Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Facebook Friends vs Real Friends: To Delete or Not

For the better part of nine years, I have been active on Facebook.  I joined way back when in an effort to keep an eye on my kids.  The oldest wanted one after a brief stint with MySpace, and my only caveat was that he add me as a friend, and at the time get access to his password.  It was so new that I was like many parents and wanted to keep an eye on what he was posting, and what his friends were posting.  I did the same thing for our youngest.

As time progressed, I stopped checking in, because frankly, my husband and I raised pretty good kids and they didn't post things that would make their grandmothers cringe, nor that would prevent college coaches from recruiting them.

I always thought having 350+ friends was pretty impressive.  Many, many students requested me because of the thousands of pictures I would take a games.  Others requested me because I was friends with their parents, or they were friends with our kids.  Eveyone wanted to see the pictures.

I have spent countless hours online posting pictures Thursday nights, Friday nights and some Saturday's.  I've edited and tagged player after player, parent after parent, grandparent after grandparent.

Once the season ended last fall, I continued to keep people informed.  Much to my dismay, no one really gave a shit.  The season was over and nothing will matter until next season.  Last month, I started deleting.  Kids, parents, grandparents that I have had virtually no interaction with.  At first, I was surprised that I could so easily delete. I've had these people on my friends list for years, but those that have been deleted were never real friends.  They never even questioned why they can't access pictures any more.  Maybe they used me as a resource.  The ones I've kept, say thank you, appreciate dedication, and laugh at my stupid jokes and posts.

The rest of my list has been colleagues that I trust with my info, friends that I've reconnected with from high school, and family.  I'm finding myself unfollowing, but not unfriending, because of the drama that it will cause.  Maybe I'm just projecting and those people won't even notice if I delete them.

What I can't figure out is why some of the people I'm connected with find it necessary to have thousands of friends.  How is that even possible when you are not famous?  Does everyone on your list really care when you go to the grocery store or what you are making for dinner?  Or are they like me and just keep you on their list for the sheer enjoyment of the bullshit that continually comes out of your mouth?  Thus the reason for unfollowing.

Better yet, why do I even care if someone unfollows or unfollows me?  Why do I care if someone has 2,000 friends?  That just sounds unnecessarily exhausting.  I'm not in high school.  I don't need to be liked or need the validation of having 2,000 friends.  Who really cares?  True friends know the real me and actually pick up the phone and call or stop by.  I like to keep up with friends from years past, but have limited that list too.  I love being connected to old colleagues that are still friends.  And parents from the boys school that go through that same things we go through.  So many are real friends.  Those that aren't, have been or will be deleted.

It shouldn't matter if people like my photography, or follow my blog or bought my book.  If you like it, follow the page or buy a picture.  Read the blog.  Get the book.  If you don't, by all means, delete me.  I do it all because I love it.  But you'll have to be a very special person to get me to do something for you because I have been burned too many times.  If I have learned anything in the last six months, I certainly will not do it for free anymore.  If you don't want to know about our kids getting into a great college, or something great I think they've done, please, delete me.

Maybe my husband has it right.  23 friends, and no guilt for not adding relatives.

Consider yourself lucky if you are still getting my posts.  If you don't, I'm ok if you delete me.

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