This may seem obvious and biased, since it might only apply on Facebook. We do have different degrees of intimacy with our relations. Yet another obvious statement. But on social media, this seems to be totally ignored or, at least, not under our responsibility anymore.
On Facebook, we have close friends, lovers, ex-lovers, colleagues and friends of friends, cousins, uncles, brothers and sisters. And they all blend into this same grey group called “friends”. Maybe you’ve set up some categories or even use predefined ones like “Close Friends”, “Acquaintances” or “Restricted”. But just the perspective of classifying my relations disturbs me. I’ve solved this by considering all Facebook relations no different than any visitor on my blog. In a sense, the lowest common intimacy denominator with all of you is that you could be anybody. And this is where Facebook is tricky.
By mixing close and distant, personal and professional relationships, people tend to forget who they share with. They only keep in mind a fraction of it, which is usually the group of people they interact the most with. They might then feel disturbed if a “stranger” enters a conversation where he or she is not supposed to be interacting. This is especially true for me since I’ve been using the [loveMachine]. I have drastically increased the number of conversations where I’m perceived as a disturbance or was not even expected.
It’s seems today it is up to the “general audience” to come with the right response in accordance to the level of intimacy shared with the emitter. You can watch as if you were my closest friend, but you better not comment, mock or even signal your presence. You should know where you stand. This is certainly an inversion in the way we have been dealing with our peers.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying we’re always in control of how our relations would respond. But we were usually carefully choosing who we were sharing some intimate information with. Especially to protect ourselves from unwanted comments.
So let me bring that common sense again: “You should not post things you don’t want to be liked”.