Can Facebook friends become more real, than real friends? Is it possibly real friends aren’t any more real than virtual friends, just more solid? Not in the sense of a solid friendship, but rather as an observable physical object, which has mass and occupies space.
This spur of the moment musing has been prompted by the realization that I seem to be more real to my facebook friends, some of whom I have never met face to face, than to the group of women forming my book club. Well, my former book club. Even though these ladies weren’t life-long friends, neither with me, nor with each other, as we’re all foreigners of varying backgrounds, thrown together quite accidentally in Atenas, Costa Rica, I enjoyed their company since joining the group in the Summer of 2010.
There is an ongoing dispute about the degree of awfulness of our electronically charged contemporary lives. Especially members of my own generation and above, us fuddy-duddies, shaking our heads and raising our censorial index fingers, lament all these youngsters being glued to their screens, rather than interact human to human. We’ve all read the stories about relationships ended via SMS and private parts globally twittered. And the same goes for Facebook. It can be distracting and silly. Nonetheless, it allows me to stay in touch easily with far-flung humans, groups, and organizations, I happen to care about. It gives me a forum in which to promote my pictures and to see other people’s work. Granted, I have a few friends with whom communication is limited, owing to my own ignorance and the poor Turkish translation skills of an electronic entity called google. But it’s all about Kangal Dogs and we mostly exchange pictures of our dogs, captions optional. I’ve noticed that there is a pleasant etiquette in place on Facebook. When you comment on someone’s post, there’s almost always a thank you, at the minimum, if not a full response.
Contrary to my virtual friends, to my real life friends, or more cautiously put, my real life acquaintances, I seem to be invisible. I resigned from my book club earlier this week, to make room for a new neighbor, who now lives in Costa Rica full time while I will be gone for the next five book club meetings. In my email to my bookish buddies, I explained just that. My feelings that it’s unfair for me to clutter up the roster, while she’s hoping to participate and to forge new connections in an unfamiliar country. In the same note, I officially tendered my resignation from the book club. Nobody responded. Not a single woman out of nineteen fellow club members felt the need to say something. Anything. Only three weeks earlier we had lunch together, a special occasion, laughing and talking like humans do – entirely without the aid of electronic devices. This silence hurt, no question.
What’s next? I shall attempt to be less needy and never expect or, heaven forbid, take for granted, a response or reaction. It is regrettable that none of the women indicated to me, why they didn’t want to communicate with me, which robbed me of an opportunity to improve myself. Without feedback, it’s very difficult to evolve into a better human being – great excuse there! Oops, I’m doing it again, assuming there was intent while it may just have been laziness or, could it be? They might all have been busy with their facebook and twitter accounts!
5 thoughts on “To ‘Friend’ or not to ‘Friend’ – in Life and Facebook”
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Hi One Fly! Welcome here, as well as in Atenas soon. Please go to my Photolera Claudinha website (link above post in purple band) and send me a privat email from there. Much easier to discuss stuff directly. Looking forward to hearing from you, Claudis
I pretty much understand what you are saying. I don't do Facebook but do blog. I like taking pictures of insects and other small creature and looking at them close up. http://oneflyspictureplace.blogspot.com/search/label/Insects
I have pondered this quote from a TV series “BONES” I watch on Netflix.
“Is it worth it to have your own happiness contingent on another human being?” And believe me I make no judgements at here – really.
I respond to this for several reasons. I came to CR 10/31 and left because of a medical issue on 11/8. I was in San Isidro Perez Zeledon. I'm very much better and wish to return but have yet to pull the trigger ticket but need to within a day or so. Atenas is where I'm headed. I will have again a PCV lifestyle once again.
I do have a question please. I understand there is/may be a lady chiropractor in Atenas. Do you know if that is correct. That would be helpful.
… we share more than hairy macros 🙂 I appreciate your calling cards very much, in fact, I'm looking forward to them. You're right that one tends to have an egocentric worldview … I tried to show the vanity of wanting to be appreciated by ones contemporaries – and the fragility of my little ego. When I read of your sad experience around your mom's passing, I'm seriously considering to wish for Victorian age strict social rules to return. Would've never happened then!
Interesting post. I don't really know you, but we share an interest in photographing insects. I try to leave a comment as a calling card so you know I've stopped by. My mother belonged to a bridge club for over fifty years. When she was ill and dying not one of those ladies called. True, some may have been having their own health issues. Maybe they never did like Mom. It's weird, but maybe it's not about you. Have a beautiful day in the Hill Country.