Thursday, February 11, 2010

One negative aspect of social media

Social media doesn't always help me feel more in touch. Yes, it is easy to check in on people we are curious about - to see if the friend who dumped us in Grade 6 is still the 'it' girl in her new world, to see if that ex-boyfriend's ended up with someone not quite as cute as we are, or the ease of satisfying our curiosity of 'where are they now'.

As the person who moved thousands of miles from home, I am often thinking of my friends back home. I leave messages on their wall, congratulate them on the various events they post about, and drop a quick hello here and there with the simple hope that they will know someone is thinking of them. I have to admit that while I don't expect every little remark to be reciprocated, once in awhile it is nice to hear something back and with some people it is more often than not ignored. After awhile, I give up. What is the point?

Today I got an instant message from someone I have not heard from in quite some time: Hey, How are things? [Your daughter] is beautiful! Only just getting into the facebook thing, again. Sorry I am crap at keeping in touch! I haven't heard anything from her in three years and the excuse of not using facebook a whole lot is crap as I have seen regular updates from her. So at what point do I realize that I am taking this too much to heart? With tools such as Facebook, is there too much expectation for people to keep in touch? I am trying to take into account my struggles with a lack of my own community here and so maybe I am making too much of this. But she was a good friend at one point and that is why I feel hurt.

I probably won't spend too much time obsessing over this as I have dishes to do and Weeds to watch, but I am curious about what you do. Do you have higher expectations for people to regularly keep in touch now with things such as Twitter (I don't tweet) and Facebook at your disposal? Or can it sometimes make you feel like shit to have put some effort into keeping in touch with a particular friend, get nothing in return for years and then all of a sudden, "Well, I suck and I don't care"?


Maybe I should have titled this "No one wants to be rejected" because I think that what this all comes down to is that for three years I felt completely rejected and that never feels nice. Last night the episode of Life Unexpected was all about that: No one wants to be rejected.

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