If you lost me as a friend on Tuesday, don’t be too alarmed. We’re still friends, just not on Facebook.
When I first started using Facebook it was such a blast. I caught up with people I hadn’t seen in years. Friends from high school and college. People I used to work with. Cousins in other parts of the world. It was amazing to be able to connect with all these people who had been a part of my life.
And then of course there were the games. Word Twist. Word Challenge. Word Whomp Derby. (Notice a pattern here?) Yeah. I was sucked in. Big Time.
A few writers started sending friend requests and because I knew them from conferences or from blogging, I approved them and had fun getting to know them better.
But then I started getting requests from people I didn’t know. Some were writers, and I guess they could have been friends of friends, but I had no connection them. We didn’t read each other’s blogs. We hadn’t met in real life. It felt weird. Because I had personal stuff on my Facebook page. Pictures of my kids, photos of me with friends from school, pieces of my life that were never meant to be on view for the entire world to see. I stopped posting as much, thought twice before I put up any pictures.
There are plenty of people that I’ve struck up virtual friendships with and I had no problem friending them on Facebook. It was kind of fun to see them as more than just a smiling head on the side of my blog or a name in my inbox. But complete strangers? I wasn’t trying to build a fan base or network. I was just connecting with friends and family. Knowing that random people wanted access to that, finding out that strangers could see my photos even if we weren’t friends, it felt wrong. So I quit.
I don’t miss it yet. I might go back at some point, with a personal page for my friends and family, and an author page where total strangers are perfectly welcome. But for now, Facebook and I are done. Friends who want to stay in touch will have to do it the old fashioned way.