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.