"I like when I get facebook notifications from you - it makes me feel special!"
(Photo found on tumblr)
As great as social networking and new internet-based ways of communication may seem, sometimes I wonder whether I really need to have a facebook profile, or a twitter account, or even a blog! We all know (and have experienced) that the internet can take over our day... one minute you're on facebook, an hour later you are wondering, "Where did all the time go?" But I'm talking about something different - I'm rethinking using all this "new" technology because I feel like it's too easy to share my life with other people. I mean, I love writing here and sharing the things I love with all of you, but with facebook status updates and the creepy "wall to wall" feature, anyone can read any conversation I've had or find out what I did today.
I've thought about deleting a lot of my facebook friends - I've met them all, I'm just not familiar enough with some of them to let them into my life. But using the facebook privacy features makes me feel bad... I feel guilty that I am friends with someone that I don't feel comfortable sharing my life with. Today was just an example of why I am seriously considering not having a facebook profile!
In the past, adults I've been friends with on facebook have reported to my mother what I've been posting! I feel like that is a breach of privacy, but I don't want to block them from my facebook all together. If I accepted their request the first time, I should stick with that... right?
So here's the deal: I received a facebook inbox message from a very good family friend, who also happens to be the adult chaperone of my church leadership group. We've been friends on the site for a long time, but in past months, she's been commenting on my status' more than anyone else, "liking" my posts, and making comments on my photos. Now, I guess that's the point of facebook... but I didn't feel comfortable with her reading everything. When I posted something that contained a cuss word, she left a comment on it, and called me on it later. I felt quite embarrassed, and apologized, but it made me feel funny. I decided to put her on a limited profile, so she could not view my wall posts. Her message to me asked if I was mad at her, or if she had done something wrong. Immediately I knew she was asking about why I put her on limited profile, so she could not see my wall. I asked her what she was talking about, and she told me exactly that, and said that she had gone on my profile because she was reading a conversation I was having with someone else, but could not see what they had posted on my wall.
I first felt terrible, because I didn't want her to think I blocked her because I didn't like her! Then, I felt violated. Why would she tell me she had been reading my long conversation thread, and then ask why she couldn't see it? If I feel like blocking someone, I have that right, don't I? I don't want to delete her as a friend, because I feel that's rude. But I don't want her to be able to see everything I'm doing and be able to make comments about it!
I ended up giving in, unblocking her and asking her if she could now see my full profile. I played dumb, I guess I could say I lied. But I didn't want to hurt her feelings. I feel strange, knowing that now she could be viewing all my wall posts from the past month since I blocked her...
This, ladies and gentlemen, is a dilemma! I don't know what the proper facebook etiquette is - I don't want to be rude, but I don't want this kind of situation to happen again (someone asking me why I blocked them!)
What would you have done in my situation? Do you think we should reconsider how much we share with others online, and who we share it with?