So you have 5000 Facebook Friends. Now what?

So you have 5000 Facebook Friends.  Now what?

For some people it signifies the need to create a second profile page.  For some it means that they allow the system to reject potential friends on their behalf.  For others they may even delete friends that they do not have any interest in or desire to stay connected to in order to be-friend others.  But once you’ve reached this “accomplishment”, how will you use it?  For you is Facebook a glorified popularity contest, a marketing and promotional tool or something to occupy the time that you don’t know what else to do with?  It all depends on the person.  Everyone has their own agenda and plans in the quasi-reality that is Facebook.  For some it allows them to be someone that they are not because they are unhappy with whom they truly are.  Some people use it to stay in contact with people they do not get to speak with or see face to face often.  Others use it to avoid actual realistic social contact and emotional intimacy with people.  After all, if you have 5000 Facebook Friends, who needs real friends? 

Nothing against Facebook.  It is a business.  It is a product.  It fulfills many needs; some good and healthy, some not so much.  But it is what it is – a part of our lives whether we want it to be or not, in one capacity or another.  But it does make me wonder if we use it as a substitute for the real thing too much.  I like organic connections.   I prefer using words to communicate with people verbally.  Although there are times when verbalizing is difficult for me because I don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings or because I can be emotional, therefore I choose to write what I feel instead, I still like organic communication.  But Facebook, just like every other advancement in technology and communication was inevitable.  Change is inevitable and change is good. 

I embrace change.  However, we need to be very mindful of how we use it.  There’s a lot going on.  The majority of people use Facebook harmlessly and without malice.  But there are others who use it for the wrong reasons.  Simply put, they use it for evil.  They use it to commit adultery, con people, commit crimes, bully and harass others.  Of course it is easy to say that Facebook “should be doing something to prevent this”, but the technology has to catch up to the culprit.  Evil is often a step ahead of good.  Facebook does provide tools to users to report acts that they know are not suitable, but if the tools are not used, it’s not the developers or programmers fault.  After all, it is a “social” network and thereby it truly represents all of the facets of a society, both good and bad. 

That means we have to take responsibility and speak up, instead of turning a blind eye to something we see that is out of order, unsuitable for minor’s, or illegal.  Now, someone’s personal, political views and opinions are not evil simply because you disagree with them, so don’t go reporting people all willy-nilly because you disagree with their politics.  However, a woman posting a picture of her behind propped up on a bathroom sink in a g-string that she took with her camera phone, or an aspiring “model” whose pictures appear to be more like those of a porn star, are not the types of things everyone should see on Facebook, especially if it’s their profile picture.  I’m just saying.  There should be some ethical and social boundaries. 

But we’re relaxing boundaries in real society and as a result they are beginning to trickle into Facebook society.  As a matter of fact, to some degree they are running over full force like Victoria Falls into Facebook.  We make excuses for everything someone does, of course until they do it to us.  And we keep them as our Facebook friends.  God forbid we remove or un-friend anyone because we saw something completely inappropriate that they posted on someone else’s wall.  What would people think if we started doing that? 

Until recently I had just a little fewer than nine hundred Facebook friends and was seriously considering deleting hundreds of people and not accepting anymore friend requests.  I had been stalked by a man who literally had created over twenty Facebook profiles to harass me.  I have had married men try to “date” me on numerous occasions so I had to change my interests to read friendship and networking.  I have had men send me messages asking me to “model” for them, and then become angry at my decline of their offer.  I’ve never been very gullible, but I’m more than positive that a lot of women between 18 and 50 years old have fallen for the “okey-doke” of one or more of these types of men before, or else the men wouldn’t keep using the same scams.  I see scams coming before I person can open their mouth.  The only thing that stopped me from repeatedly hitting the delete button was my PR rep.  He told me to focus on using Facebook as a marketing tool and unless I encounter someone like the before mentioned types of predators, that I should accept the friend requests I receive.  I conceded.  Thanks to my God given intuition and overly healthy self-esteem I haven’t had anymore problems

Also, I’m adjusting to how I utilize my Facebook platform.  The caliber of my Facebook friends is high for the most part.  There have been times when I spoke up about something inappropriate I saw on Facebook.  So, I’m not suggesting you do anything I wouldn’t do myself.  Someone (else) did attack me verbally for what I said. I didn’t care.  I wasn’t wrong and I wasn’t addressing her to begin with, but she was “offended” because I pointed out a potential consequence to someone because of the content on their page. This woman wasn’t my Facebook friend so I quickly blocked her.  She was seeking attention using Facebook because she didn’t know how else to receive attention.  After she had her verbal temper tantrum, I won with my intelligence.  Her blood pressure is probably still elevated.  Right is right and if we treat Facebook like a freaky-deeking-free-for-all-do-whatever-without-any-consequences, that is exactly what it will turn into. 

I don’t know about you, but I like Facebook.   I will never replace my love of organic contact and communication with other human beings, but I hope it stays around for awhile and remains a place where my friends, family and business associates can communicate with each other when we can’t talk on the phone, email or have organic communication. 

So you have 5000 Facebook friends.  Now what are you going to do?

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