Facebook and Twitter are Blurring All the Lines

Once upon a time I had friends from high school and friends from college.

Then I had high school friends and college friends and work friends.

Then I had high school friends, college friends, work friends, neighborhood friends, friends from the twins club and eventually blog friends.

You get the picture.

Sometimes we would have a birthday party and your work friends would meet your regular friends and maybe a mom or two that I knew from twins club. It was okay. A little weird, but pretty normal.

Enter blog friends.

At one point in my life, my blog friends were pretty much contained on the internet. I would comment on their blogs, they would comment on my blog and occasionally there would be an e-mail exchange.

Then I moved.

When I moved here I only knew a handful of people that lived in the Washington DC area, but I knew that some of my blog friends lived here. Suddenly, some of my blog friends were real life friends.

It was sort of weird, but it still wasn’t a huge deal. Most of my regular friends knew that I was a blogger and internet dork and they didn’t make fun of me.

Well, they only made fun of me a little bit.

Then things started getting really weird. I made friends with my neighbors. The regular, Can you make sure nobody breaks into my house when I am out of town? Led to questions like Where are you going? And I had to answer with things like A women’s blogging convention in Chicago.

As a blogger, you understand that as mainstream as it seems, a lot of people have no idea what bloggers do.

If you tell a person who has never read a blog that no, you aren’t a political pundit, you write about your life and your kids and pop culture and sports, they will look at you like you have 10 heads.

Or they will laugh because they think you are joking.

But when an 18 wheeler drops an SUV off on your street and a news crew comes to film it you can’t just pass it off as a hobby anymore.

Then twitter comes along and things start getting really weird. I follow a mom from preschool. Sure, she is a friend, but I met her at preschool.

Then I friend her on Facebook. Suddenly, other moms from preschool start showing up in my “people you might know” section.

I like these people, so I friend them too.

But I often post links to my posts on Facebook. And links to my MamaPop posts.

Sometimes my links are harmless.

Other times they are not.

And now sometimes they come up in real life. Like at class coffee’s at preschool.

10 minutes ago I just friended a teacher from my kids school. Facebook has forever blurred the lines. I’m not even sure how to categorize my friends anymore. We are through the looking glass and I am not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing.ps – Dear Word Press spell check.

Internet, blog and blogging are real words. They are spelled correctly. How could a blogging platform not understand that?

Love,


Sarah

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  1. It is strange, isn’t it? I now have all these I-barely-remember-them-from-high-school people commenting on my blog all the time. Sigh.

    Btw, on your final note? Typepad spell check has the same fucking problem.

  2. Sheesh, can I just reprint this on my own blog? It’s EXACTLY where I am too. My worlds are colliding and I don’t quite quite what to do about it.

  3. Yep. Colliding. Just wait until you have children and their friends to add to the mix. Well, you have children, but unless you’ve set up an account for them I don’t think you can look forward to them friending you anytime soon or commenting on your blog.

    Oh yeah, and WP doesn’t recognize ‘friending’ either.

  4. I’m having much the same issue. Many of the people that I work with friended me on facebook and now I’m very reluctant to share blog stuff there. It’s not that it’s anything inappropriate, I guess it’s just a facet of my life that I didn’t want them to know about.

  5. This is the #1 reason I will not join facebook. I do not want real life people finding the blog. I told my family about it and now my mom calls me to talk about what is on my blog. I’m like, can’t you just read it and and comment?

  6. I have been thinking about this alot lately. I used my initials on FaceBook for a long time because I didn’t WANT to be found. Now all hell has broken loose. I will not accept a friend request from anyone at work, or any of my clients. I tell them when I see the-am that it’s just my own personal policy and that it has kept me out of trouble “so far” haha… And I totally don’t want to be you FB friend. I see you enough elsewhere on the internets. And I mean that the best possible way. xo

  7. I was very cautious at first about putting blog links onto my Facebook page. It’s one thing to not really know who is reading your blog – but Facebook has lots of people – preschool people, dance people, high school people, college people – They actually know me and often my family. Which makes it all kind of weird. Except it turns out my Facebook people appear to actually like reading my blog now that I’ve let them know about it. And they leave comments, too. I just can’t say no to more comments.

