Are your Facebook friends, your ‘friends,’ or your ‘audience?’

My blogger friend has decided after much thinking about it, to close her Facebook account down.
As you know, it was so many months ago that I did the same thing and as I said to my blogger friend, you won’t miss it. A healthy debate/conversation between us, has emerged on her blog post; “Once is Enough,” hence the conversation and title of this blog post, are the friends there, your ‘friends,’ or your ‘audience?’ it certainly got me thinking and I could see her point and I had my own views.

So are your Facebook friends your ‘audience,’ or are they your ‘friends?’

Now personally for me, when I set up my personal Facebook account, it was just for keeping in touch with friends that I could count on my own hands, but as it grew and because it depended on where, or how I met them, it meant I had to set up my Facebook account so there were different categories my friends were in.
My friends on there were a double-figure number and I was able to keep in touch with them all. I did not have 301+ friends. How the hell can you keep up with that? There is now way I could keep up with 40+ friends. It’s not personal if you have that many, whether your Facebook account is personal, or not. I chose quality over quantity, when it came to friends on my list.

Now the word ‘label’ was mentioned in the conversation and this is where in my opinion on where Facebook and real-life differ. I ‘label’ (as the word was used), where I have put my friends in these lists, so that what I share, is shared with the right people. It’s not just close friends now as it was originally, I now have people I know from volunteering who what I share with them, is not going to be the same as what I share with close friends.
My friends list on Facebook, until when I closed my account, were as follows: ‘close friends,’ ‘acquaintances’ and then a ‘restricted list.’ The ‘restricted’ one came in unfortunately, because I felt that they were an audience, to say they were supposed to be a friend. Chat was one way. So they only got access to public posts.

This is the same as in real life, I am not going to talk about something very personal with work colleagues, or people I say hello to when in a cafe, as I would my close friends. So as much as we don’t like to label, are you really telling me you are going to speak something very personally to a stranger, on the same topic as a close friend? Like for example, lets say to you, I am going on holiday tomorrow for 5 days. I tell you where I am going, where I live. That is a real advert to the right person, I am gonna rob that house!
Another example, I have started to talk about frugal stuff and money is coming into this topic. But the line I will draw, when talking about money to you here, is that I am not going to tell you every bit of what I receive in income, or spend. That is no one’s business, than my own.
I am not going to tell you how much I have in my savings account. Even my close friends do not know exactly, what is in my savings account. This is my business and only my business.

So as much as we don’t like to put people in categories, or ‘labels,’ you will find that there are people you are going to talk to and find that you are not going to have that same particular chat of topic with everyone. So essentially, you have different groups of people; ‘close friends’ and acquaintances for example, whether you don’t like to label/categorise, or not.

Today’s day and age is not the same as what it was in our grandparents era and before that, were you can leave your doors open and people could just walk in. Do it now and you are more likely to get burgled.

The same with chatting. You are not going to chat about the same thing to everyone. There are people who just love to bitch, back-stab and gossip unfortunately. There are going to be only certain topics of conversation you would only share with just family, or just friends, while daily chit-chat is with everyone else.

And right now, there is something going on in my life that not all close friends will know about. But it is finally happening, something I blogged about last year and I am having to use my coping strategies to get me through it. Whether I ‘choose’ to blog about it, I don’t know. But if I do, there won’t be much in it as details, as to respect the privacy of our family.

11 thoughts on “Are your Facebook friends, your ‘friends,’ or your ‘audience?’

  1. I think there’s a difference between labelling people to try to describe who they are and categorizing people in terms of the nature of your relationship with them. My decisions about what to share with people are definitely influenced by the type of relationship I have with them.

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  2. You honor me with your words, and friendship. I hope we get to meet in person one day. xx

    I haven’t written in depth about the actual internal social media battle I went through. Maybe that will come. I believe I’m not alone in this struggle. When I canceled my personal page, my business page went along with it. It contained over 10,000 followers, but it was time to let go. I tell people, “You’re not responsible for someone else’s happiness”, but that is what I was trying to do. Make 10K people happy, and I spent years of my life attending to that page.

    This may sound harsh but, you wanna be happy? Get off of social media. xxx

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  3. An interesting point about friends vs audience. I think a lot of people use social media as a stage from which to perform and show things to their audience, and there’s a lot about that (not to mention the bitchiness, the judgemental comments etc) that I don’t like. I still have a personal FB account but I tend to post once a month or two months just to show I’m alive (then feel negative that nobody would have even realised if I wasn’t, which is the vicious cycle social media can have on people). I’m just not that bothered by it, but I do use it to message a few people, maybe check out businesses online (like a cafe before I visit, or to email a brand to ask a question about a product), or to be nosy and look at photos people have posted. I also like seeing shared articles on blogger pages, which is where I can find some wonderful quotes or inspiration or news articles. I’ve gone way off track here! In terms of what’s shared, I don’t go that deep or personal either, and there are things I don’t share on my blog, either. I hope that you are able to share more of the things you need to with those closer to you, and whatever you feel comfortable with on here, because people will want to support you. Sending a hug your way, Liz, I hope you are okay… Caz xx

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    1. Thank you for your comment Caz and this is an interesting topic. Yes, Facebook is a vicious cycle when it comes to how it affects one self. I used to follow positive quote pages too. Just a couple and check out the odd cafe like you have done, before deciding whether to visit.

      What I share on my blog, I am comfortable with. But the latest where how I feel, my views etc… is something I can’t share here on my blog. I want to respect family privacy. But with close friends, away from here, yes, I am able to share this with them.

      My moods are varying, but from what I have learnt in the past, I use to help. I have had a good shift this morning, which I may not have smiled much to start, but afterwards, I have. I’m sure smiles will continue today, when I meet a friend later and also another friend tomorrow.
      But I do know I have the support here too, with what I share. xx

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  4. I used to post a lot on fb, not so much now though, so many people on there I only knew them online, so didnt feel comfortable disclosing things on there, now I mostly talk about my weight loss, or dog, things like that, I also share links and photos. xo

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    1. Facebook can be handy for some, but for me having had two attempts with it and being on it a few years at a time, for different reasons, it does not work for me. The latest reasons for this time as I blogged about, being too negative and I was hardly on it then.
      I rather be outside observing the world then spend any my time on Facebook. Xx

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