Wednesday, September 29, 2010

What Is Your Facebook Type?

What’s Your Facebook Type?
If you are reading this, then you probably read my post on Facebook. 

Ahhh….Facebook, what would we do without it?  Don’t we tend to say that about the latest and greatest….cell phones, laptops, wifi, etc.  Like anything else, once you start using it pretty soon you wonder, “What was life like before Facebook?”  and “How did I ever survive without it?”  I had a friend give up Facebook for Lent.  Another who swore she was going to start a Facebook Anonomous Group.  Friends who don’t use Facebook purposely opt out, cuz they know it’s one of those things that once you start…’s hard to stop.

So, what is the appeal?  Well, I think somehow it appeals to a variety of needs.  Perhaps it allows for an expression of needs that aren’t getting met elsewhere or even for a release of our secret desires.  There are different Facebook types.  There are the competitive types who are in a race to compete to have the most friends.  There are the voyeuristic types who don’t post much but like to secretly spy on others.  Then there are the exhibitionists who put their innermost thoughts and desires out there for everyone to see.  The obsessive-compulsive who are checking FB and posting all the time, throughout the day.  The lonely, who just need to feel connected.   Will you be my friend?  The nacrcissists, whose galleries are filled with photos of themselves.  Then there are those who are seeking closure in relationships or perhaps are wondering if there’s a chance the door still might be open.  For some, the Facebook appeal may just be a means of entertainment and fun.  Yet others, see it as a means of advertising their business. 

There is nothing wrong with any of this, really.  These are all needs we have as humans.  Perhaps it can serve us well if we channel these needs into Facebook rather than express them in irritating ways in our relationships.  So, what’s the problem?  Well, the problem comes when….well, like anything else….it begins to take over your life and interfere with what is really important.  Maybe it’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning.  You walk in your sleepy haze to the computer and pull up your profile.  You squint at the brightness of your screen as your eyes are not yet fully adjusted to the light of day much less to the glare of Facebook staring back at you.  You get to greet your friends without showing your morning face.  Then you check it throughout the day, a multitude of times.  Looking for the latest posts.  Has anyone commented on mine?  It becomes an obsession.  You can’t stop thinking about it.  You’re in a meeting and you slyly glance down now and then trying not to be obvious that you’re paying more attention to Facebook on your iphone (under the table) than to your boss’ boring monologue.  You’re in your car checking Facebook at the red light only to realize the light has turned green after the car behind you lays on his horn.  You’re ignoring your kids beckoning for your attention and find yourself growing more and more irritated with them because you’ve told them, “Just a minute!” over ten times in the last ten minutes already!  Dinner is burning and the smoke alarm is going off.  You’re up into the wee hours of the night pecking at that keyboard, post after post. 

Until …one day you realize, the phone hasn’t rung in months.  You haven’t gotten together with friends in….when was the last time?  Your husband is complaining you never go to bed with him anymore.  You’re debating whether to have an affair with an old boyfriend you’ve reconnected with (on FB).  Your kids grew a foot in the last week.  The house is quiet.  Where is everyone?  Where am I?  What has happened to my life?  Do I still have a job? 

Do you recognize yourself in any of this?  What Facebook type are you?  Me?  Facebook appeals to that 4 year-old in me who fresh out of the bath lifted her towel and mooned her Dad just as he snapped a picture.  I love that I can sit in front of my computer wrapped in a towel if I want to and flash my friends without them even knowing it!  It appeals to my playful side.  I love that I don’t have to care what I look like as I carry on a conversation, as virtual as it may be.  I love that I have been able to reconnect with people whom I haven’t been in touch with for years and learn where life has taken them.  I love that so many of the people who have touched my life are right there at my fingertips…..magically connected somehow.   I love how when I run into someone that I haven’t seen in a while, it’s like I saw them yesterday and we can share a laugh together knowing some of the silliness we’ve shared through Facebook.   Facebook is one of those experiences that leaves you saying, “What a small world!” And, what a comforting thought that can be.

For those of you who realize your Facebook addiction….do something about it.  Don’t wait until your loved ones provide an intervention.  Have fun, get your needs met but then get out there and live your life.  There’s a whole wide, wonderful world waiting for you!

What other FaceBook types can you identify?
What do you love about FaceBook?
What are the dangers ?
Please share…….

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