Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

Commentary

June 20, 2013

The face of Facebook is changing

(Continued)

If you make the mistake of trying to engage one of them, even in a low-key, civil manner, you are generally pronounced a hater or a bigot or worse. And, that your “friend” cannot BELIEVE you think that way, when they thought you were at least sort of OK.

I know of only one or two who are thoughtful and welcome opposing views.

A disclaimer here: Yes, I have a Facebook account — my extended family members talked me into it, and I do enjoy going on it once every couple of weeks, to see the pictures my nieces and nephews, who live several thousand miles away, have posted of their kids.

But that’s just lurking. And that’s pretty much all I do. I almost never post. I don’t update my status. I don’t change my profile picture because if I do, all my “friends” get notified.

I have friends in real life who report being stalked by would-be suitors who want to know why they won’t meet them or go out with them because they haven’t included in their profile whether they’re married or “in a relationship.” As if it is mandatory to report the details of your personal life.

There is also a creepy kind of social pressure from people who apparently have much more time than I do to hang out and post on everything they’re thinking about. Why didn’t I comment on their post? Why didn’t I “like” their pictures or their link? Why didn’t I wish them a happy birthday? Why didn’t I accept their invitation to join their group?

As a growing number of Facebook dropouts have noted, these are the kinds of things that render the word “friend” meaningless.

I want real friends. You know what you can do to be my real friend? Link to this column on your Facebook page. And then “like” it.

— Taylor Armerding is an independent columnist. Contact him at t.armerding@verizon.net.

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