Facebook, finally

I am new to Facebook. I have managed to resist starting an account for so very, very long, because I know well my easily distracted mind, and I’ve seen too many people spend entire afternoons doing nothing.
But through a series of random events, I now have a facebook account. I enjoy going about telling people so, and seeing their shocked faces. :D I also like to think I do a fairly good job at limiting my facebook time, though there are so many other things to do on the terribly distracting Internet that it hardly matters.

I’ve noticed a curious phenomenon. Everytime I post, or consider posting, I mentally run through the list of audience, and I wonder, do I really want them to see this? For example, I come across a link to an essay on Hong Kong comics and culture. I like Hong Kong comics, even if they are traditionally frowned upon. And I know my sister likes them. And half my friends wouldn’t be able to read it anyway. But one particular highschool friend, my best friend at the time, in fact, would probably be disgusted. Not so much at the essay, but at how I have stooped to such levels. I would rather not disgust her, so I refrain from posting.

Now, it is normal for people to adjust their words and actions according to what audience they are around. But what about facebook? You have a constant plethora of audience who never go away. I suppose you could block certain users from seeing a post, but that’s awfully troublesome and I would feel dishonest doing so. Or I could refrain from posting, in which case I ask myself, am I limiting myself to pander to friends? Something in me balks at that also.

Does anyone else have this problem? Or is it just me? And if you do share my troubles, how do you deal with it?

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5 thoughts on “Facebook, finally

  1. I usually am very careful with what I post, which means that I don’t post very much. I have blocked people from seeing posts before–very rarely, but without guilt. Keeping someone else from being offended, or from causing a problem for me, is different than blocking someone from posts that are about them–which would cause me to feel guilt, and rightly so. More often I block myself from seeing other people’s posts. The things I post that other people won’t like are usually either LotR/Narnia comics, which I don’t think most people pay a lot of attention to anyway, or quotes, which I don’t think most of them read anyway. Mostly I focus my posts and messaging on my closer friends (who will either agree or not be offended) and feel comfortably ignored by all the others. It’s worked so far. :p

  2. Yes! But this is possibly my favorite thing about facebook; it makes me face the ways I (usually unconsciously) change myself for other people. And then I have to look and see if I change because I’m ashamed. And if I am, should I be?

    So the peculiarities of facebook have helped me to see and stop doing some things or acting certain ways, universally…and to stop being ashamed and be more open about many things that I should never have been ashamed of to begin with.

    It’s helped me to be more myself with everyone, and less just a reflection of what I think they want me to be. I love it.

    (There’s the other concern people have…about bugging friends with things they don’t want to see, but I think that’s a non-issue because it’s so easy to just block people’s posts, or not read them if they don’t interest you.)

    ~ Dernhelm

  3. Hmmm… lack of internet for a while has hindered my continued exploration of facebook. I think I may be one of those who rarely posts… unless I have something spectacular to say. But I like Derny’s point, that facebook helps us reflect… I wonder why that is never brought up in discussions of the pros and cons of facebook.
    thanks for the replies. :)

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