The phenomenon of one-sided relations

Veröffentlicht auf von André

Web 2.0 and Facebook really revolutionize global communication and the possibility to stay in contact over long distances of place and time. However, in a certain sense it also estranges friendship withouth us really noticing it.

I made this experience with a friend whom I had met in Paris a few years ago. Much has happened since we last met in person and exchanged information in the most normal way there is: in a personal conversation. Since then, she's been travelling, meeting new people and getting involved in new things. And me too, I've been travelling, meeting new people and got involved in new things. But the nature of Facebook is not made as to document the entirety of someone's experience and personal feelings. All you get is decontextualized appetizers which you then have to puzzle into the right context. And you never know whether your friend is now speaking to you, to someone else or to everybody when posting a general announcement of what they're up to. Maybe I was not really inteded to receive the information I just got? So that made it harder to understand her life and to follow her.

We're two different characters. My friend has always been pretty active on Facebook. She let people know what she was doing. I'm more careful with posting things on Facebook, and I like to be in control of who gets what information about me. It's a question of good friendhsip to decide that not everybody has the right to get insight into my plans, opinions and feelings. And that made things a little bit uneven in our relation. At some point you just stop writing messages if you get all the information through the newsfeed already. I could basically be a part of my friend's life without her noticing it. However, while I got my regular newsflash, she missed out on information about me, because her extensive newsflashing made any messaging obsolete.

Yet, I only realized that when we just met in person again. While I more or less knew all that had happened to her, I had to spend around an hour giving her the latest insight into my life, while she could only sit and listen. Somehow uneven, isn't it? I know for sure that I now have a different view about the "practical" application of the Facebook communication system - and I think I will be going back to more intensive email and telephone communication.

Veröffentlicht in Life

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