Is there anyone between the ages of 12 and 90 with access to a computer (or smart phone) who does not have a Facebook account? Well, yes, I know of 2, my husband and one son. But other than that I think just about everyone has an account and posts at least somewhat regularly, or so it would seem.
I do have a Facebook account but for the most part it sits idle. On occasion a friend will tag me or post something to my wall. But I haven’t updated my status except to let all my “friends” know that I’ve posted something new to this blog. So that means maybe several times a month, (depending on the month) my status is updated.
I have a grand total of 241 Facebook friends! I just checked and didn’t realize I even had that many! When I get a friend request from a friend or family member (as opposed to a distant acquaintance, or even a stranger) I usually respond, but I always feel like I should do so with a disclaimer …
“If you’re really interested in what’s going on in my life, OR if you are hoping I will stay in the loop regarding what’s going on in your life you will probably be disappointed because my presence on Facebook is few and far between!”
My son-in-law Brian is another story altogether. At last count he had 1584 “friends.” It’s not unusual for me to hear people say they have friended him simply for the entertainment value he provides. He has a great sense of humor; always joking and making funny comments. Because he knows I’m not a regular Facebooker he will call or text me every so often to tell me to check his status when he thinks I might especially appreciate what he had to say. And when I do check his page I am rewarded with a good laugh.
But notice, he has to call or text me to let me know or I’d never see it!
I cannot count all the times I’ve had conversations with people who refer to something that they assume I know all about. After all, it was on Facebook!
“Didn’t you see where so and so did such and such?”
“No. I haven’t been on Facebook in 2 weeks or more.”
This whole aspect of “officially” being on Facebook (I do have an account, after all), but in reality not really being there, hit home recently. I had just become “friends” with a granddaughter and looking over her wall briefly I saw that she had won some awards at the end of the school year. It was quite an accomplishment! There were a number of likes and comments from her many friends and family. It had been several weeks since she had posted the news, but I was just finding out about it. So many knew about it way before I did!
Facebook can certainly be a great tool for keeping in touch. My uncle who lives almost 700 miles away has told me on several occasions how much he appreciates being able to keep up with what’s happening with my children and grandchildren through Facebook.
Facebook has undoubtedly become the primary tool of communication for the 21st century. It has replaced email and the phone, not to mention the post office as the means for conveying personal information. Are you old enough to remember back in the day when we wrote letters, placed them in envelopes, licked postage stamps and affixed them to the upper right hand corner, and then placed the letter in a mailbox? Did you ever have a pen pal? That was a long time ago! Things certainly have changed.
For several days I thought about this. I talked to Brian with the 1584 friends, with one of my daughters-in-law who has an even smaller Facebook presence than I do (total of 12 friends), and with a friend who visits Facebook daily.
I get the feeling I am being left behind, missing out, but I admit I am doing so by choice! It’s not just because I’m “old” either. I have personal friends and family members older than myself who frequent Facebook daily and couldn’t imagine a day without it.
Prior to Facebook’s emergence would we even have bothered to announce …
that I am now wearing a different brand of lipstick or
I had a chicken sandwich for lunch or
the kids had a blast at the park this afternoon or
my opinion on the latest political flap???
But Facebook has made this possible. We can communicate the slightest, most insignificant, as well as the most important, life changing news far and wide in an instant.
I do confess to feeling some pressure. I don’t want to need to visit Facebook in order to be informed, especially when I have to scroll through so many bits and pieces to get to the really significant…to me, at least.
Does anyone else struggle with this? If you, like me, have chosen to keep a lower profile do you ever feel you might be missing something important?
I would be very interested in your thoughts!
And if you can relate to any of this, be sure to “like” my status when I post this blog link on Facebook!