Unspoken Conversations are the topics that are often swept under the carpet, whispered amongst the closest of friends and bitched about by many. I want to create awareness about difficult things that people face in life; grief, mental health, money, illnesses, family troubles, relationship difficulties and putting yourself first. I want to tell the truth about things that really matter.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Facebook; Why I'm Culling My Friends List

It was a thought provoking and passionate discussion over a few too many wines the other night that got me thinking about the role that Facebook plays in my life.

"Hi, my name is Kirsty,  and I'm 100% addicted to Facebook. The first thing I do in the morning and the last thing that I do at night,  is scroll through my news feed,  checking out the goss and I'm even known for taking my phone on the toilet for a good old facestalk".

But why? Why is it that admittedly, I spend my "spare time stalking?" What is it that I'm looking for or hope to find? Do I really have 500+ friends?

Why did I join Facebook in the first place?

Well....I joined because;

-I saw the potential to share my life, photographs and adventures with my friends and family.

-It's cheaper then sending picture messages.

-I could stay connected to my friends overseas.

-It was a great platform to share my blog with a wider audience.

In an essence, I loved Facebook because I saw the potential that it had to strengthen the relationships around me, especially as we all started going our own ways and could no longer pop around to each others houses to share stories and photos over coffee.

But somewhere along the way my view of Facebook has been tarnished and I couldn't pinpoint why until recently.

I actually think that Facebook is starting to do an injustice to relationships.

What on earth do I mean by that?

Well, once upon a time the only people who knew about your overseas adventures,  latest renovations and purchases, excitement about your child's achievements,  and shared the intimate details of your life were your closest friends and family.

And how did your closest friends come by this information?

You'd arrange a catch up date soon after you'd touched back down in Australia to whip out your slideshow of overseas photos, pop open a bottle of champers,  and elaborately share the details of the time you got lost in Rome, or the disgusting snails you ate in Paris, or when you almost got ran over by the crazy motorbikes in Saigon.

Or as soon as your baby pulled themselves up on their own two feet you'd pick up the phone and tell your best friend, stoked that your child has reached a new milestone, and you'd laugh about hiding everything within arms reach and the craziness that comes with independence.

Now, how many times when you catch up with someone and they begin a conversation with excitement and emotion about the journey they've been on do you find yourself saying, "yeah I know,  I saw it in Facebook" to which the person goes "oh yeah" and the conversation turns to something else?

What are we missing out on here?

Connecting emotionally with another human being?

Do we make as much effort to see our friends and family now that we're "so connected on Facebook" or do we feel as though we "see them enough" and "know what's going on in their life" because they pop up in our news feed?

Do you still arrange to catch up with friends when they return from their holiday to hear about the stories,  excitement and adventures they faced on their trip that can't be captured in photos and tag lines on Facebook?

What are we missing out on here?

But it also got me thinking that perhaps it's not just our close friends who miss out on "emotionally connecting with us" and being fortunate enough to share our lives with us, that maybe it's also impacting our ability to create lasting relationships with other people?

What do I mean by this?

Well, when once upon a time we would've stopped in our tracks in the street to catch up and say hi to someone we hadn't seen in ages, now do we just walk on by because we already "know what's going on in their life" because we've seen it on Facebook?

Are we jumping to conclusions and closing ourselves off to meeting new people and engaging in conversations because we already know about their life?

What are we missing out on here?

Engaging in conversations and making the time in our lives to stop and say hello because our newsfeed keeps us up to date?

I've come to the conclusion that I value getting to know someone face to face,  rather then feeling like I know them through their newsfeed updates.

I've come to realize that the reason I love seeing the photos of my close friends lives popping up on my facebook is because I know the story behind the photograph.

I know the person isn't taking the photos to brag about their life, or to create a false pretension for what's really going on behind the scenes,  I know that I can laugh, cry, empathize and pray for my close friends when photos, quotes and "news" pops up because I have a relationship with that person off of Facebook; Facebook only helps to strengthen my love for that person because I get to share photos and stories that are otherwise more expensive and difficult to share when you live away from each other.

So I've decided that I'm going to cull my Facebook friend list to only those whom I have a relationship with off of Facebook, so that if by chance I see you in the street and I haven't spoken to you in ages, I'll stop and say hello and hear about your life from you; and it'll give our relationship a chance to become personalized.

So don't be offended if you don't make the cut, take it as a compliment that I want the opportunity to get to know you past the pictures you post in my newsfeed.

Don't forget that if you love my blog you can stay connected by searching for regular posts online!

And to my close friends, I look forward to sharing my life with you xx

What do you think?

Look after yourselves and those around you,

Kirsty xxx

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