Friday, January 1, 2010

facebook faux pas

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"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?


  1. its weird, now that i am friends with family, my mom and friends moms, i definitely edit what i post, which before i sort of sucks because sometimes i feel like my profile isnt a true reflection of myself because i am afraid of what all the adults will say.
    that was bold of her to admit she was looking at your convos...if you didnt have the sort of relations hip you had with her i would have said block her, but because of the relationship you do have, i say you did do the right thing - what a sucky situation :(

  2. You poor girl. I decided not to add anyone in my mom's generation to my facebook profile but you know what, I may actually leave facebook too. I mean if a lot of adults try to add me that will definitely motivate me to leave.

  3. Happy new year darling!

    As for your situation, it does sound pretty awkward :S follow my advise, NEVER post something on facebook unless you don't mind that absolutely EVERYONE will see it, read it twice before you post anything or comment on something and ALWAYS use propper vocabulary.
    As for your mom: I cannot advise you about that because I'm lucky enough to have parents that don't have a facebook account and don't plan to have one made anytime soon. But just follow my advises and you shall be fine :)

    You are absolutely right about the internet consuming our time! I feel very identified with those thoughts.

    It all reminds me of 2 pieces of flair:
    one that has a stick boy on a computer and it says: "Late! But it is barely 3 am!
    and other one that just says "Facebook, the legal way to stalk"

    Well, EVERYONE feels like stalking and reading someone else's life once in a while (specially on a estremely boring saturday) don't pay much attention to it and just be thankful to have a life interesting enough to have someone following your every step!

  4. Sadly, I think that I would have done the same thing in your situation - out of guilt. At the same time, this person seems to be nosing into your business quite frequently - it seems like such an invasion of privacy. You should have the right to "limit" anyone you want - it's no one else's business. And frankly, I'm surprised that she would question you about it!!

    Happy, Happy New Year my love!! :)

  5. I would have been truthful, (as I often am..) and told her I didn't feel comfortable with her calling me out on what I say on my facebook profile. It is not for her to tell me what I can and cannot say.
    Good luck I guess + happy new year lo (:

  6. You have a very good head on your shoulders and the best to do with Facebook is use it to keep in touch, not as a place to store or give information.

    Used as a way to keep in touch with friends and family members is all it's really good for...unless you have a business. Even with that we should all be careful.


    Happy New're a great kid!