Thursday, June 28, 2012

Do You Get Tired? Part Two

I've had a jumble of messy thoughts after writing my post yesterday. I feel that I was too generic in writing that post yesterday and let me try to untangle some of my thoughts, which would be too long to write in the comment section (though I did try to write some of them already).

OK, first of all I think blogging is a different platform altogether. I write for myself and my audience in my blogs (depending on the topic, sometimes it's more for the audience, sometimes it's more for me, sometimes it's 50-50) and because I don't allow anonymous commenters anymore, I find that those who do comment mostly do want to say something to me about my post or they want to build a connection or they feel that they can relate to my post or something like that.

Facebook is a different platform altogether. What I find to be tiring about Facebook is also because of my fault, I suppose. I have a jumble of different people in my Facebook friends' list, but I don't want to bother separating them 'coz then I'll have more accounts to take care of. Back in the beginning before I was active at all in Facebook, I didn't really know "that world". Now I have semi strangers in my blog as well as close friends and relatives and ex school friends, blogging friends and those in between (friends of friends).


Here are some things that I find tiring about Facebook in a nutshell (let me try to remember my thoughts from last night):

1. Facebook resembles so much like the real world in a twisted way.

So much like the real world, because unlike blogging where some people use pseudonyms, they mostly use their real names. And the interaction happens in a much faster speed. Twisted because you can be half a world apart from the other person, yet you can still feel things just like the feeling you may get from a face-to-face conversation.

An easy example: I once commented on someone's photo, and the person's response struck the wrong chord in myself. While reading the response, I got so angry and upset that I just wanted to lash out at that person. My initial reaction was to "slap back" (for lack of a better phrase). Thankfully I managed to calm myself down before typing down and publishing something I'd regret, withdrew myself from my computer, and did other things to calm myself down. Only after I did that then I replied to that person in a more civilised manner. That, I suppose, is a good thing about an online platform compared to the real world - it's easier to just withdraw and take a step back before reacting (in the real world this may be more tricky to do).

I've also felt a few times when someone comments on my posts, "Oh no...not again!" because the person is the kind that pushes my button, but once that person comments on any of my posts, it's "rude" if I don't respond back (especially if then I do respond to other commenters after and before that one).

I know that whatever I write can be subjected to any interpretation by anyone and that anyone is free to speak up their minds, but still it does resemble real life in a way. Sometimes you just want to get away from all of those feelings and people. But the problem with deactivating a platform like Facebook is that I feel that I'll "be left behind" because there are people in the site whose lives matter to me, whose photos I want to see, who I really want to connect regularly, whose interests match mine, etc. etc. etc. 

2. And because so many people are active in that platform, I feel that it's getting harder and harder to just disconnect there. And that's also one source of the fatigue. 

The feeling of not wanting to miss important things, but then again I do need to disconnect completely sometimes...but disconnecting completely means that when I get back online again there'll be so much to sift through in order to find out which is more important and which is not...

3. Due to the nature of a platform like Facebook, I feel that the temptation to show off is much greater than in blogging for example. Because I blog also for myself, I don't necessarily feel the need to show off because I mostly want to write down a kind of journal for myself - which I hope will entertain people or will help people connect with me or will help people learn from my mistakes, etc. 

However, in Facebook, many times when I want to post something, I have to think twice, "Am I posting this to share or to show off?" This is especially true for holiday pictures, but this doesn't cover all of the issues that may make me feel this way. For holiday pictures, I've resorted to sharing them with only a certain group of people.

4. Another part of the problem I experience with this kind of platform I've written down in the other post (and in the comment section): about wondering whether or not to comment, about the feeling of voyeurism (funnily enough I don't really feel this way with blogging - maybe because in Facebook there is a bigger opportunity to really check out those people whom I may know by name already in real life and that takes it to a whole different level), about whether my silence is better than saying anything (because a silence can also be deadly), etc.

Additional reason (added on Jan 17, 2013): I also feel that it's hard to control what you see in Facebook. Even though you can limit what you see in your Newsfeed, if your friend posts something that you don't really want to see, you're bound to glimpse through it and when it's something disturbing, then I feel disturbed and it doesn't really help me calm my inner world. 

Another part of the fatigue is due to a different platform. I've written about Whatsapp application before in this post: Whaddup. Anyway, that kind of platform allows you to chat with anyone in your guestbook (or phonebook) constantly if you're both online 24/7 with your mobile phone or iphone or smartphone. A few close friends have started using WhatsApp application to chat with one another and I did try it using the free version for PC during its trial period.

