Home The Diaries What does it really mean to have a Facebook “friend”?

What does it really mean to have a Facebook “friend”?

by Daley

The other night, I couldn’t fall asleep.

So, naturally I decided to open up Facebook and scroll through–only to find that throughout my newsfeed, there were so many names I didn’t recognize!

This then led to further investigation, where I inspected the entirety of my Facebook friends.

I started scrolling through, realizing I had only met some of these people once, and some I had never even met!

When I was attending UC Davis, I spent a couple of my years as a member of a sorority. And with that, came Facebook friend requests.

If you were in the same sorority, you practically had to be Facebook friends with each other. So, while I was abroad I got a lot of requests from new members who I had never met! Naturally, I accepted, expecting to meet them when I got back. But, when I got back to Davis, I deactivated from my sorority and didn’t meet any of my new “friends.”

(Not only was being friends with fellow members of your sorority obligatory, but you would often become Facebook friends with other members of sororities and fraternities. Either from randomly meeting at a party or trying to get them to come to your philanthropy event and invite them via Facebook).

When I was scrolling through this list of “friends”, it not only troubled me that I had Facebook friends I had never met but some of these people I had met and had never really had a conversation with.

When did we go from barely remembering someone’s name to then having online access to their favorite movies, birth date, and photos of their families?

I don’t really ever post anything too personal on my Facebook, but there is potential sensitive information on there, so the fact that I had so many Facebook friends who I didn’t really even know (and some–aka random frat boys–I definitely did not want to know) bothered me.

I decided to go on a Facebook friend deleting binge.

It went from deleting people I didn’t know, to deleting ones I didn’t know very well, to deleting people I hadn’t spoken to in months…you get the idea.

Once I started deleting so many “friends” I had a moment of slight panic–if I’m deleting all of these people, who will like my profile picture?? My new status?? My shared link??

It made me stop and think…what am I even using Facebook for?

Am I really just posting for likes? Who am I even sharing with and who do I want to share with?

I took a break from posting photos on Facebook for a while, maybe I use it for big announcements every now and then…but what is even the point of making announcements or sharing photos if I don’t really know almost half of my “friends”?

If I’m really just posting to get a satisfaction from a like, something is wrong.

I have so many social media outlets–Instagram, Pinterest, this blog! Do I really need one more that’s centered around getting noticed?

I’ve successfully deleted every Facebook friend I do not actually know or haven’t spoken to…but now I’m wondering, do I really even need Facebook?

Sure, it comes in handy once in a while (especially while being out of the US) to message my mom or sister or a friend–so I don’t really see myself totally getting rid of it…but this whole Facebook friend revelation thing has really got me thinking about what it means to have a friend or like on social media.

It doesn’t mean much.

So, why do I bother?

Why do I stress out if I post a new picture or link on Facebook and don’t receive a like?

For me, Instagram and Pinterest are really great ways to promote this blog. I want to be noticed on those platforms so if someone stumbles upon my profile on one of those outlets, they may then stumble upon my blog.

But I haven’t really promoted my blog on my Facebook. I’ve always been a little more self conscious on there…it’s almost felt more personal and while this blog gets personal, there’s a sort of comfort in not knowing who exactly is reading my posts.

But on Facebook, it’s super clear to me who likes a post or who notices if I promote my blog–though now even saying that sounds a little hypocritical to me, considering I don’t actually keep in touch with many of my Facebook friends! I guess what I mean to say is, I feel more judged on Facebook when it comes to social media satisfaction.

In today’s day and age, we have our true self and our social media self. And both selves go through their own version of maturing.

I feel like I just had a sort of awakening with my social media self.

I want that self to reflect the real me as much as possible, likes be damned.

I had to fall asleep at some point, so I haven’t really gone through every single person on my Facebook friends list…but what do you think?

Should Facebook friends be actual “friends” or people you sort of know?

Where do you draw the line? And what do you really use Facebook for?

xoxo

Daley

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4 comments

Theresa September 6, 2016 - 5:52 pm

I went on a massive Facebook friend delete spree too! I feel like ‘likes’ on Facebook have a massive effect on the individuals we keep as friends. Sometimes if I don’t get a certain amount of likes on a post it almost feels like I’ve failed at the Facebook game, as if I have something to be ashamed of- which is crazy! As human beings validation feels good, but is it worth all the effort we sometimes put into a post to gain validation from strangers on our friends list? I wonder sometimes! 🙂

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Daley September 7, 2016 - 12:51 am

Couldn’t agree more!!

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Kimmy September 9, 2016 - 7:55 am

I been slowly but surely going on a Facebook binge too (aka deleting people as they pop up on their birthdays or when I see them as I’m scrolling through my newsfeed) but for me it’s mostly deleting people I don’t particularly care about seeing, instead of controlling who sees my stuff. But either way it feels good to clean it out!

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Daley September 9, 2016 - 7:59 am

Agreed! And that’s what my binge sort of led to! Once I started deleting people I didn’t really know it then led to deleting those that posted things I really didn’t agree with or just didn’t care to see.

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