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Wide White: Facebook confusion

Friday, May 20, 2011

Facebook confusion

2 Facebook terms proved to be woefully inadequate for me yesterday.

The first was "friend/unfriend." I noticed that a coworker unfriended me on Facebook. I have my guesses as to why and it's not a big deal to me. I don't think I've ever added a coworker on Facebook since I generally keep a more distinct line between my work and personal lives, but she had added me and I accepted the friend request.

But we aren't "unfriendly," so to speak. I've unfriended people who I'm not unfriendly with before too simply because we weren't close or I thought they posted too many rants, but when you put it in terms of "friend/unfriend," it makes it sound a lot more dramatic than it really is.

The second term was "like." Congresswoman Betty McCollum was in our office yesterday and our CEO posted a link to a Facebook picture of her with one of my colleagues. I was looking at it on my phone and went to "like" the picture but instead liked Betty McCollum's actual fan page. Suddenly my Facebook news feed said, "Joey White likes Betty McCollum."

I quickly unliked the page and wondered how many of my friends who saw that were scratching their heads. But what if I had actually wanted to follow Betty McCollum's Facebook page? What if she were my congresswoman and I didn't actually like her and wasn't friends with her but wanted to keep up to date with what's going on in her office?

Come on Facebook, help us out. I think more neutral terms like "connect" would make a lot more sense for what we're really doing with Facebook and it would make a few situations a lot less awkward.

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Anonymous Bill Roehl declared,

Depending on page settings you may be able to nab an RSS feed of the page without liking it.

5/20/2011 7:03 AM  
Anonymous Dez declared,

While I agree that the terms Facebook uses cause confusion when compared with normal conversation; I think that people have started to recognize the difference between Liking someone/thing on Facebook and liking them outside of FB.

On the otherside of that, unfriending someone on Facebook could be actually taken as you don't want to be friends with them anymore outside of FB.

Strange how this has changed so much in 5 years

5/20/2011 10:46 AM  

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