This blog could very well turn into a site about Facebook, if I let it. There are so many Facebook friendship quandaries to be discussed. It’s still uncharted territory. Our mothers and grandmothers didn’t navigate the murky “friending” and “unfriending” waters and acquire wisdom to pass through the ages. They were too busy… well, actually I don’t know what they were doing. Not wasting their time in front of a computer, that’s for sure. The point is, we’re all just figuring it out ourselves.
The other day, a reader mentioned one such issue that I’m sure we’ve all experienced. Her question: “What do you do with someone who makes no effort to stay in touch with you in real life but is always commenting or liking on Facebook?”
I met someone recently who falls under this category. We met, hit it off (or so I thought), and became Facebook friends. She commented on my links every now and then, liked my statuses, was generally friendly on the good old ‘book. She even made non-committal references to getting together. I, being someone who has learned about the importance of follow-up in the friendship realm, would counter with an offer of meeting up at a specific time or place. She would never write back. Needless to say the friendship didn’t so much blossom.
The truth? The answer to this reader’s question? I do nothing. If a Facebook friend shows no interest in keeping in touch in real life, but is amused at my status updates and wants to click on my links? I’m ok with that. I don’t put anything extremely personal on my profile page. I don’t post anything I wouldn’t be comfortable sharing with a coworker or long-lost acquaintance. ‘Cause I’m Facebook friends with coworkers and long-lost acquaintances.
I’ve always said that people who can be your Facebook friends can be your real-life friends. It’s true. But just because they can be doesn’t mean they are.
But if I know anything, it’s that everyone has strong practices when it comes to Facebook. I treat the social networking site as my online profile, the face I show the world. I consider it public domain. But I’m different than many people. I have a blog. I wrote a memoir. Obviously I’m willing—and eager—to share my life with people.
Plenty of Facebook users limit their friends more strictly. They only accept friends that they’re in close touch with. They cull their contacts annually to make sure no strays got in and defriend anyone they haven’t spoke to in the last twelve months. They wouldn’t want someone who isn’t interested in keeping in touch, in being actual friends, having access to their profile.
So there’s no real protocol when it comes to keeping or tossing “friends” who only care about you in the virtual world. I accept these people for what they are. Let them have their fun flipping through my photos if they want. No harm done.
But that’s not right for everyone, so what do you say? Do you maintain Facebook friendships with those who don’t try to keep in touch in real life? Or do accept only true friends on Facebook?
Speaking of Facebook, it would be so cool and I would so appreciate it if you’d “like” the MWF Seeking BFF page. It’s almost at 500! Plus, it’ll provide great access to book news. Same goes for following me on Twitter. Trying to reach the 400 mark. Hooray for social networking. Or something.