  8. My worlds collide and my brain hurts. On Facebook I have real friends, blog friends, former teachers, former students, all sorts of folks. The line between my real life and virtual life has blurred beyond belief. At some point I’m afraid it’ll bite me in the butt, but for now it seems to be working. For now. 😉

  9. Blurred lines scare the shit outta me. I don’t know if I could handle my kids’ teachers beingmy Facebook friends and *knowing* about my blog. That scares the poop outta me.

    I’ve slowly begun to tell family and friends about my blog. Family still doesn’t get the URL though. LOL

  10. I don’t friend people that I work with on Facebook. Former co-workers, I have added as friends, but not current ones. Sometimes I may put in my status about my work day and I don’t necessarily want my co-workers to know how I feel about some of those days!

  11. My wife’s aunt remarried, quickly, a few weeks ago. The guy friended my wife on Facebook. We finally met him last night.

    “Hi! Calendar Guy!”

    WTF?

    I’m going to give up on the Internet soon and burn my laptop.

  12. Well, dont you feel that its your own fault for blurring those lines yourself?

    I meann, you chose to add your “people” to your facebook. The great thing about facebook is that its private (to an extent) unless you specifically tell someone that you want them to see your entire profile.

    I mean, you didnt HAVE to friend these moms on your facebook..

    You just have to figure out where YOU draw the line. My facebook friends are mainly my family, and a few business people i networked with. THIS is the reason why i dont post anything personal on facebook aside from the occassional, “Fun family night – karaoke was a blast” and i NEVER allow people to tag me in photos. THAT is the worse invention ever/

    Anyways. You blurred your own lines.. facebook/twitter/blogs just made it easier for you to do so.. But people were doing this long before the internet when they would hold whatever weekly get together/dinner with work and personal friends.

  13. This is EXACTLY why I don’t let those lines cross each other. Twitter is strictly blog people. Facebook is only family and friends. My blog is still a secret from 90% of my family, 4 years later. I cannot handle to crossover, not at all.

  14. Oh, you’re screwed.

    Totally.

  15. I’m there with you, and don’t know if the whole thing will bring everyone closer, or just blow up in utter chaos. Could be fun to watch, regardless.

  16. Through the looking glass. That’s the perfect description.

  17. I understand.. I just would never do that> I have been contemplating creating a personal blog.. I dont mind family reading my web design blog, its there to help peopel and I keep my opinions (for the most part) out of it.

    If i created a personal blog, i wouldn’t link it to ANYTHING that identifies me as me. Which means different identities on the blogger forums, twitter identities, and NEVER linking to my personal blog.. Why go through all that trouble?? Because i want to not EVER have to censor myself. EVER>

  18. I can’t bring myself to friend the preschool moms. It makes me nervous to bring them into my world outside of the preschool hallway. But now… after reading your post… I’m tempted.

  19. Totally nothing to do with this post… but… I’m at the bottom of your page. Your copyright is only dated 2004-2008.
    : )

  20. I think I’m the only person left on the Internet who hasn’t joined Facebook.

  21. Oops, just saw that jodifur hasn’t joined either.

    I am not alone.

  22. Totally totally totally with you. It’s a weird new world out there.

  23. And right there, in a nutshell, you have the rationale for maintaining my stupid pseudonym.

    I prefer to keep each world its own neat, separate clusterfuck.

  24. And then you can be out buying pink thread for your kids security blanket and the woman in line next to you recognizes you from your blog pic. true story. happened yesterday. bizarre.

  25. The George Costanza worlds colliding. Yikes. Best of luck.

  26. Procrastamom says:

    I get so caught up in the day to day stories of all of the blogs I read that I frequently find myself starting conversations with, “my friend from Arkansas…” and “I know this Mom in Alaska…” I have only been to three States in my life and none of them start with an A.

    I also find myself qualifying my friend request with a “I’m Procrastamom from the Blogosphere” when I find a blogger I know on Facebook.

