Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Social Network Interactions

I do go to FaceBook now and then, and I have connected with old friends, college friends, high school friends, and people from the many ‘places I remember’ in my life .  .  .

It’s pretty public, don’t you think? And you do one little thing, and it’s like glue, you’re stuck with that relationship. I am now careful who I ‘like’, because I seem to end up linked to them, and honestly, I try to be careful to limit my connections to people I know, or have known, people I have something in common with, like a family member, etc.

It’s like if you indicate any interest at all, you get linked. Is it just me? I don’t think of myself as isolationist, but time is precious, and I try to spend it wisely, focusing on genuine long term relationships, family relationships and people with whom I have commonalities.

I find that magazines who which I subscribe, cultural organizations, charitable organizations are all sending me surveys; they want to get to know me better. (? ? ? )

It’s too much relationship for me. I know there are people who can handle a huge number of social acquaintances . . . that’s not me. I am civil, even cordial. I don’t want to get to know organizations through surveys, nor businesses, relationships take TIME. So many of the ‘relationships’ make me feel rushed, and when I feel rushed, or pushed, my reaction tends to be to drop the relationship; it just doesn’t work for me.

I do believe we are all supposed to be connected, to be kind to one another, to care about one another. It’s asking too much of me to expect it to happen quickly. Am I the only one? Does anyone else have any problems with the instant sort of intimacy that seems to spring up so commonly on the social networks?

January 20, 2012 - Posted by | Character, Civility, Community, Cultural, Privacy, Values


  1. I think I’m very similar to you in that sense. I enjoy people and I like making new friends but only to a certain extent and these social networking tools can make you feel suffocated. Moreover, it just doesn’t make sense to me that any single person knows over 800 people well enough to call them friends. The whole thing can be kind of fake – look at me, I’m so popular I’m so loved , twenty thousand people clicked accept when my face popped up on their notification list! Isn’t that just such a genuine expression of public adoration? 🙂

    ANYWAY, if you explore the possibilities in your facebook privacy settings there’s a bunch of things you can do to limit your associations with people to whom you’re linked. For example, if you place people who are on your friends list but who aren’t that close to you in one group then when you post something on your wall you can custom make the post so that it doesn’t include those people to whom you’re not close. So to be clear, in my case not all my friends list can see my wall. Also, not all my profile info shows to everyone on my friends list.

    The thing is if someone wants to link to you, you don’t want to reject them because some people are sensitive about that. So the best thing to do is to accept the friendship but put them in a limited viewing list so that you keep them at arm’s length. Also, some people play games and keep informing you of their game status and inviting you to some virtual farm. SO annoying. You can totally block any invitations from them you have that option too.

    (Ok this comment – or mini essay – is making me sound super antisocial. I’m really not! I like people. Sometimes. 🙂 )

    Comment by 1001Nights | January 24, 2012 | Reply

  2. No! No! Your comment doesn’t make you sound anti-social, just prudent! And it is information I don’t have. I keep my FaceBook entries very neutral and very non-disclosing. I figure that people I care greatly about will know what is going on from me personally. . . which is, I believe, what you are saying. I think there is nothing wrong with being a private person, and having selected friends with whom you share information carefully.

    Comment by intlxpatr | January 24, 2012 | Reply

  3. That’s one of many reasons I don’t have Facebook or Twitter.

    Comment by Macaholiq8 | January 25, 2012 | Reply

  4. I think you’re very wise, Mac. Drop me an e-mail; I’d like to hear how you are doing. 🙂

    Comment by intlxpatr | January 25, 2012 | Reply

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