquaintances or colleagues I met through my previous jobs, and yet others are people I got to know through mutual acquaintances or blogging. But many of them are people I feel I ought to keep up with for one reason or another. At the same time, it disturbs me more that a lot of so-called communication with so-called "friends" is only via FB status updates now. I treasure friends like Alan who haul me out of my cave every once in awhile for dinner and a two-hour chat :)
If you still want to know who unfriended you on Facebook, I give up; here's the link. That's all you wanted anyway, right? *sticks tongue out*

1 comment:

BP said...

Oh, ha ha. Didn't see that last bit. Everything else above that was more interesting.

Thanks for the mention!