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Facebook or Fakebook?

Our mom of three delves into the somewhat tricky waters of social networking.

To Facebook or "Fakebook" is the question. How do you social network?

In the dawn of this new technical era, people are social networking during what seems to be a fast-paced, poor economic time. People work too many hours or they’re not working at all, and they have too much time on their hands. People stay home because so few have the money for much entertainment. Is social networking the new form of free pleasure?

What kind of facebooker are you? Or, are you a “fakebooker?" I guess it depends on your form of pleasure or pain.

Privacy settings 

Are you sharing with everyone, friends only, friends of friends, or recommended?

Why should it matter? Do you have something to hide? Are you someplace on a most wanted list? During my research for this article, I have learned a lot about social networking. I’ve reconnected with people from all walks of life.

Some I knew from grammar school. Some are best buds with whom I’m even closer to now than I ever was.

But back to Fakebook — I have also connected with lost loves and old flames. People I thought were very special to me once, but behind a chat wall were everything else but. Could some of them actually have been in prison? You have the opportunity to see how people have changed, grown and matured. You have the opportunity to see what they have made of their lives. Is this really entertaining to some? Maybe we should call it “nosybook.”

Facebook or Fakebook – I have experienced both sides of this spectrum. I was once a Fakebooker, but have been converted to a facebooker. I once allowed everyone to be my friend. Was it really friendship or about getting my numbers up? Bars, restaurants, media to name a few — who really needs all that spam on their newsfeed?

A couple weeks ago, someone who has less than twelve friends told me “friends are overrated." I truly believe that to some extent. So, I went down my list of almost 300 and did some spring cleaning. I unfriended all the bars, restaurants and media. Leaving only the “Salem News” and Salem Patch, of course.

Then, I went to my friends. Who has not reached out to me in over a year or who have I not reached out to? So, all the acquaintances came off too. I also deleted my kids' friends — they're not really my friends — they don’t belong on my FB.

Now my number is below 100. But, at the end of the day, I have decided that for me, personally, it’s the quality of friends, not the quantity. Is this because the older we get the wiser we are to knowing who really counts in our lives?

With age, do we only let in our most bosom friends? It’s the teens and twenty-somethings that can have up to 5000 friends. I think the number is more important to them. Do they really know that many people? I notice as you get into the thirties and forties and higher, the numbers drop dramatically.

Oops, today I’m down one. Who unfriended me or got suspended for harassment, blocked or stalking? Or, maybe they are just sick of all the Youtube videos I’ve been posting lately.

Relationship status

Watching these statuses change from day to day, I found out my 16-year- old was engaged by his relationship status — the same way days later he was single again.

And, do I really need to know what you’re having for dinner? It makes me hungry! Then I also have all my friends who are moms who love to brag about their kids. This is when I call it “Bragbook.” I too am guilty of this offense, too.

The Wall 

To write or not to write on the wall, that's another question. Is commenting on someone’s status okay? Is it okay to "like" someone’s status. Is just plain writing on someone’s wall taboo? I rarely write on someone’s wall. I feel like I’m invading their personal space. An inbox is better and more personal.

 My teenager has strict rules about me writing on his wall. If I do, I will be unfriended. It’s “so not cool” to have your mom write on your wall. I use FB to keep an eye on him so his wall will remain off limits for now. I guess you’ve got to pick your battles.

Applications

The most popular seem to be Farmville and Bejeweled Blitz. They are fun but very time consuming. I have since retired from both.

Fan pages 

Let's not forget about them. I stay away from most of those, too. Do you really think Tom Brady has his own page? Which one is really his?

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So, do you Facebook or Fakebook? There really is no wrong or right way to social network. It just depends on the person and his or her own personal style.

As part of my research, I deactivated my FB account for two weeks. Withdrawals were minimal. Real friends, who missed me, contacted me through other resources to find out why I unfriended them. I explained only that FB was taking up too much of my time and that I was taking a hiatus. I must say, I am happy to be back. Being a busy mom of three, social networking for me means never having to go far when looking for a true friend.

Tammy Anne Callahan-Callanan July 13, 2011 at 03:51 PM
I love the comparison Facebook and Fakebook...All I CAN SAY IS VERY ENTERTAINING YET TRUE READ for sure and written with a lesson I was always taught...the older you get the more you will realize WHO your true and dear friends are...So right Lisa, so right...better to have 1 real friend than many fake friends!!!!

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