I recently discovered a couple of flaws in Facebook. No, it's not the timeline that only works great if you have a 20" screen (in my opinion) and the fact that once you go to it you can't go back. It isn't that you can't seem to choose who comes in your news feed. All of those are just irritations.
One flaw, as I see it, is that it creates a false sense of who is your peer. The other flaw, as I see it, is that it is easy to think you are closer friends than you are.
The way I understand it (from watching "The Social Network" movie), Facebook was meant originally for college students to network/socialize together. As college students graduated, they took it with them, and eventually high schoolers were allowed in and then as we know - the entire world.
Facebook friends are not necessarily our peers, nor close friends.
Through a series of experiences I have come to the following conclusions.
1. I should not comment on posts of people that are 20 years younger than me unless they truly are a close friend in person.
2. I want to be on my children's friend lists so I can watch what is going on, but that only makes me an adult observer, not necessarily their friend. Keep quiet. If I see something that concerns me, talk to them in person.
3. I will wait for people younger than me (again those that are 20 years younger) to initiate conversation online with me, I will not initiate with them. I will not intrude, other than to say Happy Birthday.
4. While social networks create this huge playground where everyone can play, not everyone can or should play with each other. Respect each other's space.
It's a new world, live and learn.
Labels: cyber etiquette, Facebook, false sense, friends, peer