Monday, September 9, 2013

A Little Fall Cleaning!

I frequently wish I weren't so thin-skinned and easily offended.  Alas, it's how God made me and instead of hating it, I probably should embrace it.  After all, those same emotions that create hurt feelings, are the ones that make me empathetic and compassionate.

Once again, this is a post about Facebook.  I know I know, if it bothers me so much, why don't I give it up?  Because as much as I hate it, I also love it.  I love all the fun updates, birthday reminders, and news I receive.  However I don't love the attitudes of the pseudo-friends.  Let me get right down to it.  If you can't be bothered to click 'like' or comment on my posts once in a while, why are we friends?  Not acknowledging my Facebook status is the same to me as walking past me without saying, 'Hello', and it's just positively rude.  My mom taught me valuable lessons on reciprocity, and I have to admit, they stuck.  She assured me that to have friends, you have to practice the art of reciprocity.  If your friend always invites you over, brings you things, or makes time for you, you must in turn, do the same.  It's a pretty elementary lesson, but apparently some people think it only applies to face-to-face contact and not the virtual world of Facebook.  And some people don't even think it applies to face-to-face contact, but that's another post for another day.

I have to include the disclaimer that I'm not referring to people who seldom log into Facebook (like my sister-in-law), or people who largely lurk (mom!).  I'm talking about the people who have all the time in the world to REGULARLY post about their lives, comment to other friends, and 'like' statuses.  It's seems very one-sided that I make the time and effort to comment on, or like their status updates, yet they can't reciprocate.  Why does this bother me so much?  Because they're not reciprocating.  I found the following quote to be more than adequate to describe my current mind-set:

"Grownups know that little things matter … and that relationships are based on respect and reciprocity." —Margaret Carlson, Time, 4 June 2001

Cleaning out my Facebook friend list is akin to cleaning out a closet.  You get rid of things.  You downsize, clean up, make room.  While some people feel it's a source of pride to have as many friends as possible on Facebook, I find it overwhelming.  So I've learned to simplify.  I've learned to only keep what I truly need, deeply love, and thoroughly appreciate.  And while it may seem terribly insensitive that I'm talking about PEOPLE this way, we all know that people come into and leave our lives regularly.  We're not all still best friends with our third grade classmates.  We grow and change and sometimes in virtual life, just as in real life, we have to reassess, and clean up when life gets too cluttered.


Robyn said...

Since I have long had a 100 person max on my Friends list, you know I agree with this post wholeheartedly. The last time I cleaned up my list, a friend asked why the limit. I basically said that I believe in developing and culturing relationships, they are an investment to me. I truly have a hard time being a good friend when I am trying to do that with TONS of people!

Lisa Dawn said...

I don't mind having a lot of fb friends and I never post I can't speak to reciprocity but I do get rid of some people! Those who every time I see their posts I'm jealous or annoyed or they're crass. Ain't nobody got time for that!

Clare said...

I have recently realized that I personally need to invest more time in commenting, etc. because I was so disappointed that only about 1/4 of my "friends" could be bothered to like my page. I figure the only person I can change is me, so I'm hoping that by by maybe exerting a little more myself, I might find 1 or 2 that believe in adult reciprocity!;)

Anonymous said...

Hi Rachel! I'm not a Facebook friend but I am a subscriber. Thank you for your transparency and for putting into words what so many others feel. One problem is the way Facebook controls everyone's newsfeed. It's possible that your friends don't always see your status. But it is good to cleanse your list from time to time. Love your blog! Blessings-- Janet Mitchell