Dear Facebook,

from markstivers.com

from markstivers.com

Dear Facebook,

I seriously have an ongoing love/hate relationship with you.

Today, I hate you because you have killed something I once held dear to my heart – the word “friend”. Something that was once so special to me, and now, because of you, holds close to no meaning, and that absolutely sucks.

I once used to use “friends” as a way to describe the “family” you choose.  Now, I find myself having to clarify my facebook relationships with certain people in real life because we are “friends” on facebook.  It sounds ridiculous, I know, but it is confusing for some people.  In a way, people who I have met once or twice now have access to all kinds of privileged information that once upon a time was only privy to actual friends. These so-called “friends” now can see where I’ve been, who else I’m friends with, and what’s on my mind!

I already know I have a few options of my own without you changing a thing, but here’s what I think of them.

1. get off facebook, no one’s holding a gun to your head to force you into these levels of exposure.

Society holds a gun to my head.  I’m too social (and too nosy) to limit myself from this amount of information (gossip).  It is absolutely the best way to keep in touch with people without having to actually talk to them.  There is a ton of gossip at your fingertips.  I promote my blog and anything else I endorse on this lovely site.  Again, not mad at the site, mad at the label “friends” that is now used far too loosely due to the popularity of your site.

2. you don’t have to accept people who aren’t really your friends, it’s up to you to determine who can consider you a friend.

I tried my damnedest not to add people I truly have never met (which is why comparitively speaking my 700 friends are nothing in comparison to some).  But in retrospect, having met someone once, now is no longer a good filter, I’ve met A LOT of people in my day.  But who has time to go back sift through all those people and de-friend people?  Not me.

3. adjust your privacy settings

I’ve gone back to withdraw privileges from most a number of occasions.  But if I continue this, I might as well not actually be on facebook.  If no one can search for me, see pictures of me, or leave a kind note on my wall, why even have facebook??

I’m not the girl who presents a problem without a solution, that’s the worst type.

I’ve come up with 2, please take your pick.

1. Rename this whole “friends” thing to its more generic cousin “acquaintance”.  It makes things more clear. No one will confuse an “acquaintance” with someone you know forreal.  You will never have to defend your distance from someone who wouldn’t make the cut in real life. Making such a bold statement on facebook as to rename the term from “friends” to “acquaintance” would surely help restore the image & uphold its importance in our culture.

2. Present the option to adjust a secret “level” of friendship.

Level 1 – met this person once pretty randomly, we don’t keep in touch, nor will we ever.  please don’t show me their status updates or let them see any of my coveted info (status, pictures, wall).  I only accepted them because I thought they were the type to re-add/notice if we still weren’t friends.

Level 2 – Know this person well enough.  Maybe a friend from high school, college, a job, even a friend of a friend who you don’t keep in touch with.  We’ll never actually promote our relationship to email, so loosely staying abreast on one another’s lives through facebook is just right.

Level 3 – My homey forreal.  You’re my friend long-distance or nearby, we email/or talk on the phone, and it’s totally cool for you to know what’s on my mind and see my pictures, because you’re probably in them.

Thank you for your time & considering my recommendations to improve your already fabulous online social network. No, I will NOT pay a premium for these changes, get real.

XOXO,

Kimmy

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6 thoughts on “Dear Facebook,

  1. I feel you Kim. I don’t so much have a problem with friending people I don’t know or am loosely affiliated with, i.e. friend of a friend and we’ve met once or twice, but I have a problem with people I do know who are annoying and I don’t particularly like in real life.

    Then its like every time you see them they’re all why haven’t you accepted my friend request yet? Then I have to lie and be like well ummmmm I hardly ever go on there. Clearly that aint true and they know this aint true.

    I think the once a month FB friend purge is necessary. Sometimes I will add a girl because she has a cute profile pic, then I will look through everything else and realize it was a hoax and immediately un friend her.

    I also unfriend people who put up too many annoying statues are always commenting on my shit with dumb shit to say or just water down my FB experience. I think you should just stop accepting people who aren’t that cool and then downplay it like, “It’s only Facebook. I still love you.”

    Last pet peeve: the FB messenger. Is there a way I can go invisible like G chat? I get hit up constantly by the people I NEVER want to talk to on there and I can’t really ignore them because they can see I’m on there being active. Sucks.

  2. it wasn’t until everyone and their mom was allowed on fb that i decided, you know what, facebook? i really don’t need you like i thought i did.

    it’s not quite on kissmyass status, but it’s close enough…. i still need to look at pictures of myself and evaluate my appearance from time to time. god i’m vain.

  3. You can do that already – FB lets you make groups of friends and adjust what those people can see. Go ahead and figure out groups and then when you add new people, add them to a group immediately (fb lets you do this automatically if you create friend groups). It doesn’t help for the thousands of people you already got, but it’s a start.

    The other alternative is to keep a bare minimum of info on there, stuff that you wouldn’t mind an interviewer or your grandma seeing. That way there’s no worries about who can see whats on your page, b/c all of it is innocent. I think we all need to accept that whatever we put online is out there in the public domain. If you don’t want it on the front page of the New York Times, don’t put it on the internet!! I for one have stopped putting up photo albums. I put photos on picasa and email the link on a need-to-see-basis and I don’t upload anything that I’m not comfortable with everyone seeing. If we ain’t cool enough for me to show you my pics on my actual laptop or email them to you directly, then you don’t need to see them.

    B Adams – if you look on FB messenger, you can just choose “go offline” and then it will never log you in anymore. I don’t use FB messenger at all for that reason.

  4. facebook should totally change “friends” to ““acquaintance”…

    social networking sites sketch me out

  5. Agreed and Agreed! Kimmy this is definitely a do-able suggestion. B-Adams, Yes there is a way to make yourself invisible like Gchat. I never get hit when i just browsing Fbook.

    Kimmy i have totally been the girl who
    A: Never friended people i didnt really know
    B: set my privacy settings to restruct certain access levels.

    Unfortunately with both I either got a text or email from the person I failed to friend or retricted people I actually like and love from being able to find me on FBook.

    Great suggestions, I’ll sign your petition for sure.:)

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