Facebook and the Defriending Dilemma

Facebook defriending

Facebook can sometimes make or break a friendship. There are various reasons that prompt users to defriend someone on their friends list. Are some more valid than others?

Reasons for Defriending

I’m going to list a few reasons that have tempted me to delete someone from my friends list. I have very rarely done this, but I don’t know whether that means I’m more loyal or more tolerant than others are. Hopefully, it’s a good indicator of the high caliber nature of my friends, and my good judgment in selecting whom I choose to call a friend. However, I have seen sides of people come out online that were kept well-hidden for many years. Yes, it can be scary.

1 Rudeness – I can be rather blunt, even obnoxious at times, so it takes a particularly insulting type of rudeness to cross a line with me.

2. Negativity – I like to be surrounded by others who are positive and uplifting. While I have compassion for others, constant whining and complaining is a turnoff. However, those types of posts can be ignored. It’s when I see mean-spirited posts that my dislike buttons get pushed pretty hard.

3. Political differences– I once had a friend post a link to an article about holocaust denial. I was close to defriending him because I found it offensive. Luckily, he explained the post was motivated by a desire to heighten awareness, rather than his own support of such denial. As far as political differences go, that was the closest I’ve come to defriending someone. Some other friends post about many political issues, but I don’t have a problem ignoring those that I simply disagree with.

4. The “ex” – Over the years, I’ve had boyfriends on my Facebook friends list. When we broke up, I thought it was best to sever ties completely, both in real life and the virtual world. In some cases, I was hurt and trying to spare the pain of reading about how they survived happily without me, or even worse, found someone else. In general though, I find it easier to make a clean break, so I can move on.

I’ve only rarely felt it necessary to defriend someone. Perhaps this is due to being selective about my friends. It may also be partly due to being more patient and tolerant as I’ve gotten older. I know there are many other reasons for defriending someone, so feel free to share your defriending experiences. Regardless of whether you were the defriender or defriendee, others may learn something about social media etiquette or friendships in general from your story.

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Why Facebook Needs a Dislike Button

Facebook dislike stamp

Facebook can be a great place to reconnect with friends, classmates, and distant relatives, and make new friends. However, this social media platform can turn some people off, causing them to delete people off their friends list or not log in altogether.

Reasons Facebook Makes People Want to Hit a Dislike Button

Facebook has changed over the years. Some people are happy with some of the new features. Many other reasons people object to posts haven’t changed.

Too Much Attention Seeking

Some people are just plain drama queens. They may tend to post updates that beg for people to ask what’s wrong and pry for more details about their latest crisis du jour. For example, posts full of intrigue, like “It’s sooo unfair,” “Need prayers,” or “I just can’t take it anymore,” beg for an inquiring response. Such cries for help/support without letting others know what’s really going on can seem pathetic after a while. These types of posts may be viewed as narcissistic, and can create a “boy crying wolf” situation when posted continually. One has to wonder whether the people who ask what’s wrong really care or are just being nosy and looking for gossip.

Too Many Ads in the Newsfeed

No, it’s not a coincidence that you suddenly see ads in your newsfeed related to products or services you’ve been looking at online. Facebook makes big money from companies that pay for advertisements on the site. Technology makes it possible for Facebook, Google Plus, Pinterest, and other social media channels to track your online activity and turn this data mining into advertising revenue. There are things you can do to minimize the data collected and protect your privacy, such as blocking and deleting cookies, adjusting browser settings, and add-ons that block scripts running on web pages. However, it’s very difficult to be completely anonymous on the Internet.

Too Much PDA

You’re in love? That’s great. Just remember that certain things are best expressed privately. All the lovey-dovey, gushing love notes some couples put on display can be nauseating. Also, it may tend to make your friends who are single and lonely feel jealous and worse about their own unattached status. Even when I speak to my single girlfriends on the phone or in person, I refrain from rubbing my romantic bliss and my boyfriend’s wonderful traits in their face

Too Much Information

People just aren’t as interested in your daily activities as you might hope they are. Some people feel a need to use Facebook like a journal, chronicling their daily activities and moods. When Facebook asks how you’re feeling or what’s up, you should keep in mind that people don’t really care about what you just ate for dinner, or that it’s a rainy day and you feel blah.

Do you have a Facebook pet peeve? Feel free to vent, many others can probably relate to it.

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Tips for Freelancer Success and How to Not Get Ripped Off

freelancer success tips

Freelancing is challenging and it’s easy to make mistakes in getting hired. These mistakes can harm not only your income, but freelancer reputation as well. I hope the following advice will help you avoid some of the bumps along your road to success.

