The Easy Place

The Quest for Self Awareness One Moment at a Time

Friending Facebook

I love Facebook and its vast accumulation of in-the-moment thoughts and emotion.  As my friend Jenny puts it, Facebook is “the world’s conversation.”  News, gossip, events, from the significant to the trivial, flow full force like water from a fire hose.  However, as fun as all that activity is, it’s also easy to get lost in that flood of information.  Our little voice is one of thousands, and we can end up with hurt feelings if we don’t adjust our expectations. 

I’ve found Facebook to be a great place to practice the art of not overreacting.  One thing that pushes my buttons is being ignored, and on Facebook being ignored is an everyday occurrence. Our posts get lost in our friends’ rapidly moving news feeds, and, even worse, people we reach out to can literally ignore our requests to connect.  I must have sent three friend requests to one poor guy I knew in high school before I realized that every time he received one he was clicking his “Ignore” button.  Whoops. 

In order to enjoy Facebook we need to let go of expectations and accept our tiny place in the gigantic flow.  We’ve got to get comfortable with the fact that we’ll often be invisible, that our posts may not be acknowledged, that our voice will blend into the group’s.  We’ve got to learn to accept rejection with grace or at least neutrality, and not make up stories about why someone doesn’t answer us or why they don’t want us in their circle of friends. 

Because Facebook can truly be a delight.  With Facebook I know I can stay connected with my childhood friend Donna no matter how far away she is.  I can watch the blossoming of my second cousin’s three daughters even though I’ve never met them.  I can hear what Tim Gunn has to say about Project Runway, and I can see a picture of my daughter’s driveway, covered with snow, a minute after she snaps the photo.   

And I get the opportunity to make my own contribution, however small, to the world’s conversation.

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11 responses to “Friending Facebook

  1. Marcia March 16, 2010 at 5:56 pm

    And I sincerely thank you, Mindy, for your contribution, however small, as it always gives me something to think about. I’m so glad that we re-connected via FB!!

  2. Marissa March 17, 2010 at 2:56 pm

    Such a good perspective! :)

  3. Dawnika March 17, 2010 at 8:22 pm

    So true!

  4. De March 18, 2010 at 4:21 am

    As usual I enjoyed !

  5. Debbie C March 20, 2010 at 9:12 am

    Just back from vacay and able to reread your excellent piece, and respond. I think you’ve done a good job exploring in short form the FB phenomenon – and its potential to bring good (joy) and to perhaps make one a little anxious or sad. You remind us it is just a tool and has its own unique way of handling our human interactions.

    Once again you’ve given me perspective that I needed. I will redouble my efforts not to get PO’d about my stepmother’s FB communications!

    • Melinda March 20, 2010 at 10:06 am

      Thanks for your comment, Deb. It’s amazing how a seemingly innocent arena can be such a minefield. It seems to push everyone’s buttons in one way or another!

  6. Clyde Bradley April 7, 2010 at 7:24 pm

    Dear Mindy,
    I always feel better after reading your perspective on life’s predicaments,thank you for posting them.is it possible you have a bird in your attic? I had one in mine.It built a large nest up there.It filled up a large trash bag removing it.The bird was a kind of woodpecker( Flicker)They only come here in the winter.Are you giong to our 40 reunion ?(assuming we have one)
    Hugs from afar,
    Clyde

  7. Sharon April 11, 2010 at 1:09 pm

    Melinda,
    What a great perspective about FB! I’m still scratching my head as to why a few people I know well have not accepted my friend requests. But for the most part, I have enjoyed keeping in touch with so many friends and family members and reading about their musings, causes, perspectives and Farmville scores as and when I can.
    Sharon

    • Melinda April 11, 2010 at 1:32 pm

      Hi Sharon,
      Yeah, I don’t know anyone on FB who hasn’t had their feelings hurt a bit, it’s too easy to make up what’s going on at the other end!

      Nice to hear from you, thanks for the comment,

      Melinda

  8. Caroline November 16, 2011 at 12:58 pm

    “In order to enjoy Facebook we need to let go of expectations and accept our tiny place in the gigantic flow.” <– so true!!

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