To “Friend” or Not to “Friend”……Facebook and Me

I was never as excited over Facebook as I have been with other social media.  In fact, my favorite social media to date is Twitter.  I think it is because I love sharing information to a variety of people as well as connecting with so many people across the country and the world.  Facebook always felt a little limited to me….

Recently, I have been reading a lot of blogs and online articles about Facebook, especially from folks like me who started re-thinking the meaning of who a “friend” really is.

Like many folks, when I finally got into Facebook, I started adding everybody….prestigious art folks, friends from high school and college, friends of friends, and people who’s avatar looked cool!  I started looking at other friends numbers and was like, “wow, I only have 200 friends and so and so has 1000, I need to catch up.”   Facebook brought me and a lot of people back to middle school….we want to feel popular and “well connected.”

I admit, although I have been told that I have this “bubbly” personality, I am not that all the time.  And, Facebook has allowed me to voice how I feel about a situation.  However, because I have so many colleagues and friends from all of my many “lives”….I started to become more self-conscious about how I may be showing up online to some people.  I also became a little more uncomfortable that some people, who are generally nice and supportive, were looking into my status comments from a perspective that I wasn’t sure was in my best interest.

And then, there was the 50 or so folks, that, for the life of me, I had trouble remembering why I had friended them in the first place.  Did I meet them at an art opening?  Are they simply friends of friends?  Do I even converse with them on a regular basis?  Have I even personally met these people?  Not long ago at an event, I introduced myself to an individual and the person said “your face looks so familiar.”  They didn’t realize that they had “friended” me on Facebook about a year ago and was just meeting me in person for the first time!

Soooo, recently, I had to do some “house cleaning” of Facebook to establish more of a boundary of what people need to know and keep up with versus the daily private stuff that we all go through.

I think this movement of becoming more focused on keeping private life private is going to be a theme as we continue to make ourselves “available” to the public via social media.  

If you are reading this and found that I am no longer “friending” you, please know that it is not a personal reflection on you as a friend, colleague, business partner, etc….it’s more of a decision to ensure that I maintain a few boundaries on some of my more professional relationships and help folks focus on what’s important about who I am.

But no fear, there are so many other cool places to connect with me….!

I look forward to continuing the connection….on and off Facebook!