Thursday, December 29, 2011

My Facebook Friends?

For a long time I paid no attention to Facebook and had no desire to join. Finally I caved in to my nieces, who both had accounts, and joined Facebook. It took me a while to navigate the site and at first I didn't spend too much time on the site. Since I wanted to keep in touch with my nieces and nephews I had to utilize Facebook. Absolutely no one uses snail mail anymore to keep in touch and email is fading, so I had no choice. I befriended my family right away and then began searching for more "friends". I was amazed to find that very, very few friends of my age were on Facebook. I found only a few friends from high school and none so far from the many colleges I attended. I found a long lost relative, who I had not seen in about 30 years. I sent him a friend request and he evidently didn't like my profile and rejected my invitation. Well screw him. I didn't want him as a friend anyway. Most of the friends I have are former colleagues or students living in the US and young people from the gym, whom I have met here in Penang.

I get friend requests from quite a few people I do not know and have never heard of. This really intrigued me until I checked out the number of friends they had. I have seen some people who have friends in the hundreds and even thousands. I have about 139 friends. I really don't like to call them friends, because I consider them to be Facebook acquaintances.  What is really sad it that these people with hundreds of friends actually think they are really friends. Do they have such a sad life that they have to ask people they don't know to be their friend? Is their self esteem so low that they have to collect artificial friends to feel wanted or popular?

Many people on Facebook post a lot of nonsense or crap which I don't think anyone cares for.  Some people publish a post every time they fart or or have something to eat. I think a lot of people post just because they are lonely and need attention. I must admit that I have been bored and posted something just to see if anyone would respond. Most of the time I usually received only one response, probably out of pity.

I know with the hundred or so friends that I have I am not that interested in much that is posted by them, so I hide them. I also know that probably all, except for family and a few close friends hide me too. I can tell on special occasions such as my birthday, Christmas or other holidays, when I receive very few special greetings. When I first began to write blogs, all of the information I gathered from the internet said that promoting your blog on Facebook and other social networks would greatly increase traffic. Well this is only true if you friends on Facebook actually pay attention to what you post. I get about 10 or so hits on my blogs from Facebook, which is okay I guess. Some of my friends here in Malaysia don't post in English, so I can't understand what they are doing. And they can't speak English well enough to understand what I am talking about.

Personally it doesn't bother me that most of my "friends" ignore me or hide my posts, because they are only acquaintances, not real friends and I don't expect them to be interested in my life. I am not crushed. But sadly I think there are many young people, and probably a few lonely old farts, who really think that their Facebook friends really are their friends and really care.

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Ablog about liberal politics andsocial issues