“You have to reply now,” Learner Dad said after I’d read out the Facebook message.
“What? Why?” I asked, shutting down the computer.
“Because she will see you’ve read it,” he said.
“Oh that’s right!” I exclaimed, annoyed.
In this case, it didn’t really matter.
It was a close friend who probably didn’t care that I didn’t get back to her immediately.
But honestly, what kind of troublemakers are the people behind Facebook?
It’s different when you’re on the other side too.
I’ve watched a private message of mine be ‘seen by everyone’ and then sit idly, unanswered.
And, as the recipients pump out photos and status updates before logging off, you’re left to wonder why.
Then there’s the ‘leaving the conversation’.
“Oh that’s a bit rude,” Learner Dad called out to me from the study.
We’d both been sent a group message from one of his relatives and, after replying, I’d left the conversation.
And apparently rudely announced it to everyone as I did so.
But it doesn’t end there.
After learning the hard way not to ‘unfriend’ people (because you’ll run into them the day after you do), I’ve been pretty relaxed about the fact some of my Facebook friends are only vague acquaintances.
Ok I’ll be honest – there are one or two I don’t know at all, much to Learner Dad’s dismay.
And I’ve ended up deleting some.
“Are you sure that’s a good idea. What if he finds out?” a friend asked me as I prepared to delete one of them.
“I haven’t seen him in years, he won’t even notice,” I replied with absolute certainty.
But, according to a mutual friend, he knew that day.
“Yeh there’s an app that lets you see who’s unfriended you,” Learner Dad said.
And then there’s the ‘like’ button.
I love that when my blog is liked, it’s delivered into the newsfeeds of a wide network of people.
But, when a personal photo is liked, it suddenly seems fodder for a whole lot of people I don’t know.
Or people I don’t want to know.
I’m not blaming the likers – I love the likers – I’m blaming Facebook.
I caught up with a friend for coffee recently and, after agreeing we already knew most of each others’ goss from Facebook, we decided on a good bitch session about Facebook itself instead.
“So you can’t unfriend or leave a conversation without everyone knowing about it, you have to reply to messages straight away and, if you post a funny pic of your partner’s bum crack, know that it will be seen by a lot of people you don’t know,’ I said.
“Thank god we didn’t have it at high school,” she replied.
I thought about that.
The photos (vomiting outside the Power House) or videos (the dance off to ‘Ice Ice Baby’) that could have been posted.
And subsequently seen by your great aunt, your teacher, your boss at Bakers Delight.
The excruciating teenage pain of finding out your boy crush has ‘seen’ your message but not responded.
Um no thanks.
No, I’ll stick with unanswered messages about playdates and abandoning my in-laws during discussions about where to go for dinner.
Alison has left the conversation.