I’ve been on Facebook for about a year and a half. And I’ve heard my friends say that it can suck the life out of you. And yet I’ve never known this to be the case. I post an update, say yes to some friend request and that’s about it.
My roommate and I are having a Christmas open house in December. And a number of people I want to invite are on Facebook. So I sat down tonight around 1:30 a.m. to create the event, select the invitees, and send off the message. It’s 4:15 and I just closed the window. I haven’t been doing the event since then. No. I’ve been reading through my friends profiles, commenting on their pictures, wishing them well, responding to messages.
And it’s three hours later and I’m not even close to going to bed. I need to make sure this doesn’t happen again.
On the same note.
About a month ago I got a snide message from a friend on Facebook, chastising me because I had not responded to a message that he’d sent. It took me almost two weeks to get back to him and he didn’t like it. I know I should have answered sooner but here is my take on that. If you want to talk to me, and you want an immediate response — call me. If you want something and you need a sort of immediate response — email me. Any message I get on Facebook, I look on as casual. A let’s get together and do drinks sometime sort of message.
So when I responded to the original email suggesting we get together the following week, he quickly responded saying that “He’d pass on drinks with me.” I replied wanting to know if this was because he was busy or because he was mad. To which he replied that he wasn’t mad but that he expected friends to reply in a more timely fashion than I had, which proved obviously that I wasn’t interested in being friends with him.
My immediate response (one of those times when maybe I should have hit save instead of send) basically said the following:
If you want to know why I haven’t responded, it’s because I’ve been working five shifts a week, which translates into about 50 hours a week waiting tables. The job is grueling and hard and when I get home the last thing I want to do is get on Facebook and answer messages. I’m sorry I’ve been so busy, but I’m 6,000 dollars in debt because I had to borrow money to live on after I broke my ankle. I owe you and about 50 other people emails and phone calls and I get to them as soon as I am able. I also think that you are old enough to realize that people don’t always react and respond the way you want them to and when you want them to. I’ve had to face that reality on many occasions and once or twice with you (he once came to 4th of July barbecue, got pissed off about something without telling anyone and while we were outside grilling, packed up the food he’d brought and left. Without saying a word to anyone). I’ll try and do better but I can’t promise that I’m going to respond to messages the day that I get them.
He responded with a curt message about me being old enough to realize that messages should be returned the day that I get them.
I haven’t thought much about it since then. We never had drinks and I knew he was mad but he’s been mad before and he always get’s over it. And then tonight when I was sorting through the people that were in NYC that I wanted to invite I realized that he’d UNFRIENDED me. And I was taken aback. Not because he didn’t want to be my friend. There are lots of people that I’m no longer friends with. But that he’d taken the time to actually go into Facebook and delete me.
And then I sort of felt pity for him. How junior high schoolish of a 40 year old man to feel like the way to terminate a friendship is to just “unfriend” them from a social networking website. Really? And in the end it’s his loss. If he gets mad and “unfriends” every person he knows who dissapoints him, soon he’ll “unfriend” everyone he knows. Because if there’s nothing else I’ve learned throught life experience, is that it’s inevitable that you’ll be disappointed by everyone you know.