Win Your Friends Back, and No, Not Over Facebook

Some say that like a disease, Facebook, and the rest of many other social networking sites will experience a spike before its decline. As any person you know who has access to a computer has a Faceboook account, you can pretty much say that ‘communication’ is as easy as it gets these days. With a constant internet connection paired up with the right phone app, it almost feels like anyone is just a poke away. But are they, really?

Since I joined the Facebook bandwagon, I have always remained ‘active’ online. Constantly posting pictures, updating my status, and checking up on my friends through the same platform too, not to mention the privilege of getting to stalk someone in a non-creepy manner.

For many, Facebook has become a way of life. This is true to those who check on their Facebook first thing in the morning, or at any other time during the day– and at a frequency of doing more often than the rest of any other habit. While I may stand guilty to the same, I have always held the belief that Facebook, could be a great way to destroy your social life.

Let me walk you through my disputable arguments.

1. You become the sum total of your published Facebook posts.

Without a doubt, prejudice is one of the barriers for a genuine connection– if not the barrier for a connection at all. So you have been tagged on an incriminating photo? Or have uploaded a grammatically-questionable post? Good luck. While you may delete the moment you find out about the online ‘mishap’, I am quite sure that a handful of your friends have already seen it– and worse– judged you on the such basis.

2. You become judgmental, and critical in the wrong ways.

While you may say that your Facebook wall is like you home, and the rest of us are just visitors not invited to comment that your curtains don’t match the drapes; we all develop that sense of judgment as about You– and so do you– about the rest of us on your Friends’ list. Admit it or not, you have, at some point, delimited another’s personality or capacities based on his or her Facebook account. And really, seeing through the ‘Wall’ is not a practice we have often dared to undertake. In addition to this, Facebook has almost given us the right to become ‘critics‘ of another. But would you really want to talk about another’s affairs of which you are a mere onlooker of?

3. You fall for insincere connections

Just because you are friends on Facebook does not mean you are friends in the real world (the point of what the real world is, is disputable).  And real friends, I believe, do not have to rely on Facebook to maintain the connection that they share. While I will not argue as to the efficiency of Facebook chat, I cannot say that a friendship that transpires exclusively over Facebook is one worth keeping. If you value your friends more than you value Facebook, it’s about time to leave your desk and find a way to be with them. Pronto.

4. You mistake artificial communication as genuine conversation

Communication is more complex than that which transpires over Facebook. Beyond its verbal aspect (that which uses words), there is body language, tone, and all others which comprise its non-verbal aspect– in which, the gravity of communication is more gravitated on. As my mom would always tell me, “It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it”. Perhaps this adage can be applied to your connections over Facebook too. Good luck with typos, too.

5. You satisfy yourself with Facebook

The thing about Facebook is that we think that it is enough. We think that this can substitute being there as things happen, or being at the same table talking to the other person, hearing them laugh instead of ‘haha’.

The thing about Facebook is that we think it’s okay if we get tagged on photos of a once-in-a-blue-moon dinner with some friends and feel that we belong, while these friends yearn for your company beyond your Facebook photos and statuses.

So what is the point in all my arguments? I am not sure. But I guess this calls for an assessment of the self: have you valued the conduit more than its purpose? If that’s the case, it’s about time you make that call for some coffee, beer, or dinner, or movie, and no– not on me.

Note: If you want to contradict, or would want to talk about anything on this post, you are free to send me a message over Facebook

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