I often say "nothing good ever came from Facebook" and I believe that statement is mostly true. When thinking about the pros and cons of Facebook I'm often reminded it seems more of a con, if you bought shares in Facebook you no doubt already understand.
While social media is a great way of keeping in touch with your friends, family, pseudo celebrities (how the heck did that Kardashian woman ever pick up that many followers) and help keep you on the pulse of what is going on in the world if you think about it these sites give you a false sense of social contact.
I pick on Facebook because it's the one most widely used by my friends, family and pseudo celebrities I follow. Does it make you any closer or more intimate with your friends or family? I'm not sure but my gut says no. Posting a status update isn't like sitting down and having a conversation. First, you can't hear the tone of what is being said. Second you can't see their faces so like tone you don't really have a clue what is going on in their lives. Third, lots of people still have no clue how to use Facebook. You can primarily tell this one of two ways; the first way is public posting, the second is continuing a conversation you may have been having on a post by starting a new post which really makes them look a bit crazy.
In public posting the whole world knows that Rico thinks that pseudo celebrity is a jerk. So do the other 800 million users of Facebook. You can tell Rico posted to the world by looking for that little tiny globe looking thing to the right of his post (the globe looks like the world in case you've not mastered the whole geography thing yet). I guess that makes Rico pretty social since he just broadcast around the globe who is a jerk in his humble (or not so) opinion. Rico needs to read instructions on how to protect his privacy. Rico is a bad, bad friend since he also told everyone you gained 25 pounds as his status update and now Rico is going to walk with a permanent limp.
In continuing a conversation (one possibly 30 posts long) by going to the top of your page and "saying something" is the type of thing that helps weed out your friends list or at least move them over to acquaintance setting. If you do not know how to change someone to acquaintance setting you really should go and read all the information Facebook gives on how to use their site it makes it much more pleasurable for the rest of us.
Check your friends list. Go ahead, I can wait. OK you're back. Now look at that friends list and honestly (to yourself you don't have to say it out loud) ask yourself "if you never hear from this person again will your life be less full" you can also ask yourself "has this person posted anything over the last 30 days". If you can answer no to those questions does that make this particular friend someone you are close to in any way? If you collect friends to make it look like you're popular (this is after all a microcosm of high school) this will be way over your head and you should just go back to checking in every five minutes. I have a "friend" who checked in 11 different places in one day and no that friend wasn't visiting an exotic location so we could all follow along - this friend checked in twice at home, twice at work (morning and after lunch), the gym, lunch, dinner, grocery store, traffic light (I am not kidding), movies, and pharmacy while getting meds (probably for OCD). Needless to say that friend does nothing to enlighten my life in any way, is not someone who I can't live without and they are on the "thank you for coming" portion of my friends list on the off chance they win the lottery and might want to take me out for dinner (we'll check in so everyone will know).
Ever have friends who post cryptic updates? Oh come on you know what I'm taking about. They are often just a couple of words long.....so sad, heartbroken, sigh, FML, today sucks, what to do, such a bad day, and so on. My gut instinct tells me 98% of the time this is someone looking for attention. Oh wait - on Facebook we essentially are all looking for attention in some way that's what makes it social by screaming "look at me". I meant to say looking for sympathy. Their life sucks, everything is horrible, they have no hope, but the do have Facebook! So right there things don't look too bad to they? Oh and please remember Facebook is not all about you it's all about me!
How about those people who take everything you say, and I mean everything, out of context? It really sucks the life out of a conversation when you have to keep assuring your friend "Frank" that no you didn't mean he looked like an idiot in a Speedo but that in GENERAL people look like idiots Speedo's (since if Frank knew you as well as he professes to know you he'd know you'd seriously tell him how stupid he looked in a Speedo...duh). Or when you post a sarcastic comment about politics or religion or the price of groceries your friend "Nancy" always tells you that your comments are not correct since her religion is the only true one, her politics are the only sane one and her grocery store is best one. Does she not understand you're being SARCASTIC which translates to being ironic, snappish, or snide? Though I suppose if she could see my face.....oh never mind.
So today if you have nothing to do and you don't have the urge to be social in the basic sense go to Facebook and change your marital status just for shits and giggles and then post "so sad" for your status update See if anyone on your friends list notices. Give them 24 hours and if they don't rethink having them as a friend.
Must go Tweet!