Facebook Makes Close Friends of Acquaintances (and Acquaintances of People You Actually Know)

In 2017, the need to “catch up” with people has essentially become obsolete. We all mutually stalk each other on Facebook, on a daily basis, becoming instantly aware of each other’s highlight reels.

So really, what’s there to know about another person that’s not already on Facebook?

And even if it’s a bad thing going on in our lives, it’s almost a requirement; that you owe it to your Facebook friends to announce via prayer request or “send positive thoughts my way”, regarding what difficult time you are going through.

So not only do your close friends and family members already know everything going on in your life, but so does the guy who transferred to your school in junior high; who if you actually ran into him in person, you wouldn’t be able to remember his name… but you could probably tell him what movie he took his kids to see last weekend.

The level of intimacy that we used to have with the people we love the most has, by default, become cheapened to a fast-food version of the real thing; in which people we barely know can have the same concept of knowing us as our close friends and extended family.

It’s universal and it’s easy now. Scrolling Facebook doesn’t require much of us, yet it ironically can distract us from spending true quality time with the people we do love the most; with people we are physically in the same room with.

Perhaps the strangest irony is when people do gather together in person to visit each other, but then end up talking about what other people are doing and saying on Facebook… probably due in part to the fact everything else to talk about between them has already been said on Facebook.

It is as if our real lives and our online avatars have swapped places- and over time, we haven’t noticed. In fact, the abstract version of life has become more comfortable than normal life.

Isn’t it safe to say, that at least to some degree, the universal familiarity that Facebook provides for us also causes us to have to put forth more serious effort to maintain relationships with the people we are close with, but who we don’t actually see on a daily basis?

Don’t we all sort of miss actually talking to people and having something to say or something to ask?

I do. I miss the nostalgia.

Facebook is the modern day Tower of Babel and we continue to build it to the heavens,

with our “likes” and status updates.

Advertisements

This is 36: We’re Not Hypocrites for Using Facebook as a Highlight Reel from Our Lives

If we’re being honest, Facebook is an open mic, public stage in which we present the best parts of our lives to those in our social circle. I have no shame in admitting that.

Chances are, the most relevant thing you scroll your Facebook feed for is pictures of your friends’ and family members’ kids. And I would also predict that most of the “likes” and comments that you receive are based on pictures you post of your own kids.

Yeah, that magical red notification that alerts us of confirmation that some part of our life is being mutually acknowledged and appreciated…

But are we all somehow hypocrites for choosing to highlight the most exciting and interesting parts of our lives? Does that make us all fake? Would we all be better off if instead, we also included the mundane parts of our lives?

For example, should I update my status right now so everyone can know that it’s time to clip my fingernails? Is that something you would want to know about?

If so, then you are very easily amused… right? And if you “liked” status comment about me needing to clip my fingernails, I would assume that if you are not desperate for distraction from real life, that you were just give me a “courtesy like” to make me feel good about myself.

The thing is, we don’t want courtesy likes, do we?

Instead, we want to know and believe that the people in our social circles authentically “like” what we place in front of them.

So naturally, presenting our Facebook friends with our best material is what we all do. We certainly don’t want to use everyone else’s Facebook feed to advertise the most negative parts of our own lives; we would appear emotionally needy in that case.

We all want to be liked for good things about ourselves. We all want to be included by society. To a certain (and healthy) degree, we care about what people think about us. I say that’s a good thing.

I am not a hypocrite for using Facebook as my highlight reel. And neither are you.

So I will keep posting the highlights of my life on Facebook. So will you.

And that’s completely okay.

This is 36.

Over 1,000 Likes on Facebook: Thanks to My “Family Friendly Daddy Blog” Readers!

Over 1,000 Likes on Facebook: Thanks to My “Family Friendly Daddy Blog” Readers!

I say this not to celebrate my own efforts, but instead, to sincerely thank everyone who has chosen to “like” and follow Family Friendly Daddy Blog. As of this week, I reached a major milestone as a blogger when the 1000th person liked my Facebook fan page.

Please know that I am extremely grateful for you! Gaining and maintaining 1,000 followers is not an easy task. You may not even know this, or even remember it, but from May 2011 until June 2014, I was the official daddy blogger for Parents.com; the blog for Parents magazine.

Over 1,000 Likes on Facebook: Thanks to My “Family Friendly Daddy Blog” Readers!

After their online division went under new management three years ago, they ended the contracts of us original bloggers, taking their focus in a different direction.

