I signed up with facebook… many years ago. When it first came out. Most members of my family live really, really far away and it was  a good way to keep in touch without much effort.

But then everyone joined facebook. It got so that I felt obliged to accept friend requests from people I hardly knew, and then I was bombarded by information I didn’t care about.

About three years ago, I signed off. Phew, what a relief. But then somebody in one of my classes suggested we start an online group, and it is a good idea–there are some crazy assignments and lots of times I wish I could just throw a group question out there.

So I tried to sign in this morning. I no longer even have the email account I signed up with, so I can’t request a new password, but after about twenty attempts I finally hit on the right one.


I have friend requests piled up from half of the living breathing universe. Suddenly I was again stressed about what they must think of me, that I never accepted their requests. And needing to sign on and keep up with everyone and and and….

I clicked the x in the corner in a panic before it could suck me into its death spiral.

I’m pondering now: do I have what it takes to be a facebooker? Can I ruthlessly delete all the people I don’t really care profoundly about and just use it for the essential things I originally signed up for? It got to be the same way with my blogroll, for a while: I felt guilty that I wasn’t commenting on every post every person made. When Vox went belly up, I almost quit blogging all together.

And then I decided that I blog for me, primarily. This is my mental maytag, my journal that I cannot misplace. Of course I love it when somebody else enjoys it, and comments. I like reading other people’s blogs, too. But a lot of times that’s on my ‘Pod, and I can’t easily comment. This is the season of my life, right now. It’s a bit nuts. Most people understand that, I guess.


To facebook or not to facebook, that is the question… On my own terms.

15 responses to “Facebook

  • Mandy K Court

    The greatest “new” thing about facebook is that you can “hide” anything and anybody that you don’t want to see every time you log in. you can limit it to postings of just the people you really care what’s going on in their life.

  • Emmi

    That’s really funny, because it’s the exact same kind of angst I’ve had. Vox was worse on this front – but there’s something guilt-spewing about taking someone off, “The List”.

    (I don’t know if you’ve seen the tv show Frasier, but whenever I think of this, I think of the time the two brothers obsessed over getting on The List).

    I recently read an advice column and the author pointed out that taking someone off the friends list simply means the networking site is not the optimal way to communicate with that particular person.

    I have removed many people from my blogroll but they’re still on the Subscription list; I use the blogroll mostly for people whose posts do not show up in the subscription list, due to a glitch. Thanks, WordPress.

    • kimberlybbert

      I’ve never seen it, but I think I’m going to have to rent a few seasons, because I keep hearing all these cultural references to it, and I’m always clueless. That and Sienfeld. We didn’t have tv in that era.

  • psphoenix

    I got sucked into the facebook. I ended up knowing everything about my neighbors and not really knowing them. And I was up to date on all the marriages and lives of our friends in many different states, towns, and phases of life. Yes- I really enjoyed it for a while. But when my 20th class reunion came up- I had no interest in accepting friend requests from aquaintances from my second grade class. We knew each other then- and weren’t the best of friends- so why should I share my personal info with them…I would vacation where they lived and didn’t visit them- they would visit where I live and wouldn’t visit me- and I really don’t think we cared. And that’s the point- the friendships felt like an obligation, not true friendship.
    I made a drastic descision about a month ago. I said goodbye to all my friends- posted my phone number and said if they wanted to go do something to give me a call. I left it like that for a while, then I deleted all my friends and kept family only. I am very happy with my descision. No more cliff notes for my neighbors to get to know me. They just have to get to know me in person. Family is an obligation that I feel happy to keep up with, on facebook. So when we do see each other- every blue moon- we can be friends.

  • kimkiminy

    I say ruthlessly delete all the friends you don’t know well. As Mandy said, you can also “hide” them from your home page. I’d suggest even starting a whole new account if you just want to use it for a school forum. Forget about the old one.

  • Jodie

    Your not a bad person to ‘clean’ out those old friends and then you can go invisible! No one can find you unless you tell them your personal e-mail!! This is what I do….just a thought!

  • ladywise

    I started out with just family and then the same thing happened. All these people I didn’t want to hear from started finding me and it was all stuff I didn’t care about. You have different relationships with different people and in my family there are ex’s and all that so I just stopped going on mine. That’s why and when I started blogging. I talk to my family on the phone so I don’t need to read all that stuff. I would shut it down other than your family or whatever YOU want to do. Don’t worry about all of those other people.

  • allycatadventures

    Sounds as if your people-pleasing and self-imposed obligation are getting in the way of the positives of blogging and Facebook.

    (Re: “Can I ruthlessly delete all the people I don’t really care profoundly about and just use it for the essential things I originally signed up for?” — What is ruthless about simply deciding not to engage with every Tom, Dick, Jane and Susie who crosses your path?)

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