IntrepidWoman's Journey

Facebook is Freaking Me Out. . .

Posted on: December 18, 2011

Facebook has done more than reconnect out of touch people and create a cyber world, that for some, has become more important than their real world. It is a place to put it all out there, good and bad – talk about how rotten or perfect your spouse is, and how awesome your children are. It is a place to show with photos the over-the-top spending at Christmas time and trips to warm places. It is the ‘look at me, I have more than you do and I can prove it with a bazillion photos’ place.

We also share when our houses will be empty because we are going away. We tell where we live and where we work to total strangers.

Some people feel the need to announce how many lattes they have consumed today, how they are yet again surviving until Friday, what they ate for lunch and how lucky they are to have what others have not. Some days it is exhausting. Why do we feel this need to share our lives so deeply with people who we do not spend time with and never see and probably forgot about until they found us or we found them on FB?

We certainly learn a lot about each other though. The intimate sharing shows us the person who never has anything positive to say, the one who thinks the world is conspiring against him/her and those who live on soap boxes for causes 24 hours a day when their own lives are less than stellar.

It is a place to shout your beliefs, run down politicians and your boss/workplace, dislike your neighbor and those you work with. I wonder about all that ‘stuff’ we put out there now that is going to bite us in the butt in the future. Jobs can be lost and relationships destroyed because of Facebook. Really. No, really.

But there is an eery new thing happening lately. People are talking to the dead on Facebook. They put lengthy comments on FB pages of the deceased, talking to them as if they are still here. I read one the other day wishing the person who had passed away two months ago a happy birthday! What? What do you mean, ‘Have a great day’? Are you thinking these people have passed but are still connected to their Facebook pages? You don’t continue having birthdays after you die! You would have had another birthday if you had lived! Reading “Have a great birthday”on a deceased person’s site is so weird!

In memorium pages are different. They eulogize the person and those left behind share memories and photos. That makes sense. It is the talking to the deceased as if they are checking their email daily after death that is kind of freaky. It is becoming more and more common. Talking to them as if their lives continue, but in another dimension that is connected to FB.

Can you picture all these souls milling around in the afterlife, the unknown zone out there, still reading their FB pages? Strange and a bit weird. No. A whole lot weird.

I like the new timelines because we are able to look back at our FB histories, all the way back to when we first signed on. We can see all the comments, photos, and shared items. Our past posts are spread out before us, like in an album or scrapbook. Ever think you might have changed your mind about something you expressed 3 years ago? Oops. It remains out there. Forever.

Nothing is off-limits on FB. Nothing. That is scary. If you can think it, you can put it on Facebook.

More importantly, Facebook, the organization, will have so much intimate information on millions of people, neatly organized! The implications of that should make us stop and think before we put another thing on our pages.

When I downloaded my timeline, I went through everything, deleting information and photos. I decided to do this after thoughts about a total stranger who became a follower on my blog a few months ago. When I checked him/her out at the time, I had an uneasy feeling about their character and integrity. I realized I was sharing some intimate thoughts with a stranger who was giving me bad vibes. Yikes.

We are all doing that with our FB pages. It is not just a couple of friends flipping thru your photo album and laughing over high school escapades or enjoying cute stories about the kids. We are laying it all out there for total strangers to see and learn about us and those near and dear to us.

Do you not find that a little unnerving? Almost as unnerving as messaging those who have passed away as if they are still sitting at their computers?

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1 Response to "Facebook is Freaking Me Out. . ."

It is spooky to me. We tell our kids to beware of strangers on the street and yet we tend to share everything with who knows many strangers every day and children are the best at it.

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