I therefore changed the name from “The Dadabase” to Family Friendly Daddy Blog, to disassociate my rebooted blog from my previous blog with Parents.com.

Over 1,000 Likes on Facebook: Thanks to My “Family Friendly Daddy Blog” Readers!

Back three summers ago when that happened, I was expecting to lose dozens of followers each week, since I no longer had the credentials of independently writing for a big name like I did the 3 years before. Fortunately, my fears did not become a reality.

Thank you for continuing to support my blog, and ultimately, my family.

Over 1,000 Likes on Facebook: Thanks to My “Family Friendly Daddy Blog” Readers!

Now that I have over 1,000 likes on my Facebook page, my understanding is that I have reached a new milestone with outsiders and potential sponsors, who now see my blog as a more serious platform to the public.

If that is true, I am curious to find out what opportunities will present themselves.

Over 1,000 Likes on Facebook: Thanks to My “Family Friendly Daddy Blog” Readers!

Your continued readership shows me that you share similar goals, as my agenda from the beginning has been to positively represent and illustrate what fatherhood should look like.

My perspective on life has always been a bit different- and that didn’t change when I become a parent.

I appreciate that you choose to support my blog.  A Facebook “like” goes a long way.

Over 1,000 Likes on Facebook: Thanks to My “Family Friendly Daddy Blog” Readers!

I’m Not a Christian Who Cares about Starbucks Cups

I’m Not a Christian Who Cares about Starbucks Cups

This is something I’ve noticed about my daily Facebook feed: The top 10 posts (and therefore, the most popular, as determined by the free market of my Facebook friends) tend to be pictures of people with their family. Those are the things that naturally earn the most Facebook “likes.”

If I keep scrolling down past those, before I get to the comic relief categories of “sarcastic memes” and “cat pictures”, and eventually the underworld “domestic life drama,” there is what I classify as “pop culture headline news.”

Last night, a couple of the stories in this category were referring to how an “internet pastor” named Joshua Feuerstein is “outraged” about the secular coffee giant Starbucks (which is ran by a Jewish CEO, Howard Schultz) “removing Christmas” from their cups.

(With a name like Joshua Feuerstein, I’m actually surprised he’s not Jewish, himself.)

By writing this blog post today, I just want to take a moment to remind the free world that there are Christians in America who simply don’t care at all about Starbucks cups.

I believe it’s safe to say that the overwhelming majority of Christians don’t care at all about this “issue” of the non-Christmas Starbucks cups. I am part of that 99.9% majority.

As a Christian, there are countless other issues that concern me which I can, to some degree, help for the better. By being involved in my local Christian church, I know that a portion of my weekly tithe goes to helping people across the world have access to clean drinking water; and for widows and orphans to be cared for.

For most of our 7 year marriage, my wife and I have been financially supporting a little boy in South America; via World Vision. I say this not to brag, but to show you that I am passionate enough about serving others, the way Jesus taught us to be, that I literally put my money towards actually fixing this problem.

It’s one thing to say the cliche to someone, “Have a blessed day,” but another to actually bless their day.

But those issues of serving others are boring. They don’t go viral with such over-the-top fascination. “Internet pastor is offended by coffee cups” is sensational, therefore it goes viral.

I believe that when someone is already indifferent about an issue, the way much of the “outside world” sees Christianity, it’s easier for them to examine the most extreme specimens of Christianity as a deciding factor on whether or not Christianity is legitimate.

This “Internet pastor is offended by Starbucks cups” story serves as perfect fodder to help paint all Christians as extremely right wingers who believe they are entitled to everything. I imagine that for an agnostic or an atheist or a person of a different religion, it could be natural to stereotype all, or most, Christians into the category of these Starbucks Cup Christians.

But in reality, this one Internet pastor does not represent the majority. By this story going viral though, it does potentially provide an opportunity for people to believe that the .01% of the population represents the 99.9%.

So allow me to be the voice of reason. It doesn’t.

This is simply another sensational “pop culture headline news” story that was just asinine enough to go viral. It’s entertainment and nothing more.

These types of stories often involve cartoonish characters, where it’s easy for people to pay attention to an assumed villain making a scene in a public square.

But no one can offend me with a coffee cup.

Not to mention, I stopped drinking coffee 2 years ago when I realized I was truly addicted to caffeine; the world’s most popular, unregulated, psychoactive drug in the world. And I was often paying close to $5 for a cup of this stuff; which is what a person who is addicted to nicotine pays for a pack of cigarettes.

