Help! I Don't "Get" Facebook, but Everyone Else Seems To...

Updated on July 27, 2011
K.L. asks from West Lafayette, IN
17 answers

Ok, there is some sort of cultural manners thing here that I really don't understand. I have a FB page, but don't do anything besides having a basic profile posted. I friend people occasionally and VERY occasionally browse other people's pages. I personally don't get the addiction, but ok. Here is the real question...Why is it that some news seems to be relayed ONLY on FB (so if you don't FB, you miss weddings, deaths, births, etc.?). I feel badly when I miss these events. And then, other people have 900 friends or whatever, and I KNOW they have some serious stuff going on, but it isn't on there, so their "friends" don't know.

I DO realize that what to share is a personal decision. I just feel like I am missing something basic here. Also, is there a good "facebook for dummies" type book. I did want to post something to a friends site -I get how to add a comment, but what if I want to put in a website link or delete, those kinds of things.

Thanks moms!

edit: I did miss my HS reunion, because by the time someone FB'ed me that they were searching for me, it was too late. Not that I am that hard to find, if anyone had used the usual channels (use a phonebook, much? lol)

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answers from St. Louis on

Well if someone found out about my wedding through Facebook then they weren't going to be invited anyway. I guess instead of looking at it as stuff you missed look at it as stuff you would have never known about if you didn't have Facebook.

Oh I post once in a blue moon and the last time I was on was two weeks ago. I get poked a lot. :p

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

I don't get it either. You don't really keep in touch with most people except on a superficial level. I would delete my account, but i just don't care enough. Guess I long for the good old days where, if you wanted to catch up, you'd send an e-mail!

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Kansas City on

When I first started with facebook I felt really strange. I didn't know what to post. Like why would I post that the kids and I are having soup and sandwiches for lunch? Well I guess I wouldn't per se. But I might talk about the yummy soup I'm making and list the ingredients and then others on my friends list will come in and tell me the things they would do, add, like about.. etc.

Think of it like this... It's like a conversation that never stops but that doesn't happen everyday either. I have a daycare mom that only comes one day, every other week. She's come for 2 years and in fact, she's a Mamapedia mom (we met through mamasource). But before facebook I really didn't know her well. Her son is either playing with my daughter, laughing in the park, or playing on the computer or watching a movie. He's all boy and he's not going to sit down and tell me all about his life. Mom only came and went morning and night and we chatted about surface stuff. But now because of facebook I get to know things like when she's getting married, what some of her decorations will look like, when she takes weekend trips when not with us, what some of the family and friends look like and the fiance, their dogs, etc. etc. She notices when I talk about things about the daycare or my family and she comments back. I'm sure that she knows me much better too now.

My nieces live quite a ways from me and I've never had the money or the time to keep in touch. I didn't know them at all before facebook. Now I know pretty much who most of their close friends are, when they are doing special things, what they think of their jobs or school or boyfriends, husbands, kids, when they are going to the doctor, etc. etc. Facebook has given me a relationship with them that I didn't have before.

Facebook has also revealed some rather complicated family twists that I didn't know existed with a cousin from one side of the family marrying a neice of an aunt on the other side. I am seeing old photos coming through of all kinds of people I know all the time since my cousins wife loves to put up old photos and many of those people are people that I knew in my childhood because they are related to my aunt. But I never knew her brothers daughter growing up! Funny.

My 2nd daughter lives in San Diego. If I had to wait for her to call me or try and get her to take my calls and try and remember when she's not at work or school, I'd have no relationship with her. But this way, we talk on facebook DAILY. I know her friends and I even talk with her friends. I feel connected and that's the point right? I'm lucky that my girl loves taking pictures of herself. She's such a girly girl and so pretty and she knows it LOL!

Not only that.. Facebook allows me to check out my daycare families when we are just in the meeting phase. I've turned some families down based on some creepy things I saw on their facebook page. Most people do not remember or know how to set their privacy on facebook. So when someone emails me or gives me their name I go looking for them even before they come to meet with me. I'll email them right from their page and then they will friend me or accept my request. It gives them a chance to see my daily statuses to see if they like me or not.

