Thursday 29 December 2016

What is a 'Friend'?

Obviously, I am not that poorly that I've forgotten what a 'friend' is, although I must admit it's a bit touch and go since I am spending most of my waking hours at the moment not knowing what day it is or what I am supposed to be doing, hence we ended up at M&S for a bra fitting a day early today. No problem, they had space and at least I don't have to go out early tomorrow now.

Anyway, getting back to the point, I know what a friend is. What I'm not so sure about is what a Facebook Friend is. Let me elaborate.

I use Facebook, but I am not a huge fan of it. It seems to me a lot of people use it to amass 'Friends' that they rarely, if ever interact with, which to me really does seem to defeat the purpose of social media. I am fairly sure I fail at this, but I do try to interact with posts my 'Friends' make, even if it is only a reaction and I do this because they are actual friends of mine; they are a mix of old friends I no longer see, friends I see regularly, old colleagues whom I love and miss and new friends I've made in the lovely world of blogging. They're on my 'Facebook Friends' list because I care about them.

I keep my Friends list small, currently only 108 and that's the way I like it. It means I am able to follow and interact with the people I care about. I'm also really careful about accepting 'Friend' requests. I never cease to be amazed by the number of requests I receive because I am a friend of a friend, and guess what? Yep, I ignore them. If I don't know you in real life (or in the blogging world, which is real life, right?) then I'm not accepting your friend request.

However, there is another type of 'Friend' request which is probably worse than the 'Friend of a Friend' request. It's the request from a previous 'Friend' you unfriended because they never interacted online, or in real life. This one is my top bugbear and one I usually shelve with the other declined requests. You see I have a theory about these people, I think they are essentially, just rather nosy by nature. They want to see what you're up to, when and with whom, but they will never comment, or send you a message.

I actually have one of these 'Friends' at the moment and I fear they must be very disappointed with how dull my Facebook account is. No really, it is. You see I rarely post anything other than new posts for the blog. If you're looking for fun and excitement, don't go stalking me on Facebook, you'd be better off watching paint dry. If, on the other hand you're looking for my latest post, stalk away, or better still like our Facebook page (ooh how cheeky was that?). You see, I'm very careful about what I share. I may have Social Media accounts, I may have a blog, but my private life is my private life, to be shared with only the most trusted friends. Hence making for a rather dull Facebook account.

It's not that it's a major issue to me, more that I don't see the point of sending someone a friend request only to sit back and never do anything 'friendly'. It just seems, well a little bit pointless, though some would argue that Facebook itself is rather pointless. Whilst I am not Facebook's biggest fan, I do see its value. It has enabled me to stay in contact with old school friends, colleagues and people who have moved away. It's also a very simple platform. You don't have to think about fitting what you want to say into 120 characters as you do on Twitter, making it more user friendly (although I confess to preferring Twitter and their cute wee logo).

However, I digress, back to Facebook and I intend to keep the number of Friends I have small and manageable; I really don't want to miss all the fun things you're up to, or the daft videos you share that make me laugh so hard I cry and I will continue to try and interact with you, but please forgive me if I do miss something. Please know I value you all consider you real friends.

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