For the last week or so I’ve seen this show up in my Facebook feed every couple of minutes-
If you’re my Facebook friend suffice it to say that I would love to do you a favor. Most of the time if I’m able I will be glad to do you a favor. This one, though, is tough. I have over 600 friends. I’m not willing to hover over every person’s name and unsubscribe from their likes and comments. I’m sorry but it’s true.
It sucks that this has happened and if you want to unfriend me I can respect that. I hope that you won’t unfriend me though because I like being your Facebook friend.
I’m not saying I like the new layout, to be clear, that ticker box drives me mental. It’s too much too often in my opinion. I’d delete that thing in a minute but not because I’m afraid of what other people might see of mine. Let me tell you why I won’t hover though. Maybe it will explain my position a little better.
It’s not the “trouble” it takes to hover over all those names and tinker with the page one click at a time that gives me pause, but rather the idea behind it. This is the struggle I’ve had over and over with social media, this idea about privacy. While I can see why someone wouldn’t want their mom seeing something they post on friend’s walls or their boss seeing what they do on the weekend I think we begin to miss the point of social media when we mistakenly believe that Facebook can ever possibly BE private. It can’t. It’s not realistic to hope for that frankly.
Social Media is BOTH of those things…it’s social….and it’s MEDIA. If you want to be social without broadcasting it then actually, social media is going to work against you in my opinion. If you don’t want the world to see something then don’t say it on social media. Just don’t do it. Email your friend or better yet CALL THEM or have coffee in person but don’t put it on the interwebs. It’s not safe. It’s not private, no matter how many people hover for you, my friend, it’s going to show up somewhere somehow.
This is why the whole “nude” pictures of celebrities and politicians showing up on the internet every few days riles me up. Yes, everyone is entitled to privacy, absolutely. But if you’re a celebrity or a politician, don’t freakin take pictures of yourself in the nude on your cell phone. Just don’t do it.
If you follow me on Twitter and I say something off-putting you have the power to a)ignore it b)unfollow or c)engage me on it. Those are your choices. That’s the chance I take on social media. That’s the chance we all take. This is why I always try to default to the number one social media rule I have in place, “be the very best version of yourself.”
What I “like” and “comment” about on Facebook doesn’t define but it does reveal me. If I don’t want someone to see something then the best course of action is for me to limit myself. In a way, knowing loads of people I don’t know might see a comment I make adds a layer of responsibility to my posting on social media. It’s not an invasion of my privacy, it’s a call to be a more responsible curator of my commentary and content.
I’m not advocating an if you don’t like it then leave” approach to this Facebook thing. Truly. I think there’s a work around and someone will find it and yet I want to make sure that we understand this one basic thing going forward and not forget, social media is social and it’s also media and I don’t see that changing in the near future.