Social networking, Facebook in particular, frustrates me. I love Facebook, I really do, but it has definitely made my life more complex. The social politics of navigating that place drive me up the wall! Don’t say that you ignore them, they don’t exist, or they aren’t important…that is part of what makes Facebook so complicated. (I’m sure I’m overthinking this!!)
What I didn’t understand, partially because I was in that second generation of Facebookers when they started letting high schoolers in, was that there are different rules each age group has to follow. I committed my share of faux pas by posting song lyrics and vaguebooking, but I also made the mistake of posting religious and political articles. There wasn’t anything wrong with the articles, but it turned my page into a discussion board. That’s when I discovered Facebook is NOT a forum, as much as people would like it to be.
I like to use it as a networking tool, which is why I rarely trim my friends list down. You never know when you’ll need to get ahold of someone, and it’s better than letting it clog up your address book. But I’ve also found it’s prolonged relationships with people, when they should have died a natural death. I wonder if that’s why I have a little trouble moving forward in life. When you’re stuck in a stage, you get stuck in a cycle, and it’s hard to progress developmentally.
Periodically, I’ll delete my Facebook because of school or just general annoyance with the tool, but I always end up reactivating it. I don’t understand it yet, but some part of me knows it’s important. If everyone else is using it, and I’m left out, then I’m missing out on something big. I might even go so far as to say that for my generation, not having a Facebook is close to not having a cell phone. It’s impractical. Plus, it’s still evolving, and people are still learning how to use it. Maybe it isn’t meant to be a static tool.