Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Neighborhood

I'm back!

Are you friends on Facebook with your co-workers and neighbors?
How do those pre-existing or otherwise stable relationships tie into social media?

So, here's the deal. As hard as his might be for you to believe, especially those of you who are on my personal Facebook page and know how vocal I am about politics and religion, I am not that way 24/7. And I am serious as a heart attack. I gotta exercise wisdom, preserve relationships. I also don't go around expressing my view without holding back, on other people's pages and all over the Internet. I'd be kicked out of a lot of places if I did. I can safely say that has happened only a few times. Teehee.

I don't usually do Facebook friendships with current coworkers, with some exceptions. And so far, no current neighbors.

I had cause to review my unofficial policy yesterday. (I actually wrote this yesterday which would make that 2 days ago, but due to some Blogger issues, I'm just now posting.) I love my neighborhood. We have only 12 houses. All the kids get along. Most of the moms are stay-at-home moms, so we're safe. You'd have to be stupid to drive to my subdivision to try and rob somebody. It's a good feeling.

Anyway, yesterday, we had a neighborhood potluck. Some of you might have seen one or two pictures of a "frozen Jordan" on Facebook. (Jordan is my 5 year old.) Then somehow, this idea of starting a page for the neighborhood brewed and as soon as I woke up this morning, I had an email inviting me to become friends with our neighborhood.

Screech to a halt.  

I was expecting a closed group. I knew we couldn't do a page because it would be open. So I start to think. Hmmm. If I become friends with "the neighborhood," they can access my profile. Y'all know I live in an Atlanta suburb, right? Surrounded by none other than Republicans. Yes, the GOP. Just the other day, a mom came up to me in Jordan's school and said, "I could have sworn we were the only Democrats in this school." I figured she saw my bumper stickers. She made me smile. Anyway, I digress.

So I think to myself. Should I suggest that we do a closed group? But then, a few people had already become friends with, you got it, "the neighborhood." Should I explain why I can't do it? Should I share my past experience- the one where all the moms in Jordan's home daycare descended on my Facebook page because I posted the video of someone throwing a shoe at George Bush. I felt like they were clawing my face out. It's OK to disagree with me, but it's my page, and my opinion, and I already knew the guy was safe so excuse me for offending you. It was very awkward because in real life, even though these ladies were not my best friends, we had no issues and got along fine. Eventually, I deleted the ones who didn't delete me first, because Facebook with them was just not necessary. While I never went to their pages to comment when they upheld their Republican views, I didn't care for the Nobama stickers and things I was subjected to either. And I realized, Facebook didn't add to our relationship, it took away from it. They had never made one positive comment on my page, or liked even one photo of Jordan. They were not my friends.

So, after much deliberation, I decided that none of the options before me on what to do with "the neighborhood" was a good option. I'd go with the option that would not take away from our good neighborly relationship (even if it didn't add to it), and not become Facebook friends with, wait for it, "the neighborhood."

What say you? What has been your experience?



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  1. This is one of the reasons why I got the heck away from Facebook, as all it it achieved for me was complicated friendships! In your own words "Facebook didn't add to our relationship, it took away from it".
    Great piece, loved it. Go-Bama!!! LOL
    Mr Lagbaja
    London SE4

  2. Thank you, Mr Lagbaja! We do need to be careful on social networking. In my experience, it has worked out better for simply networking which for me is with authors, book promoters, readers, other bloggers and then people who have similar ideologies but whom I've never met. As for the people I already knew or were friends with, except for admiring pictures of people's kids and such with those who are far away, it hasn't added anything to relationships with people who live in my area and I am able to have a regular non-internet relationship with. I still love Facebook however. But just as in real life, we need to always exercise caution. People often start to act like they're in their living room when on Facebook and say just about anything. It is simply not the case. People have lost jobs over this. Lol.