#317 Revealing you
Saturday 5th April, 2008
If i can see that my friends are online, why aren’t they responding to me?
Set apart from other forms of communication, I’m thinking of voice calls, text messages and even letter writing (back in the old days) Facebook friends do not come with the same guarantees of time and place. You do not necessarily know where and when freinds are. When logged on and messaging someone (unless their status reveals otherwise) you are more likely to engage in a random contact. There occurs when you are online and poking and they may be online and responsive, may be online and non-responsive, or not even logged into Facebook so your poke goes unnoticed until another time.
This can make for a frustrating experience, a situation can arise where ‘I’ve poked them, why are they not getting back to me’ paranoia. Expected protocols mean that communication is anticipated to be near instantaneous, and if it is not, then there should be ‘good’ reason (e.g. out to lunch). Otherwise you the user run the risk of being not only ‘out the loop’, but also without credibility in terms of being able to handle you Facebook account.
So you might like to be aware of to whom your network status is visible to other users. Fun as it is to update ‘John is typing right now’ demands will be made of you to act in the right (immediate) course. Any hesitation to reply will be treated at best as rudeness and worse incompetence on you part. So check you online stats: Are you visible to more than just your network, is your Google searchable profile showing that you are ‘online now’? You may also be interested to check who can search your friend lists, even if your own profile has higher privacy protocols it reveals a lot about who you are if other users can troll through who you include as friends.
Once in place such security measures should make things a whole lot easier to keep things on a more equal keel. Friends don’t mind if you are seen to ignore their pokes, you can always make it up to them with a good a wall post. More risky is to ignore the more random contact or acquaintance, who will be less forgiving, are likely to have other motivations in contacting you and quick to question your non-response.
So a good plan of action is to search yourself on Facebook; check what information this gives other users, ask yourself how viewable and/or exposed you are to your networks and everyone else. Remember there’s a whole social world out there, nothing to be scared of, but it is a measure of how savvy you are with the information that you display about yourself. And this information will be displayed and retrievable FOREVER.
Oh if your romantic other is ignoring you when they are clearly online, you might want to rethink how you set your relationship status; maybe now is the time for ‘it’s complicated’ or better yet ‘single’. Find yourself double-checking for flirty wall posts and ‘Hotness’ applications and you may have gone a step too far in the surveillance stakes… Maybe you’re not Facebook ‘friends’ anymore?Tweet