Now, please go buy your coffee in peace, or don’t buy it at all. Whatever you do, just don’t believe that this Internet pastor Joshua Feuerstein represents my own feelings (or most Christians’ feeling) on the cups you see at Starbucks.

Dear Jack: This is Definitely a Facebook Pregnancy Announcement!

4 years, 10 months. 

Dear Holly or Logan: You’re Due on April 21, 2016

Dear Jack,

Mommy’s due date is April 21st, 2016; just one day after my 35th birthday.

We have preparing you for this all year. Every time we would ask you if you wanted a brother or sister, you always replied, “No! I just want my stuffed animals!”

But as of this summer, that question ceased to simply be a hypothetical question.

A few weeks ago, we made it clear: “Jack, there is a little baby inside of Mommy’s tummy.”

Since then, you have been very excited and curious about this. You no longer see having a baby brother or sister as a bad thing.

I love the fact that you’ll be 5 and a half years-old when your baby brother or sister arrives.

You’re already such an independent boy. It’s going to be so rewarding seeing you help take care of your sibling. You’re going to be great at it.

This is going to be so exciting for our family!

Dear Jack: You’re Going to Be a Big Brother After All

Two days ago I posted a sneaky picture of our family on Facebook. I had been crafting this idea for weeks now. I wanted to release a subtle hint that to the general public that our family is expanding.

To play on our last name, I had each of us hold a seashell towards the camera; then I took a picture of Mommy’s other hand, secretly holding a 4th seashell behind her back. Then I left a simple caption:

“Shell collection.”

But I don’t think anyone really figured it out.

Plus, a couple of weeks ago I wrote a letter to you called The Dresser for Our Guest Room. It was really a post about your baby brother or sister’s room instead; they are the “guest.”

Not to mention, earlier this week I published People Finally Stopped Asking If We’re Going to Have Another Kid, which gave birth to much speculation.

You and I also made a “very special episode” of Jack-Man, in which it is revealed Jack-Man is going to be a big brother; as if that wasn’t an obvious giveaway to the general public. Even after releasing that video, the news still didn’t spread.

This letter itself is a throwback to This is Not a Facebook Pregnancy Announcement from July, in which I proclaimed in big bold letters, “There is not a baby on the way. I promise.”

Ironically, that fact changed exactly 2 days later.

Yesterday I posted this secretive picture of our family, as well.

Dear Holly or Logan: You’re Due on April 21, 2016

I admit, I’ve had a lot of fun going public with our family expanding.

This is going to be so good. Just about 6 months away…

Love,

Daddy

What I’ve Learned From Not Checking My Facebook Homepage For 30 Days

What I’ve Learned From Not Checking My Facebook Homepage For 30 Days

I’m not against Facebook. I think it’s a great thing. However, a month ago I had to go 4 days without any Internet (and therefore, Facebook) as we were moving into our new house.

When I finally did check Facebook, I realized that life went out without me… and I didn’t feel like I missed anything.

Prepare for the Hallmark movie cliché, but it showed me that my family right in front of me is all that really matters.

So from there I decided to stop checking my Facebook homepage for the following month; that time period ended today. However, the 30 day self-assigned pledge has inspired me to continue staying off my Facebook homepage.

I no longer am exposed to snarky, annoying, self-serving comments; including being tempted to post my own. My exposure to negativity has decreased by 100%; though I admit there’s probably not a true way to measure the validity of that percentage decrease.

But I feel it. I feel great. My quality of life has improved since nixing my Facebook homepage.

There is something called “FOMO” (fear of missing out) that is apparently increased by social media. Apparently, I have less subconscious anxiety in my life because I have less exposure to the news I’m apparently missing out on.

Can you gossip about yourself? If so, Facebook is the platform. I’d rather not tune in to people gossiping about themselves, about the the news, about groups of people, or whatever else can fall into that category.

I should point out too that I cancelled the ability for my phone to receive any messages based on Facebook activity too.

What I’ve Learned From Not Checking My Facebook Homepage For 30 Days

Another part of my pledge was to only start publishing new posts here on Family Friendly Daddy Blog on Thursdays, which helps me focus on living “real life” with my family and not being distracted by daily focusing on publishing new stuff.

That decision has proven successful for me. I am happier now that I am only posting new material one night per week, all at once. Therefore, that’s really the only time I’m needing to log in to Facebook anywhere.

I don’t feel socially disconnected since locking myself out of my Facebook homepage.

Friday begins the National Day of Unplugging (March 6-7, 2015). Of course, I’m taking the pledge. It’s pretty much my life now anyway.