I've even found out ahead of the time when kids were sick and the parents will see when I say someone was sick. That way if some of the parents that don't come often miss the memo so to speak, we can keep up with each other online.

I don't text on my phone because I'm cheap. But most of my daycare moms have facebook on their phone. So I can email them things randomly that are usually not that important. But when they have a chance they'll text back which comes to me via facebook. So it's been easy to reach them when I actually do need to and we discuss most things through facebook.

I could go on and on I suppose :)

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Naples on

I don't even have an account, neither does my husband. And we are both under 30. You're not alone.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

Its a huge timesuck. Consider yourself very very lucky. Some of us can't be saved.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Medford on

People share what they want to share on FB, and if they dont want to share a birth or death, thats their choice. Too many people share stuff they shouldnt, and leave out the important things. Using FB to announce an important event is a very poor way to get the message across. You cant be sure the people who really need to hear about gramas passing are going to be on FB, or read it in a timely manner. Its not the best place for those things. An example is, my daughter just had her 10 year class reunion and out of 300+ students, only 42 attended, and 17 of those were guests/spouses. It turns out the people in charge of organizing the reunion only used FB. Pretty poor turn out for what should have been so much better if done right. Too many people depend on FB for the wrong things.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

I wouldn't stress too much. Have you seen the commercial about the 20-something girl talking about her poor parents that only have 9 friends and how sad it is and then it shows that they're out kayaking and partying and she's sitting there looking at a picture of a little puppy on FB? Cracks me up every time!
I do use FB, have restricted my privacy pretty high. I created a "friend list" of the people I actually care to stay current with, and just look at that mostly.
I've found the help link pretty helpful to find out how to do what needs to be done. Oh--and you can just copy & paste any link and post it...that works.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Madison on

I enjoy facebook because it is an easy way to keep in touch with old friends from childhood and college. I can see pictures of their kids and find out what's going on in their lives. I'm only "friends" with those I'm interested in keeping in touch with. People who have 900 "friends", most of those "friends" are people they barely know. I don't see the point in that.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

I have an account but I only lurk - my page is as blank as blank can be.
Actually I don't lurk that often because most of what every one else is doing is just boring and/or often imaginary/embellished/had a spin put on it - it bears no resemblance to reality.
Don't feel bad - not everyone is into it.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

I agree with Dana B.

Who you have friended can make a huge difference in your experience with it. Some people post way too much about things that should be more private. Some folks post things and you can tell they are just trying to make their page more interesting/look better. Some folks' entire page are nothing but game updates and requests. But if you have a few folks who post interesting things (I have one friend who posts something akin to a "thought of the day" or "quote of the day") or only post something worthwhile (whatever that means to YOU - for me it is pictures mostly, or news about a niece winning a track meet or whatever) then it can be enjoyable.

I tend to post updates or photos of our kids' accomplishments (they baked pies on 4th of July for example, and I posted a pic of the finished product) so that our relatives can see what they are up to. ALLLL of our extended family lives hours away from us and otherwise would never see these "daily" type things.

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answers from Houston on

Don't go to google+ then, it's very convoluted!!

I have almost 500 friends, and weirdly only about 100 of their feeds ever update on mine.

I'm assuming the majority of these news events only updated via facebook are not extremely close friends or family members. Usually something of that magnitude would warrant a phone call or email, or an actual wedding invitation.

If I ever have another child, I would post it on my facebook page, but I would only call very few people to offer statistics. Social media is changing the way we connect. IN reality, it reaches more people than we would have ever intended, but it also seems to alienate and almost make important events less special by being so blase about them to mere acquaintances.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

I am an addict, but when I first "got it" and opened an account, I had a few friends who posted every freaking thing. One pal in particular.
off work
on my way to the gym
stuck in traffic (which meant posting via text as he was driving)
at the club, about to get ripped!
done at club, on way home (we worked out with him, hubby and I, and he had to be writing his on the way to his car, as I got texts of FB updates..OMG!)

