An Open Book

How many “Friends” do you have? I don’t mean friends in your daily (“real”) life but in the digital world. I had over 400 “friends” over years. Over the years I would meet people, receive a friend request, and accept. 400+ friend = family, high school friends, college friends, acquaintance over the years, fellow employees, fellow employers, childhood friends, event friends, internship friends/acquaintance, daycare parents, people from church, and the list can continue. Earlier this year I downsized my friend count. I strive to not offend people I deleted everyone who wasn’t family. If a person wanted to continue to be my friend, I would accept them.

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Once I downsized I went from 400+ to 75 people. Now I’m up to 99 people with three more requests in my queue. Now fast forward to months later, now I have reflected on the reason I continue to have my personal page. When I was working full time I had to keep it because it’s what we used for communication. Now I have it for family and a few friends. I am now asking myself why do I continue to use this form of media? I don’t post updates often but I share pictures of the boys. I take time throughout the day to see peoples updates but it’s mostly used to post memes, political views, a cause, options about topics, a few minutes videos, and other things you can find online. Rarely do I see a personal update which is a big reason I keep it.

It’s a great way to keep up and know what is going on in the lives of those who are important to you, right? The question I have asked is: Do we make it too easy for people to be “in” our lives? I don’t think someone created social media to allow people to hide from “real” relationships or to replace having real contact. It’s not all bad, right? It allows family members to see pictures and keep them up to date to what is going on in the lives of their loves ones. Throughout the years I have added people as friends because on some level I didn’t care if they had access to my personal page. In the beginning I would make daily post about nothing. I use an app that shows me past post. I have had post going back 10+ years. There would be days I would post my every move. I didn’t realize how often I posted about certain topics until someone finally asked me why I always have to clean.

Having access to people personal pages allows you to feel close to a person you barely know. This became plain when I was friends with someone my husband knew as a youth. I knew her by associations and talked to her maybe two times in person. She would post pictures of her two boys and I enjoyed seeing these regular updates. One day we were at an event where the lady and her family was attending. I had an urge to walk up to her boys to talk to them. That was when I realized I felt I knew these boys because of the regular updates. I have never talked to them; I was a stranger to them but I didn’t feel like I was a stranger. I had an emotional connection to them and I spend no physical time with this family. That stuck with me over the years.

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In past post I have shared about how I have lost friendships over the last year but I haven’t really talked about current relationships I have sustained. In those relationships I have not really kept in contact with but they still have access to my personal page. They see daily updates about the boys and know what we have been up too. As I stated above I rarely post a status and I don’t share when we’re heading to appointments or when my husband is away. If a person has access to this information, it’s because they talk on a regular basic. I long to have stronger, healthy, and personal relationship with people. I need to stop allowing people to have access to my world without investing. I am planning on deactivating my page once I sell a few items I have posted on the marketplace. I am even considering deactivating other form of media where I post pictures. I won’t be giving up my blog because this is the creative outlet I have to choose.

What is your purpose of having social media accounts? How much time do you spend on each site? How much do you share? Do you think you could give it up for a period?

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