The Newsfeed

Do you use the Facebook newsfeed? It occurred to me today how it has become the way to keep in touch with many people. You may be thinking “DUH!” but it really hit me today.

A friend of mine, who is also a co-worker, stopped by my office today and we were discussing our weekends and I mentioned how I went to the beach with my dog (I discovered dogs were allowed at the beach near my house a month ago and I’ve gone almost every week since. It has been great.)

Anyway, I quickly stopped myself because I felt like I was being redundant since I had posted pictures on Facebook. She gave me a look like she didn’t know the answer to the quiz and it made me think about how Facebook has changed things.

I suppose it depends on how much one uses Facebook. My other friends will actually have discussions about out posts when we see each other. It’s a helpful conversation starter, especially for acquaintances that you may not have that much in common.

Some people, and I was like this for many years, don’t feel like publicizing their lives on Facebook. There’s something to that. We’ve seen inappropriate posts that will end up being problematic in the future. Plus, all of our experiences are being fed into a database designed to direct advertising and who knows what else at us. But I am pondering the beautiful aspects of Facebook here, so let’s not dwell on that.

Facebook allows us to reach out to others. In the past week an acquaintance posted a lengthy post about being depressed and many people posted words of encouragement and prayers for him. This is not something he would ever have told me directly. It also allows us to share information we find helpful. I have friends and family who have marital problems so sometimes I post articles I find with helpful information.

Facebook is also something of a scrapbook now. We post pictures of the places we go, the things we do, what we eat, who we’re with. It allows our friends to share things they think we’ll like and it allows us to share things we like with them.

Then there’s the psychology behind who we allow into our Facebook world. I am a very private person but I have been working on opening up. In the beginning it was awkward for me to add some family members, and then certain friends because I didn’t want everyone knowing what I was doing. We also can’t can’t control what others post about our shared activities. And then there is the question of co-workers. I only have 2 people from work as Facebook friends. They’re the ones I hang out with outside of work. Most of my co-workers are Facebook friends with each other. I love them dearly and will tell them a lot of my life, but I prefer to keep that part of my life separate.

Facebook has sort of turned into that Christmas letter that you send out once a year to update your loved ones with your happenings, only instead of once a year, it’s daily or even multiple times in a day.

What do you like about Facebook and how has it changed things for you?

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