  27. I keep running into people I haven’t seen in awhile and when I reply to their, “How have you been?” question, they cut me off and say, “Yeah, I read all about that?”

    What do we talk about now?

  28. Facebook – I was finally convinced to join. Within hours of joining and friending my little brother, I had over 25 friend requests including the girls I used to babysit (who now have kids that are older than mine). It’s a little strange for me.

    I quickly figured out that I did not want work people seeing this portion of my “virtual” life and I have refused all friend requests from coworkers. Thank goodness I haven’t had any friend requests from preschool moms!

  29. Totally. Worlds colliding. Scary.

    This is the biggest reason that I am not on Facebook.

    And it’s weird when people in real life know things that I haven’t even told them because I told the whole world on my blog instead.

  30. It makes my brain hurt trying to remember who knows what and why. It freaked me out when I found a school mum follows me on twitter, I mean I am happy to tell the world that I had cheesecake for breakfast, but when a school mum finds out, I feel like I am going to be judged! Go figure.

  31. Here via your guest post.

    Yeah, there’s a reason I didn’t list my HS on FB! Heh.

    But I’m debating some major line-blurring, myself. I can’t decide whether or not to let other people on to my twitter page. *Sigh* 😛

  32. yeah, I thought my worlds were separate until recently when another preschool mom commented on my blog!

  33. Ok first I had no idea you were in the DC area! Second, I have been somewhat successful in keeping my blog life, my facebook life, my personal life and my extended family (inlaws) life in check I think I need to go apply to be in the FBI! But it is a house a cards and it is bound to come tumbling down someday

  34. AGREED! When I got back from BlogHer last year and everyone was on such a high and then there were the people posting about “Wah! Famous blogger didn’t talk to me!” and I was like “come to my office and ask them who Dooce is and NO ONE WILL KNOW!

    I just got followed on Twitter by a guy who used to be an intern for me in California. I probably should have blocked him.

  35. You should like me, and I am freaking out a little about it.
    I actually yelled to my husband last week “MY WORLDS ARE COLLIDING!”

  36. Well had your world’s never collided I wouldn’t know Carter’s mom is following me.

    That’s right, Sarah’s preschool parents follow me now. She has collided her world right into mine.

    But I’m okay with it. Totally.

    Unless her world begins to include Clowns. Then I would be all like “No Sarah, you freak. Get your world away from my world.”

  37. After seeing last night that Jen S had friended you on facebook, I had to come back here and say: don’t forget to include your girl scout friends in that list of friends who used to be so nicely segmented. Ha!

  38. I’ve felt the same way. At first I tried to keep my facebook super private, but then it turned out that letting in one friend let in a slew of people I had forgotten existed. And now I’m like “um, are we friends? Or are we acquaintances? Or are we strangers who only ‘know’ each other on Facebook?”

  39. Oh I SO hear you! I work with a bunch of online-ish people so FB is overrun with coworkers. Profile privacy controls can only go so far, so this world’s colliding stressor has resulted in me developing a virtual split personality. I have TWO twitter accounts, one, my blogging personal one that I really care about, and my token twitter for FB account that gets waaaay less love. In spite of these isolationist efforts, I am starting to get slight friending bleed between my REAL virtual twitter Identity and my real FB account (which incidentally has ZERO mention of my blog)and from real twitter to token twitter. The potential fall out has me waking up screaming in the night. Also? I could never be a spy. I can’t even keep 2 twitter accounts straight, forget multiple REAL fake identities!

  40. If it’s any consolation, Blogger spell check doesn’t recognize those words, either. I’m appalled!

  41. oh yeah, i know what you mean. i have to stop and think “in what context do i know this person?” when i see them on FB, twitter, etc. and darn it, it’s getting harder to just see the name and know. i have to THINK about it. and sometimes those worlds clash in weird ways.

  42. This is so true! I haven’t come “out” about my blog on facebook. But, I did just follow a few neighbors on twitter and so now they’ll find out about my blog. Crazy!

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