Just a number

I have had conversations with a friend who, from time to time, deactivates her Facebook account for various reasons.  One reasonRecipe Challenge is because it can get pretty annoying at times.  I have felt the same way.

The majority of the people on my friends list are those who I went to school with.  Some of them are family and the others are people I have befriended through places of employment.  I don’t believe there is a single person I don’t know on my friends list, and even if we aren’t really friends outside of the virtual world of Facebook, we were or are connected in life in some way.

When I signed up for Facebook 5 or 6 years ago, I thought it was great.  Everyone did and yes, in many ways, it still is.  But lately, it’s just one of those things I check on throughout the day out of habit.

I post status updates about random things that happen during the week, as they happen, and it’s usually something involving my kids.  I mean, I’m with them all day and night.  I post pictures or videos of them, or dictate a conversation I had with them that I found amusing.

When I actually get to go somewhere, like on a weekend trip out-of-town (it’s usually only for a night), I’ll post pictures of that.  Sometimes I’ll come across an article that moves me in some way and I’ll share it.  Aside from that, there’s nothing else I do on there.  I don’t play the games.  I don’t partake in the quizzes.  None of that interests me.

But, do you want to know what my biggest pet peeve about Facebook is lately?  The fact that it seems that people don’t feel the need to act as if they have manners.  There is no proper “web etiquette” in place.

The reason I say this is because, as I said before, I started another blog, specifically for food, recipes, food styling and photography.  I added a page for that blog and I have it connected to my own Facebook page.  I sent the invites out to all 249 of my Facebook friends.  Only 43 of them accepted the page invite and “liked” the page.  Keep in mind though, that a handful of those 43 are family members.

Now, I understand that it’s not fair to expect that everyone would be interested in “liking” a food blog page and receiving those notifications in their news feed.  Here’s the deal though.  I get plenty of Facebook page invites from the same people who I have reached out to with my page invite, and have gladly accepted.  I skim through my news feed and read the status updates from their special pages because it’s there, in my news feed.

The acceptance of page invites from those on my “friends” list is proper web etiquette to me.  It’s having good manners.  It is a sign of support, not a sign of interest in that particular topic or company they are promoting.  What gets me is that I currently have about 10 pages that those I know have started who I have accepted page invite requests from, and there is only one of them that reciprocated that gesture.

I posted a contest today on the blogs Facebook page offering a $20 virtual gift card to a random winner.  All you had to do to enter the contest was tell me the name of a dish or desert to challenge me to cook/bake, style & photograph for my blog and tell me your favorite place to eat.  I started the contest, not to gain likes, but to gain experience and practice my skills with food styling and photography.  I figured I’d make it fun and reward those who have liked the page with this kind gesture.

Catch is that it was only available to those who “like” the page.  That’s because it wouldn’t be fair to those who have already liked the page to award someone with free money who only came for the prize and was never to be found again.

The only person to enter was my boyfriend’s mom who has no interest in the prize of course.  How pitiful is that?  These are some of the reasons I feel this way.  Where has the care and common decency and manners gone?

This is why I wonder what the point of it all is.  Yes.  It’s nice to see how much everyone has grown.  It’s great to see the adorable families they have made.  It’s nice to know that people are successful, or loved, or happy, but I am starting to feel like my “friends” list is too long.

This is not because I’m bitter.  This is because it’s true.  There are plenty of places and systems in society where we are just a “number”.  Personally, I’d rather not be a “number” on someone’s friends list.  That itself, is basically a huge contradiction.

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