Facebook vs. Real Life: Yes, There is a Difference
I remember when my college gained access to Facebook during October of my freshman year. The new social networking site was the ultimate cool. Consisting of one’s basic interests, a single photograph, and the names of other universities where “friends” hailed from, it had just enough information to make it enjoyable while still remaining safe.
This all ended when Mark Zuckerberg sold his masterpiece and an .edu email address was no longer required to gain access to the site. Enter creepers. Before I knew it, Facebook became entirely too complicated and invasive. Advertisements, applications, fake profiles. Whoa! What happened? Put on the brakes!
Now, Facebook is backpedaling. Allowing all this access has forced the minds behind Facebook to include confusing privacy controls which are difficult to navigate. Although I am still on the site and suckered into it just as much as the next person, I have realized a number of issues associated with “the book of Face”, and it ain’t just spammers honey!
1 ) Too Much Access For Them:
Every Tom, Dick, and Harry has access to your information in one way or another. Nothing is a mystery anymore. If you are on Facebook, which chances are, you are, be aware that your dirty laundry is hanging on the line for strangers, future boyfriends, employers, and your grandmother to see. You might want to take this into consideration. Be prepared.
2 ) Too Much Access For You:
Stop creeping on people. You know you do it, I do it too, but we aren’t stalkers in training, and it’s just getting weird.
3 ) You Don’t Know Me:
Members of Facebook are basically swimming in a fishbowl. People are going to judge you, and you likely, are judging other people. Truth is, there are a lot of people that are your “friends” on Facebook that you have not exchanged more than ten words with in real life. Knowing someone’s profile does not translate into knowing them as a person—sorry.
4 ) Friends vs. Frienemies:
This concept of “friend” is also ironic when taking into account the “friends” you have on Facebook that you have issues with in real life. What is your reason for being “friends” with these individuals? Are you competing with them over a guy, a job, or something else? Whatever it is, get over it. Being in each others’ personal business will only lead to more beef. If you have conflict in the real world, you should probably handle it in the real world. Hiding behind your computer screen and being passive aggressive to one another via status updates and on the walls of mutual “friends” is both cowardly and immature.
5 ) Cries For Attention:
It does not even need to be explained. You know who you are, please stop.
6 ) It’s a Small World After All:
Speaking of mutual friends—sometimes there are connections in your life that you might not really want others to be privy too. “How do you know John Doe? I saw he is a mutual friend!” “Oh, yeah, my friend hooked up with him this one time we went to XYZ and he friended me.” “Wait when? He is my best friend’s boyfriend!” Crickets chirping. Awkward!
7 ) Relationship Status:
This is a big one. If the aforementioned John Doe has a girlfriend, than why was their relationship not posted on Facebook? I mean, it’s not official unless it’s Facebook official, right? Wrong. People have plenty of reasons for not wanting their relationship on Facebook. Sure, there are some shady individuals who want to appear single, but others might just want to keep it sacred and protected. Not wanting your relationship to become a target for public scrutiny is actually not that weird, and even if you are being shady, that’s your prerogative, and your business.
8 ) What You See Is Not What You Get:
There is a big difference between the way people want to be viewed, and who they actually are, so “What you see is what you get!” doesn’t necessarily apply to Facebook. Not everyone is genuine. Not everyone is going to portray themselves in a true light, and naturally, there is a divide between who we are and who we want to be.
9 ) You Looked Better on Facebook:
#8 is also applicable to the pictures people post. People love putting up pictures of themselves from years ago when they were in their prime and/or utilizing Photoshop. FYI, this is the sad truth. Can you blame them? I know, I know—what an effing disappointment! You are guilty too though, and you know it.
10 ) Making Real Connections:
When all of your friends live inside of your computer, you need to get out more. You’re missing out on live interactions in which you can use all five of your senses. You can hear people’s voices, see their facial expressions, share laughs with them that transcend “LOL”, and connect in ways that don’t require a USB cable.
The point is, there is a world that exists beyond Facebook. Somehow, Facebook went from being a fun, interactive tool, to some demented reflection of what people consider real. I am not telling you to deactivate your account, I am simply encouraging you to put less thought into it, or maybe make use of another, less invasive social network—say, Twitter?