Facebook Friends

I like using Facebook. It has put me in touch with people that I haven’t been able to talk to in a long time. I can keep track of what my friends and relatives are up to. It’s easy to share photos and videos of my kids.

There are things, though, that irritate me about Facebook friends. For example, I don’t think I should be Facebook friends with high school students, even if they aren’t my students. Other teachers in my school don’t have the same compunctions as I do. So, I get requests periodically and have to turn them down and try to explain that it’s not them, it’s just that they are students and I think it’s improper. But then, when they graduate, I have to allow them to be my “friend” or risk being rude. I don’t like being in that position, because sometimes I end up being “friends” with people I don’t really want to know about. (No school policy on this, by the way)

Similar to that, I have become Facebook friends with former classmates from high school. I thought it would be cool. However, some of these people put too much information in their status updates, or post the results from every quiz they take, or otherwise irritate me. I’d just as soon not be their friend any more, but I don’t want to be rude, either. (This is apparently called “defriending”) But is it worth being rude to avoid hearing all about someone’s marital problems, or how bored they are, or how drunk they were, or how much they like the F-word? These aren’t things I want to know, but it’s hard to avoid their status updates.

I don’t think there are really established rules of etiquette in social networks. Are there? Even if there were, it doesn’t seem to me that many of these people would care. So, for now, I’m just putting up with it. Maybe I’ll get irritated enough sometime to get rid of a few “friends.”

I am the language lover and these are my thoughts.

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4 Comments

  1. gls said,

    June 23, 2009 at 1:02 pm

    I am late to the whole Facebook phenomenon, and I partially wish I’d stayed out, for many of the reasons you mentioned.

    What I find most interesting is that it can show how old friends have so little in common anymore. One old girlfriend “friended” me, saying “You’re the long lost friend I’ve been searching for all these years!” It had been about twenty years since I’d last seen her, and I smiled a genuine “I’m happy this happened” smile when I hit the “Confirm” button. We exchanged a couple of messages and then POOF! The end. No more contact. We’re not friends in any true sense of the word, yet we remain Facebook “friends.” How odd.

  2. Kathee said,

    August 7, 2009 at 11:14 am

    Keep in mind that you can hide the news feeds of people who post too much. I’ve done that with a few people and love that feature of FB!

  3. August 7, 2009 at 4:53 pm

    Thanks, Kathee! I actually only discovered that feature a little while back. It’s very handy. Glad you stopped by the blog.

  4. Terrie said,

    August 10, 2009 at 11:07 am

    I’ve actually used Facebook kind of BACKWARDS ~ only for “old” (graduated) students! My friends use email or (gasp!) the phone – even letters, if you can believe that. On monogrammed stationery, which every good Southerner owns. But I digress. So, to paraphrase Nancy Reagan, I “Just say No” to the young’uns, and enjoy hearing of weddings, new babies, college experiences, and the shy kid from summer school who is now rock climbing in Australia, all via FB. And you sound like the kind of teacher who actually likes to keep up with his former students, although not everyone does. “It’s not a job; it’s a calling.”

    Best to you in the new year!


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