On and on with him. His wife was the same way. Like a kid with a new toy. I was very nervous about the privacy and have always made sure of the settings in place. I still only have about 100 friends and about half are close relatives (many adult nieces and nephews, siblings, etc). When my hubby broke his back a few summers ago, he conceded and got FB. He had a few REAL friends then started to play a game (Mafia Wars). He was flat on his back and it kept him busy. He clicked all sorts of game friends till he had a few thousand. The game was a huge time sucker....but he enjoyed it and had the time even after he was back to work 3 mos later. Then his account kept getting hacked a few months later and so he just deleted his account and moved on and has no FB now. Its just not for him and he finds out about stuff thru me.

I have a seperate business page for my home daycare. I don't "friend" any of my daycare parents on my regular page (altho I now have a client who was a friend in real life and on FB first before becoming a I am in a new spot with that). I started on FB as a way to connect with all of my daycare provider pals from another site we were all on for years and years ( a state food program site)...we migrated to FB as we could not post pictures on the other and we got censored when we talked about certain things they didn't like our opinions on.

So, as I said..I am an addict. I get texts of status updates for some my phone buzzes all day long. I have a FB window open all day long on my puter so I can look whenever I have the time.



answers from Detroit on

I've been on FB for the past 2 years and I've used it as a way to stay in touch with family and friends who live far away, and in many cases, reconnect with people I went to school with or used to work with. I actually found a distant relative of ours in Poland (where my grandparents were from) because of FB. I was found by a half-sister of my husbands that he had never met, because they had the same dad but the man had fathered a number of kids with several different women and had not bothered to be a part of DH's life at all. I put pics on there of my daughter so family and friends that live out of state can see how she is doing. I log on daily and peruse through the posts, and then I don't miss anything. It's more about entertainment than anything. I don't play any games at all, never got into that. The only people I am friends with on FB are people I have been close with in real life in some capacity. I am fairly selective in what I post and sometimes a few days goes by before I feel I have anything worth sharing.

However, I am not okay with only sharing big news on FB, because it assumes that everyone is on FB all the time. Some things just warrant a phone call, or My SIL got remarried and the only reason I knew was because her relationship status on FB changed from "single" to "married" - I was, wow, really? When were you going to tell us otherwise? When my mother passed away after a long battle with cancer, I called all her friends, immediately family, etc. and made sure they knew, well before I put anything on FB.

For some people, it's become a mainstay, and for others its "eh". But more and more it's how information gets transmitted. Many places are starting to do away with phone books, since anything you need to look up can be found on-line, and they are just more paper being used up. Many times when people call the emergency vet hospital where I work, they want directions on how to get there - I don't bother asking for directions to any place anymore, I just get the address and Googlemap it. It's just another tool that can be used to share information, especially with a large group of people all at once.


answers from Toledo on

I have a FB account too and I really dont get it, so i am never on....I cant even find my friends, only my friends friends LOL. I cant tell you how many times I think of someone and look them up to realize they are already my friend!



answers from Boston on

Lots of people have Blackberries and iPhones these days, which allow them to check in with facebook multiple times a day, without a computer, and in just a minute or two at a time. That is why so many people use it, and why they use it so frequently. You can get a general sense of what your friends/family have been up to over the weekend without spending time on the phone with each individual person, or emailing everyone. If you don't have a smartphone you will probably miss out on things, unless you have a ton of time to scroll through the updates on your computer at night.


answers from New York on

I agree with Sara. PPL that have 900 friends is just stupid. They may only know about 100 of them. These are ppl that they don't know or are friends of friends. I like to go on and keep in touch with my friends from school. Without FB I probably would never have found them again. As for the phonebook, ppl do change their names or they don't know husbands names. Its just easier to make one post and its done. That is how I found out that my cousin that I rarely talk to is having a baby.



answers from Los Angeles on

Ditto to SLM

I just wanted to add that your Facebook experience totally depends on the people you have "friended". If a lot of the people on your list don't post hardly anything or nothing at all then your page is going to be dull/boring. but if you have people that actually use it every day to keep in touch with others then you'll find yourself enjoying it.

I use it everyday to keep in touch with family and friends - even my gaming buddies that half the time we miss each other because of schedules and different time zones. I've actually become very close to a cousin that I had only met a handful of times when we were little kids because of facebook.

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