It’s not right for everybody, but it’s definitely right for me. In the past month I have learned that my personal happiness can truly be measured by my lack of exposure to my Facebook homepage and having to feel pressured to daily post new stuff on my blog.

My Decision To Unplug From Social Media, Except On Thursday Nights (Including Facebook And My Blog)

Simply put, I’m now consolidating a week’s worth of social media activity into just a couple of hours per week; during a specific window of time, from now on…

My Decision To Unplug From Social Media, Except On Thursday Nights (Including Facebook And My Blog)

Starting 2 weeks ago, I began only publishing new posts here on Family Friendly Daddy Blog on Thursday nights.

Similarly, I am now only logging into Facebook (as well as all other forms of social media; it helps that I don’t have a smart phone) just once a week now on Thursday nights, when I publish my new posts for the week.

I’m also done paying any attention to my “home” page on Facebook, where it shows everyone’s status updates. I just don’t see how that daily exposure is enhancing my life; it only seems to complicate it.

My addiction and attention span to “keeping up” with all that stuff is apparently expired.

I guess moving into our new house has sort of… recalibrated my priorities and changed my mindset.

Ultimately, I don’t want the video game of Facebook or my hobby of blogging to interfere with the actual reality of my life with my family.

I’ve come to the realization that I no longer have to pressure myself the way I did when I was writing for Parents.com for those 3 years when I did The Dadabase.

My Decision To Unplug From Social Media, Except On Thursday Nights (Including Facebook And My Blog)

Something I’ve learned is that I ultimately get as much traffic no matter when I post new stuff, so I might as well just save it all for one day each week.

It’s similar to concept of “binge watching” premium TV shows like Breaking Bad and Man Men. Instead, I’ll be “binge posting” my new publications each Thursday night here on Family Friendly Daddy Blog.

That way I don’t have to be constantly preoccupied with publishing new stuff throughout the week; therefore dividing my attention all week long. Now I can actually live my life with my family without that distraction.

Over the past couple of years now, I’ve struggled with my relationship with Facebook. I see now I used to put way too much thought into it.

Recently we had to go 4 days without Internet as we moved in the new house, and once I did finally check my Facebook, I realized I actually didn’t miss anything.

While Facebook is full of people I care a lot about, the overall emotional intelligence of status updates in my daily feed ultimately seems to clutter my life; not enhance it. I am choosing to pull the plug on my daily exposure to that large daily nose of negativity and sarcasm.

If I am thinking about someone I’m friends with on Facebook, I can go straight to their profile page on Facebook. That way I don’t have to feel compelled to rely on my “home” page to find out on what is supposed to be my social news for the day.

baratunde_fast_company_cover_1200w

I discovered the people I most wish to be like in my circle of friends are the ones who are the least active on Facebook and the most active with their families away from social media.

It’s true; I used to be much more involved with Facebook, as I attempted to be clever and engaging. These days, I suppose I’ve just moved on with my life.

Maybe it’s because this is truly the most settled I’ve felt since getting married.

For the first two years I was married, my wife was getting her Master’s Degree. Then once she received it, she got pregnant with our son.

Next we moved to Alabama to be closer to family and went further into debt; only to eventually move back to Nashville. After that, we had to completely work our way out of debt, other than our mortgage on our townhouse (while I studied for my certification for Human Resources). Finally, we were able tosave up enough money for a down payment on a bigger, more efficient house for our lifestyle.

Now that we’re in our new house, and not in debt, and having more quality time together as a family in our new suburban life, I am experiencing a feeling of completeness I haven’t previously known with my wife and son.

I’m thinking that now, I can just enjoy this new house with my family.

My Decision To Unplug From Social Media, Except On Thursday Nights (Including Facebook And My Blog)

So I invite you to tune in every Thursday night, when you can catch up with our new simple life. You don’t even have to go to Facebook; you could just subscribe to Family Friendly Daddy Blog by clicking on the button at the top of this page.

As for Friday through Wednesday, you probably won’t hear a peep out of me.

I’m sure certain exceptions will pop up along the way, but they will definitely be the exception to the rule.

But as it concerns my own personal schedule, I’m choosing to unplug from social media now, except for on Thursday nights.

So by default, I will definitely be participating in this year’s National Day of Unplugging on March 6-7, 2-15.

What’s the worst that could happen?

Or maybe the real question is, what’s the best that could happen?

Screen-shot-2013-02-06-at-1.12.58-PM1-669x515