WARNING: this Post is about one of those things that happens, but no one ever addresses. A white elephant, an under the rock piece…
Have Facebook Comments become a huge waste of your time lately?
Every morning during my week off I have “checked in” with people, to see what they’re up to, and make a comment. This takes time and some thought. Sometimes the comments I make are funny, sometimes I’m asking a question, sometimes it’s an observation. It’s nice to be able to connect while I have some free time. My observation this week is that the comments I make might mostly fall on deaf ears, or eyes, as it were. Very few people even acknowledge that I’ve visited them. In fact, most people never respond to anyone’s comments. To be honest, not even me. There have been many comments made on my own Facebook page that I read and never respond to.
Facebook reminds me of this rather awkward cyber playground.
I’ve told people, in fact most recently when I was trying to convince my friend to sign up, that Facebook is like walking into a room full of your friends everyday. You can see what everyone is doing, or what they choose to tell you they’re doing, see their pictures, and interact with them instantaneously. Finally after receiving several invitations from her friends she signed on.
But if you interact with your friends with comments, does that mean they’ll interact with you?
Before becoming inhibited with the comments I make, or taking offense for the thought of being ignored I had to look at my own behavior when it comes to “commenting” in return. That puts everything into perspective.
When the little red number at the top left hand side of my Facebook application is lit up with a big number, it means people are choosing to pay attention to what you’re sharing. That red number is all friends that have taken the time to stop by and comment.
But are Facebook comments just wasted keystrokes?
I don’t think so.
It’s almost like someone has stopped by your house when you weren’t home and left a note on your door. Or they have called while you were out and left you a voicemail. They acknowledge your existence. They let you know they’re thinking about you and they care. They have taken the time to admire the work you’ve done or the pictures of your family and objects de art you’ve posted. They went there and they looked and felt moved enough to leave behind a mark of their humanity for you in the form of the “comment”.
You have been honored with a bit of their free time.
Do I feel compelled to respond to every comment on my page? Sometimes, but some times no. It doesn’t mean the comments mean any less to me, or that some comments mean more. They are all equally well received and welcomed in my Facebook world. Please know that I read each and every one of them and they all make me smile or give me food for thought. I have never been annoyed by a comment from a friend.
I’m sure though, that we all have that insecurity about the words we write.
Deep down I think that this is acknowledgement we’re all looking for. Just knowing that we aren’t ignored, that someone out there is soaking up our thoughts, that we have this opportunity to change someones opinion, someones views, or someones life.
Another one of my friends told me that someone she knew gave up her online “personality” to work on her life in the real world. I had never thought about this in those terms before.
Is Facebook any different than how I conduct myself anywhere else?
In “real” life I do nothing to save the rainforest, or to buy carbon credits. In “real” life I couldn’t be a Baroness and fight evil. I also wouldn’t pick up the phone everytime I feel like chatting with a friend and I certainly wouldn’t have bothered to look for my friends from the past. It just wouldn’t have been possible, or this easy to establish and maintain those ties. In fact, there are some folks I like much better now than I used to because I’ve been given this chance to get to know them better.
Do I feel like I need to give up Facebook in order to have a real life? Um, well, no. Facebook, like email, using my cell phone or even writing a letter longhand is making a connection with people.
Surely all of you guys out there are real folks, right? For the ones I’ve slowly figured out aren’t people in real life, or otherwise, I have exercised my full privilege of the Delete key.
Social cyber-networking isn’t about taking something away from your real life. It’s about adding another dimension. It’s an evolution that makes the world smaller, yet still intriguing.
I told someone today that Facebook has taught me more about myself, and more about what I will and will not stand for in a person, than any other experience in my life. Through Facebook I have learned the importance of privacy and personal boundaries. Through Facebook I have learned that not everyone out there has your best interest at heart. And through Facebook I finally know and have seen firsthand, what a fake friend really looks like. Now that! was a revelation!
But best of all, through Facebook I now know what a real friend looks like too because I can see it, in comments and messages, right before my eyes.
I had to pause for thought this morning as I wrote some comments of my own. Is this a wasted keystroke? The resounding answer is NO. As long as I’m reaching out and making a connection, whether it be in this wonderful cyber playground or in an email then I’m doing alright. The joy of waking up and switching on this world I’ve built is far more than I expected it to be. My friends, most of the people I love, are right here, all together in one spot and I can visit them here in mass frequency while I make plans to see them in person someday soon.
The next time you feel the urge to open that Comment box, the one that says Write Something, pound on that keyboard until the urge passes, say your piece, let someone out there know that you see What They’re Doing Right Now and you’re glad that you can see it. You’re happy to know they’re out there and that they ARE doing something.
Now I’m going to go out there and do something. Til the next Post, I am yours in Comments.