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Are You a Facebook Hermit?

Is Facebook isolating its users socially? Or does the popular social networking website actually enhance social interaction?

Those are the questions that Lisa Selin Davis of TIME magazine is asking:

Jenny has not returned my calls in roughly a year. She has, however, sent me a poinsettia, poked me, and placed a gift beneath my Christmas tree. She's done all this virtually, courtesy of Facebook.com, the online social networking site where users create profiles, gather "friends," and join common interest groups, not to mention send digital gifts.

Though Jenny has three children, ages 4 to 14, and rarely finds time for visits, phone calls or even e-mail, the full-time mom in upstate New York regularly updates her status on Facebook ("Jenny is fixing a birthday dinner," "Jenny took the kids sledding") and uploads photos (her son in the school play).

After 24 years, our friendship is now filtered through Facebook, relegated to the online world. Call it Facebook Recluse Syndrome, and Jenny is far from the site's only social hermit.

I don't use facebook so I have to maintain my social hermitude the old fashioned way! Link


Yay for firsties! I completely agree with this recluse condition...some regale facebook for increasing connectivity but the friendships don't seem as real to me when the most minimum of effort is taken. I had friends who were no more than 2 miles away from me but they would rather say happy birthday on my wall than to take the time to call or better yet see me in person on my birthday! There's a form of satisfaction from reading a quick hello on your wall but those memories don't feel nearly as pleasant as actually meeting up with a friend or two for lunch.
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Since my faraway friend joined, our correspondence has increased tenfold, and no more fwd fwd emails. Plus it's fun to see whats she's up to that is too mundane to phone me about.
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I think that, ultimately, I would have lost contact with the people that say "happy birthday" on my wall, or comment on my status sometimes, long ago. They wouldn't call me, so I'm glad to have even this contact with them. I think you can take it too far, but ultimately, it's just another way to communicate with multiple people at once.
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I agree with the above.

There are people from high school that I'd never think about, call, or talk to again were it not for Facebook.

(It's also a good way for me to put together meetups for myself and my dear friends from high school, now in college, and let everyone know the details at once).
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I actually have increased my real world activity because of FaceBook. I've reconnected with old friends who now call me. I've gotten to know people in my area whom I now visit with regularly and go do things with.

But the biggest thing for me is keeping the connections I could not have in the real workd. The sister I have not seen in years, who I now "see" regularly. The best friend from college i thought was dead and now talks to me at least once a week for hours.
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I think FB is pretty useful. I too have reconnected with high school and college friends who, without FB, I would probably never have talked to again.
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I joined Facebook when I moved to the UK, because everyone here uses it. I never log in. I hate it. I hate the stupid applications, the stupid "pokes", and the entire layout. I haven't deleted the accountout of sheer laziness.
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Y'know, beyond either side of Fboook making one more or less of a hermit, one can't deny that, when bored, commenting on people's status' with the most absurd remarks is actually rather entertaining.
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I only recently jumped (okay, was dragged) into the FB crowd and while I'm finding it mildly amusing & distracting, it's already annoyed me in a few ways.

All those dumbass applications that Evilbeagle mentioned for one. I tell my actual Friends outright, I have no intention of accepting flair, virtual drinks or playing a rousing game of whatever the hell they want. It's just stupid.

Second, long-lost real friends I either approach or have requests from to add me, and then they never even communicate. I'm still debating if it's proper etiquette to un-friend them. I don't want to be just another notch in their FB headboard.
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I go through my 'friends' list at least once a month and cull people. I don't care if they find out or not. I see so many people who collect friends like World of Warcraft quest badges. it is ultimately an empty shell. It does however provide lazy me and my lazy friends a method of at least letting each other know that we are still alive.

I am spending less and less time on FB when I see how my girlfriend for example, spends as much time as possible forming empty relationships with assorted nutters.

As humans we seem to enslave ourselves and have no problem with turning ourselves into another market to plunder.
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It sounds awful, but I like Facebook because it organizes friends and family. If not, they just sometimes fall in the cracks of life, and by the time you ask "hey what is Bob doing these days?" 3 years has passed...
Anyway, with Neatorama I don't have time anymore ;D
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I think Facebook, Twitter, Neatorama, 4Love4Live or any other website on the internet are taking our time away from the traditional ways of living. After all we only have certain free time that we use for online activities, be it reading news, blogs, active on Facebook, whatever... at the end of the day, we get to choose our methods of satisfying our desire... some like to sit with friends in pub/cafe, others may prefer online chat, instead of reading newspapers, some like to read blogs (or write blogs :D) Isn't this great - we have CHOICES!
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Facebook I use only to keep in contact with folks I don't need to send an email to like family. With them I can easily call them on my phone or just go ahead and drop a note on FB.
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i believe it is because truly facebook is for antisocial people .. who need time to get used to the idea of seeking out long lost friends in person.. .. if it is meant to happen it will happen ... get used to the worl wide web... there are online dating sights aswell you know... if you dont like it dont use it>>>>
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