What made me tired was the thought of more and more people interacting this way - through that kind of platform and that, again, makes me feel left behind. I don't care about people I don't know, but I do feel left behind when it comes to my close friends, because you don't exactly "chat" that way via emails. When people use WhatsApp application, they can chat with one another during their breaks or when they're on the way to a place or when they're waiting for an appointment or whenever. In emails, you formulate your ideas in a more controlled manner, but when you're chatting with people live, you can talk about ANYTHING at all that comes in your mind. And it's hard to transfer that kind of chat file to an email-based world. And when you're not connected to them in that way, it feels as though they've gone for a quick coffee break to have fun without you.

Connecting through that kind of platform is VERY tiring because of time difference among other things. I go to sleep and when I wake up, I can see that some of them have left hundreds of messages already and I need to sift through the messages to find out if there's anything I need to respond to - but still even if I do respond to some of the (already old) messages, I feel that the conversation has moved on already. This is something new that feels weird for me and I don't necessarily like the feeling.

When you're on a holiday for a few weeks and you don't check your mailbox for a while and realize that your close friends have written dozens of emails, you feel overwhelmed in a way, but at least with emails it's (for me personally) still easier to catch up on because it's more structured so to speak. When it comes to following old chat messages (even if it's just a few hours old), it just feels so random, fragmented, confusing, and daunting.

So all of the above contribute to my feeling tired about this online world because I have to set my boundaries, but in a way I also don't want to "lose the connection" (especially with those I care about) by setting too tight boundaries/limits, but it gets harder to sift through the mess. OK, I think I've said what I really want to say, so enough about this for now.


  1. Before I am sorry, if I made a mistake about this post. If about Facebook, sometimes i do smile seing my friends's status or photo. Ah...pake bhs indo aja, biar cepet hi hi hi... Kdg2 mrk taro status/mobile photo y. Contoh, makan bami aja diphoto, ato naik ojek diphoto. Yah...ampun.... Kurang kerjaan banget gitu y. Aku sih, tdk punya hp yg bisa online/camera. HP aku yg jaman bahela hi hi hi...boro2 bisa photo. Cuman bs sms and telp mah cukup buat aku. KL mau beli hp yg terbaru sih bisa, tp ah...ngapain. Makanya aneh aja, liat2 status di FB :D WhatsAPP, dll

    1. Hah? Why sorry, Jul? Don't worry lah...iya, ngerti kok soal FB and WhatsApp dkk. Emang jadi lebih tergoda buat "pamer" sih kalo aktif di gituan, tapi yang bikin aku cape kemaren tuh lebih ke arah "ketinggalan berita/seru2" kalo engga pake gituan karena temen2 deket pada pake. Kalo orang2 laen sih yang aku ga kenal, aku ga pedulilah ketinggalan berita juga, tapi karena tinggal beda benua ama temen2 deket, kan seru gitu kalo bisa ngobrol kapan aja, tapi cape juga kalo harus online terus2an sih he he...

    2. Ketinggalan berita apa nih??? Artis indo??? Aku mah...kagak tahu lagi artis2 jaman sekarang di indonesia. Boro2 bisa ngikutin berita gituan.

      Soal pamer, iya. Ada org indo yg tinggal disini jg, tdk 1 kota sih ma aku. Makan di KFC aja, di taro di FB (pake mobile update gitu) Yah ampun tolong d...kagak ada kerjaan bgt khan :D

    3. Bukan artis Indo, Jul, tapi kalo temen2 deket pada bisa chatting bareng2 kan rame gitu lho, share idup masing2. Kaya ngobrol aja kalo ketemu di real life. Artis sih aku juga ga ngikutin.

    4. I'm trying to avoid Facebook - for your reasons and because since I started there it seems I never actually talk or discuss. :(

    5. Yeah, M, it's not easy to actually "talk" or "discuss" anything in Facebook. I do it with several friends mostly through FB messaging system, but that means I'm only doing it with a very small percentage of the people in my friends' list. I do occasionally "talk" with other people via their walls and they can be interesting talks, but it feels a bit too "public" somehow to be discussing things via the wall there.

  2. Good post Amel.
    Facebook and blogging, I think, are so different. Yes they are both via the web and interacting, but you're right, Facebook can be prone to showing off and 'look where I have been/done' where as blogging is far more personal
    Because I blog also for myself, I don't necessarily feel the need to show off because I mostly want to write down a kind of journal for myself - which I hope will entertain people or will help people connect with me or will help people learn from my mistakes, etc.
    I couldn't agree more!

    1. I'm glad I'm not the only one having these thoughts and feelings. THANKS for sharing your POV, Nikki! :-D