The Facebook Experience. Are You a Fan?

Catching up on e-mail...

Article by Wendy McCance

My husband just recently set up an account on Facebook.  He has since had the opportunity to reconnect with old friends and relatives that he hasn’t had contact with in quite a long time.  His experience so far has been very positive and so he has been encouraging me to set up an account as well.

About 2 years ago, I briefly had a Facebook account.  At first it was a lot of fun bordering on the obsessive.  I was thrilled to reconnect with childhood friends (my family lived in 4 different states and I lost touch with a few close friends from my elementary school years).  I also started talking with some relatives who had moved across the country and who I hadn’t seen since we were all still living under are parents roofs.

After the newness began to wear off, I began getting friend requests from people I wanted to keep in my past.  I got several requests from my ex-husbands family (the same family who after knowing me for 15 years turned their back on me when my ex-husband started to lose his mind) (another story, another time).  I even got a request from my ex-husband’s second wife who was in the middle of divorcing my ex.  It stressed me out, I didn’t want to respond, or feel obligated to acknowledge the requests.  All the bad feelings from the past resurfaced and I started to feel uncomfortable with a lack of privacy as a new issue.

I cancelled my Facebook account.  It caused in the end much more stress than happy feelings.  I tried to revisit the idea of reopening my old Facebook page, but just going through the basics of getting the page going brought up the old stresses and I decided not to go through with setting up an account.

It makes me sad that I don’t feel the joy that my husband and just about everyone else I know feel by having an account.  I feel out of the loop and a bit lonely for the connections my friends have with each other on that site.  I know most of what goes up is trivial, like hey, I went to the grocery store and got a great deal on eggs, but it’s still an interaction that I am missing out on.

I hope that eventually enough time will pass that I can wholeheartedly embrace the Facebook experience, but for now, I am passing on it.

How do you feel about Facebook?  I guess the question is really for the older set of folks.  My kids don’t know any other way of life.  Technology like this has always been there for them and this is their normal.  For someone a bit older, though, it’s a bit jarring to immerse fully in all of the technology that surrounds us.  Even after all of these years, it still feels a bit unsettling to me.

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Wendy McCance

Wendy McCance is a Michigan based freelance writer and social media consultant. Wendy has gained attention as the founder of the popular blog Searching for the Happiness which can be viewed in 9 local papers online, including the Oakland Press. The combination of writing skills and social media knowledge is what makes Wendy such a powerhouse to work with. Stay tuned for opportunities to advertise, guest post and as always, have your questions answered.

To contact Wendy McCance about a writing or social media assignment, interview or speaking engagement, please email her at: mccance.wendy@gmail.com

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7 thoughts on “The Facebook Experience. Are You a Fan?

    • Facebook has never done too much for me either. I have a personal page to keep up with relatives and old friends which is convenient. My Facebook page is something I created out of necessity. Sadly, you don’t appear as relevant without the Facebook page.

  1. Facebook has been a major stressor for me. That’s why I decided to do the seven days without it to see how well my mood improved. I got so sick and tired of seeing the memes bashing other people, the statuses bashing other people, the people bashing other people. It really made me lose faith in humanity. That, and I have enough stress as it is these days, learning the ropes of being a new mother. I finally decided to give it quits when I was spending an entire day obsessing about a status I read, about mothers who don’t cloth diaper. I couldn’t function. I could barely parent. That kind of stress is really unnecessary. Bye bye Facebook.

    • Hi Lina,
      It’s like everything else, surround yourself with the positive and get rid of the negative. There were a few people that I connected with that only posted doom and gloom, called out friends on bad behavior and just seemed miserable. I took those people off my Facebook because it was exhausting and depressing to read about all of the energy these people put into being negative. I have enjoyed reading the positive statuses about enjoying family and friends though. Facebook really can do a number on you if you obsess over it. Thanks so much for your comment.

  2. I feel that currently, I am tied up with other directions that I don’t have effective time to spend just on Facebook. Everything I do gets there via the links, but it is hard to cut out 30 or minutes, sometimes, to focus strictly on Facebook. As you mention, Wendy, our kids and grandkids have been doing this for a long time and it is just what they do. I know that my family wishes I would spend more time on it. It is an area that I am not strong in. I am very cautious about what is on my page too.

  3. I used a fake name for a while because I only used it to keep in touch with my family. I definitely didn’t want old friends to find my b/c I thought if we didn’t keep in touch I figured there was a reason. I’ve since relaxed since I started adding my dance friends and started to include people who were more than just acquaintances but it was a stretch.
    I could see not wanting to add your ex’s family though.

    • I can completely relate.  It’s nice to know that there are other people who felt a bit cautious about putting to much out there.

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