I’m sure by now you’ve all experienced that awkward encounter while walking through Target, minding your own business, and you run into a Facebook “friend” but he/she is someone that you have never or barely interacted with in real life. You tried too avoid them, but you don’t want to be rude. This has happened to me more than once and it’s SO uncomfortable…
“Oh, heeeyyy (insert name if you can think of it). How are you? I saw on FB that you have a baby now! How’s that going?”
“Yeah, I have a baby. It’s good. I saw that you’ve been doing some traveling, and you’re married, right?”
“Yep, I’m married. It’s been fun.”
(Fidgeting, smiles and silence.)
“Well, I gotta run, but it was great seeing you!” (Sure it was.)
“You too, take care.” (Awkward.)
I am quite certain it is easier and more satisfying to have a conversation with a complete stranger! I have to wonder why we are even FB friends with random people/acquaintances of acquaintances/my mom’s third cousin’s youngest child/my ex-boyfriend’s grandmother/my middle school lab partner. Is it just a novelty? A popularity contest? An ego booster? A gossip generator? A way to feel connected? A validation? All of the above, maybe?
In my real life, I have less than 10 best friends, less than 10 good friends, maybe 10 family members that I’m close to, a load of acquaintances, and I’m grateful, yet I sometimes compare myself to people who have 1587 friends on FB and wonder why I only have 460. I’m happy, settled, mostly content, so why do I care about this silliness? Why do I feel like I need a giant cushion of Facebook friends? All good questions, but I’m not sure I have the answers.
In the mean time, I found these images on Pinterest. It seems this is a common issue. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the topic, or about the uncomfortable encounter you’ve had.