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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