” You’ve got 350 Facebook friends; you look at every picture they put up…but when do you ever see them? As a new survey reveals half of us only see our best friends once a month, writer Christina Quaine, talks about the moment she realised her friends had disappeared from her life, and wonders how she went from great mate – to stalemate….” Words by Christina Quaine
I ‘chat’ to my hundreds of Facebook friends online. I write Happy Birthday on their wall, and I comment on their holiday pictures. But when do I actually see them? Two of my close friends, Sam and Katherine, both have babies who I see changing month by month as I flick through their Facebook pictures – but as for getting on a train and going to see them? Well, I haven’t seen Sam in four months, or Katherine for even longer…
The trouble with Facebook is that it’s like rolling news – you can’t tear yourself away from the constant stream of updates. But when you’re confronted with real people down the pub, you’ve got information fatigue because you know it all already.
Apparently, I’m not the only one who’s worried. Statistics show that far from wanting to get fitter or richer this year, half of us said our top 2011 resolution is to see family and friends more often. Shockingly 45% see our best friends just once a month or less – as i write, I haven’t see Amy for 2 weeks and she only lives 20 minutes away.
In an age where Facebook will tell you how your friends are feeling, what they’re doing, who they’re doing it with and when it’s their birthday, it can be easy to forget that there’s no substitute for real-time friend time; the intimacy of having a proper laugh with a mate, instead of typing ‘LOL’ on their Facebook status.
I am probably a rare creature in the fact that I don’t have a Facebook account. I have been pestered on numerous occasions but to no avail! To me (and this is just my personal opinion), I like to speak to my friends on the phone and see them in real life…the people that are important to me I keep in contact with and the people that are acquaintances I accept that they are part of my life during certain stages. I understand when friends and family live in other countries it is lovely to see photos and keep in contact that way, that is a great element of Facebook…what scares me are stories of affairs, people sharing their emotions about the states of their relationships – doesn’t anyone keep anything private anymore? What are your thoughts on the Facebook generation?? Do you think it is taking away peoples social skills – are you worried for the next generation??