Facebook is getting so awkward, isn’t it?
Personally, I can’t take the pressure. It was bad enough when our parents, aunts, and uncles began to join. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I still manage to forget they’re in my contacts and I say something wildly inappropriate only to be scolded seconds later. Then all these apps and games and silly questionnaires came through and all the sudden I’m forced to virtually break up with my friend because she won’t stop telling me to water her virtual crops. Sure, I could just weed through my privacy settings and try to block app invites, but if my friend is the kind of person that constantly bugs me to water her fake crops, do I really want to be her friend anymore?
These are the sorts of hard-hitting questions I’m faced with every time Facebook ‘upgrades’.
Things got even more intense when Facebook leveled-up to real-time updates so that when you stare at your mini-feed you can actually see someone’s comment post at the very moment they do it. And now, the ultimate mega stresser: Facebook chat.
It could be the super awkward hermit in me, but the chat is where I draw the line. The beauty of Facebook used to be that it was casual and cool. People could post on each other’s walls at their leisure. In a world where the weight of a cell phone text or an email is so heavy that people expect a response immediately, Facebook was the one place I could still go if I wanted to socialize at a relaxed pace.
Facebook relaxation is now dead to me.
When I log on, I have updates that need tended to. I have people commenting on pictures or saying hello or writing on my wall to ask me to hang out that same day. I have messages from friends who haven’t caught up in a while and think email is too impersonal. And sometimes while I’m tending to those things, someone is online at the very same moment and responds immediately. Immediately! Then there’s all this pressure. Do I have to follow up? Can I go log off? They’re on. They see me. They know I updated only 5 seconds ago; it’s stamped right there in cold, gray text. I can’t possibly just leave – I have to finish the conversation.
I also have to manage my status updates. Because if I tell a friend I’m too busy to hang out one night but I update my status at 8:35pm saying how much I love Arrested Development, it’s voluntary incrimination. It doesn’t matter if it’s on in the background while I’m working. It doesn’t matter if I thought of a funny episode and it wasn’t even on television. That friendship is doomed.
Don’t even get me started on birthdays and engagements. Talk about stress! Seriously?! Every year on my birthday I have to be wished a happy birthday by hundreds of people I haven’t talked to in ages. On one hand, it’s nice to feel loved. On the other, you know that if any of those people really cared about your birthday they’d have called. Or written. Or emailed. And now I feel inclined to follow up with them to see how they are, but I don’t know if they were really reaching out or if they just wanted to hop on the birthday bandwagon.
I don’t even recognize some of their names.
I’m not the only one who feels this pressure. I know it. Because not long ago, some dear friends of mine got engaged. And while I was relishing in the happy moment with them, they admitted that they were quite exhausted because they had to be sure to call every single person that was even remotely close to them to let them know they were engaged before those people saw it on Facebook and got offended that they found out online and not from them.
You see? What are we doing to ourselves?!
So no, Facebook, I will not be utilizing your ‘Facebook Chat’. The last thing I need in this too-accessible age is to log on and be immediately available to a thousand people, try to figure out how to end conversations with everyone because I don’t want to deal with them, and then worry about what to update my status to that will be amusing but also not indicate that I was having too much ‘not-too-busy-to-chat’ fun.
Lord help us; Facebook will be the end of us all. ♣