Facebook Friendships: Really?

FacebookOkay. I admit it.

I was at a Holiday Party and excited to see two friends. As I rushed over to talk with them – it occurred to me – they were at best acquaintances. My exuberance hardly matched the level of the friendship. So how could I feel so close to people who were at best acquaintances?

One word. Facebook.

We’ve been Facebook friends for a few weeks and whether it’s the Holiday Season or just that time of year, these particular Facebook friends had been posting a lot about their history. When they met. Photos of what they looked like thirty years ago. Where they lived. I’d even become familiar with their pets, past and present.

And then came Throwback Thursdays. That’s when I learned about the serious bout with cancer years earlier.

The postings had become so personal and moving – like a good book – I’d been completely drawn in. Maybe, a bit too much.

I immediately became wary.

Do people who read my book assume they too have an intimate knowledge of me?

I write contemporary fiction – not memoir – and though you write best when you write what you know, my novel isn’t autobiographical. Details are stretched, words polished, intentions shaped, and still, friends try to guess which character is me. Which part of the novel is true.

Interestingly enough – I’m never the teenager or older woman or the undocumented immigrant. I’m always the age appropriate character of the same gender.

Perhaps privacy for an author is just an illusion.

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1 Comment
  • Jacqui says:

    Very interesting, and true. I can’t say I’ve ever met a FB friend in person. I had one experience with a woman I’d come to know via her blog, loved traveling with her through her daily activities (which resonated with me–I won’t say what because they’re fairly unique and I don’t want to toss out any identifiers). I even started talking about her to physical world friends as though we were buds. Then November 8th arrived and I found out she was rabidly on the opposite end of the political spectrum than I. that shouldn’t matter, but there was no sense to her posts, no room for other opinions, no understanding that friends come in all persuasions.

    An eye-opener.

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