Freelancing Lessons I’ve Learned the Hard Way

Research Your Client – Many sites that post freelance jobs, like Elance and Freelancer, will display information about the employer, such as feedback from other freelancers, number of paid jobs, total amount paid, etc. This can provide valuable clues about their integrity and potential for future work with this client. It can also raise red flags, such as when they have no payment history, the payment method isn’t verified, or they have a number of unpaid jobs.

Don’t Communicate Off-Site About Freelancer Terms – If the site has a method for describing job terms, make sure to include all the details regarding the tasks involved, deadlines, and payment terms in the form provided on the site. Even if you’ve discussed terms through messages on the site, repeat them in the main page that evidences acceptance of the job proposal.

Always Nail Down the Price – Some job postings are vague about payment terms. Always get a written agreement that defines precisely how you will be paid, including:

  • Amount – This might be fixed price or hourly. If it’s hourly, make sure to agree on the number of hours authorized. If it’s an incremental or piecework rate, define the rate and amount of work to be performed. For example, a blog post assignment might be paid on a per word basis, so define the amount per word and the number or range of words to be written.
  • Payment method – Specify whether a credit card, Paypal, etc. will be used if the payment method isn’t already defined. If there are associated fees, be clear about who will be responsible to incur the fees or additional charges.
  • Time of payment – Will you be paid in a lump sum, incremental amounts as milestones are achieved, and on what exact date(s)?
  • Never work on spec – The client should have an opportunity to see your work portfolio prior to hiring you for the job. If they’re satisfied with the examples, they shouldn’t have a problem with paying you to get a job done. Escrow arrangements can resolve any doubts about delivery, and Paypal protection may also apply.
  • Don’t Give Your Work Away – Some employers will try to get you to submit an initial project at a greatly reduced rate or even free, with the promise of future work. This is usually a scam, and simply a bad business practice that you shouldn’t agree to. It may be tempting when you’re having dry spell, but don’t set yourself up to get used by an unscrupulous employer this way. Look for employers who have integrity and the financial backing to pay a fair price.

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Is Social Media Killing Friendships?

Before social media, the Internet

Perhaps social media has always been part of your life. However, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn, and the rest didn’t even exist when I was born. I’m not THAT old, but reminiscing about life before the Internet can make me feel old as dirt. I’m going to give a few examples of the way life has changed. You can probably relate if you are old enough to remember having to get up to change the t.v. channel. For the younger set, it may read more like a chapter in a history lesson.

Friends Before Facebook

Most of my Facebook friends list consists of people I met before Facebook existed. We’ve met in person and share a history together. We’ve done the following:

  1. Hung out in person together.
  2. Talked on the phone.
  3. Sent Christmas and birthday cards.

I can even remember life before caller i.d. and answering machines. For those of you who can’t, yes, there was once a time when people didn’t screen calls. I suppose we had the benefit of getting more exercise by having to get off the couch to answer the phone and using our fingers to dial rotary phones. While the innovations in technology have added the benefit of convenience to our lives, at what cost has it been to our friendships?

Friends after Facebook

Over the years, all of the above three activities with friends have become diminished or stopped altogether. I’m sure that some of it has to do with being more involved in married and family life as we get older, and the price of postage. However, I think social media’s instant communication methods have made people less willing to invest time in friendships through phone calls and get-togethers. It seems that all the modern conveniences somehow haven’t freed up much of our time, people seem more rushed than ever. How did this happen? Is it a figment of my imagination that life used to move at a slower pace, or is time just accelerating as I age?

Even when I get together with others, checking their phones for messages often distracts them. Of course, other forms of e-communication contribute to this, such as texting and email. Google+, Facebook, etc. have recognized this by delivering email notifications.

I have friends who get upset that I don’t text. My attitude is that you aren’t really a friend if it’s such a hardship to actually call and talk to me. If people are so investing in checking their Facebook notifications but can’t invest time in seeing or talking to me, how much are they really interested in my friendship? Are they just checking up on me out of boredom or curiosity?

I’ve added people to my friends list whom I haven’t met in person, but share common interests with. Some I seem to know more about than my “in real life” (IRL) friends, simply because they post more often or share more information when they do. Are they truly friends or should they be considered acquaintances until we’ve met in real life? How is the classification made? Some thoughts I’ve had include:

  1. If an IRL friend never likes or comments on my posts but a friend I’ve never met always does, is one more my friend than the other?
  2. If an IRL friend has stopped calling and sending cards, and now only sends me an annual birthday greeting on Facebook, are they now demoted to being an acquaintance?

Have you noticed a change in the nature of your interactions with friends since the birth of social media networking sites? Has it changed the way you define friendship? I’d like to hear your thoughts.

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