Jimmy Kimmel is calling tomorrow NUD (National un-friend day) on facebook. It got me thinking about a letter I wrote last fall and submitted to a few papers: but never was picked up as I am no Jimmy Kimmel. I do, however, include my year old letter as today's blog in honor of Mr. Kimmel.
Open Letter to Facebook Friends:
Isn't the internet an amazing place? With a click of a button - we can reconnect with people we would never see without getting on a plane and flying to them. We can see photos of their children, what they look like after 20+ years and try and play catch up in a quick email -to bullet point those important events in our lives. We can chat with family members miles and miles away or read what someone we might see on a regular basis is eating for dinner. Facebook has become the social networking site for the “Thirty-Somethings” and older to try and recapture that favorite moment from high school or reach out to a broader group of friends that share our same interests.
But that is one of the things we should remember. Just because we grew up on the same street or used to sit across from each other in the cafeteria in school doesn't necessarily mean we are the same people we were back then. Times change and hopefully, so do people as we grow into the adults we have all become. This also means there are greater chances that we have grown apart in our beliefs, values, and who we are as people.
I think it is time to take stock of what we have created on the world-wide-web and play clean up in our Facebook friends folders. It shouldn't be about the quantity of names we can assemble in this virtual world. It should be about the quality of people we chose to surround ourselves with. To build us up when we are down. Pick us up when we fall. And yes, make a jab now & then to keep us grounded in who we are.
For that reason, I invite those people who have “friend-ed” me to use this week to decide if I am the correct person to have on your list of friends and if not - by all means, de-friend me. There is no harm: no foul. I won't feel hurt or upset. We shouldn't feel guilty about clicking on a link that cuts a tie to a past that just maybe...should have stayed in the past; even if it were fun to catch up with each other when we first came across each other’s name and face on that big blue screen. Make the coming weekend the time to clean your own personal "virtual world" by removing those people who you believe should be removed. And in another five years - you can send a simple email if you really want to find out where they are at that point in their lives.
To quote a non Facebook-friend, "maybe the honeymoon of Facebook has finally worn off" - but I may just have to pick up the phone to find out what that friend is making for dinner tonight.