Over the last few days I’ve been coming across a strange phenomenon. Friends. Particularly, Facebook friends. I recently got asked to go to a person’s birthday party. He’s about the same age as me and we know each other from seven years ago when we worked together. That was it. We worked together for maybe a year or so and then I went to a different job and that was it. We were Facebook friends during that time. Years later I got a new job and became Facebook friends with people from that job. I found out a girl I worked with was married to that guy I used to work with years ago. (Small world I know) Anyhow the point being that you accumulate friends from your travels in real life. So fast forward to present day and I get asked to that guy’s birthday by his wife. I tell her I’d have to check my schedule. Day of the event I said I can’t make it I gotta work and I have my kid and I just won’t work for me. So then they go on a rant on Facebook about why does she have Facebook and why does she even try and blah blah blah. Well then a few days later someone I haven’t talked to in YEARS sends me a message about how she got to have dinner with an old friend of hers that I met once or twice WAAAY back when. I’m happy for her and yadda yadda and I sarcastically (which doesn’t do to well via text) say to her “Well thanks for letting me know you hung out with someone I barely remember.” Apparently this was rude and whatever she stopped talking to me. And then on that very same day I get asked by some guy I haven’t talked to since… middle school …asked if I can get him a discount at the job I work.
I think Facebook and social media in general is amazing. It’s shaping the way of our society, our culture and our civilization in a way never seen in the history of mankind. We connect with people in ways never dream of. We have instantaneous access to someone across the globe and at the same time someone in the other room with just a click of a button.
We gain friends and lose friends through life. You just lose touch. You go onto other things and explore no places, people and things. It’s not that you wanted to stop talking to them, it just somehow happens. Same goes for family. When you’re younger your best friends were your cousins. You’re aunts and uncles from different states or even the other side of town. But as time goes, families grow. And you don’t see those people as much. And sometimes you don’t see them again until something tragic like a death or wonderful like a marriage. But the point being is when you run into these people later in life it’s usually just a blip on the radar of life. You catch up a little, reminisce old times and then carry on your way. No big whoop. You remember them for as exactly as they were years ago.
In todays world you can choose to stay in touch with all those people though. You Facebook friend people and then that’s it. Their friends with you until you decide not to.
Take my story from before about being invited to a party. If I wasn’t Facebook friends with them they would have never asked me. I don’t live near these people, I don’t interact with them anymore, they would have not invited me. There are many instances of this happening because I believe people have the wrong idea of what it means to be a Facebook friend. When you’re a Facebook friend your total amount of interaction is based online. Unless you have a social instance where you have to interact with this person outside of the internet, you are not friends. You are that guy I used to work with or that girl I used to hang out with. You are an acquaintance. You are not friends, you are Facebook Friends. There is a difference.