Monday, January 9, 2012

Facebook or Fakebook?

An outspoken friend of mine who is not on Facebook and who doesn’t know I’m on Facebook recently derided it, calling it Fakebook. She said this in the presence of another friend who was on Facebook but recently defected. But he knows I’m there. He eyeballed me from across the room, perhaps waiting to see if I’d speak up and defend my favorite social media platform. I stayed quiet and let my friend rant. But I felt a pang in my heart, because I do enjoy Facebook, but also because I knew that her Fakebook ranting had pieces of truth in it.

Is Facebook Fakebook? Not necessarily. Sure you can photoshop your pics or creatively crop them – I just don’t include my bad photos, so perhaps I’m misleading folks to think I’m naturally photogenic. One of my resolutions this year is to upload a fresh profile pic, which I haven’t done since about a year ago. (I look pretty different now, having grown out my bangs, which I finally *finally* decided were sooo 80s. And, okay, I’ve gained a few pounds! But that new profile pic will be up by… um… Easter. Yeah, Easter.)

If you’re adjusting your photos more than doing a little cropping here and there, yes, you’re Fakebooking it. But my friend was referring more about how many Facebook friends type in just positive postings or trite tidbits – nothing of profound substance. I’m one of these people with the light Facebook posts. I’m not going to post on Facebook that my grandma is in the hospital. But I also wouldn’t reveal that information if I ran into 99 percent of my Facebook friends at the supermarket.

Is Facebook light? Mostly, yes. But since when has a little light interaction been bad? I’ve got a handful of true thick-and-thin friends in the (non-virtual) world, and I don’t expect I’ll ever be able to manage deep friendships with hundreds of people at the same time. I’m not wired that way. And I don’t go to Facebook wanting virtual friends to spill the dregs of their hearts to me, either. (At least not immediately.)

My biggest Facebook problem is sarcasm. Ah, my dry wit – how I love it! But what trouble it’s gotten me into when no one realizes that I’m joking! I’m still struggling with sarcasm, both online and in my personal interactions!

Now about enjoying Facebook too much. My Facebook defector friend quit the social media site because he said it took up too much of his time – time that he felt he needed to be spending with his family. And that’s true. Facebook can suck you in, and I find myself using it at times as a procrastination tool when I should be doing something else. If my writing is slow in getting started, I’ll log onto Facebook planning to spend a few minutes – and then a half hour later I’m mad at myself for still being logged in. And my writing gears still aren’t oiled!

So Facebook or Fakebook or time drainer – I think the site is what each person makes it.


  1. I agree Tamara, you use it how you wish. I'm rarely on, but it helps me feel closer to people who I otherwise might have no contact whatsoever with. And those people aren't just friends that I friended just to have hundreds of friends. They are cousins that I still have a deep childhood-born love for, old friends that have even busier lives than I do, and most surprisingly (now that we're getting old and all...) the children who come from all these people that I love. I see silly gap-toothed pictures of them, and all of a sudden, even though they may not even realize I exist, I love them too, by extention of their parents! It's amazing, and quite a blessing...

  2. Yes, I totally agree. It's fun to see that my friends in high school, who I've lost touch with, are now also moms. I use Facebook more than I should, but it's a great way to keep track of different events/groups, like book club and the ongoing virtual yard sale in the neighborhood. I got my 2YO's birthday gift for $10! What a steal!