A few years ago, I jumped on the bandwagon and joined Facebook. I met up with a lot of classmates that I went to high school with, distant family members, friends, and even neighbors. It has been great getting reconnected with people — up until now.
At first when I was on the website, it was a lot of, “Hey, how have you been? What’s new?” responses from people I got reconnected with. Then it started leading into, “We should get together for lunch some time!” However, everyone says that but when I try and follow through with “getting together for lunch” everyone always cancels. First, they say how they have missed me over the years, and then more than half the time they are the ones that initiate wanting to meet up, and then once I set a date they always bail.
Mikey, I am very frustrated because a lot of these people that I reconnected with I was once very close to at one point or another in my life. I have missed their friendship/relationship/spending time with them and it is hurtful when everyone says they want to make plans, but they never follow through. It is almost like no one wants to talk to me outside of the computer screen.
I am thinking about closing my Facebook account because now it is just hurting my feelings more than making me happy that I am reconnecting.
What happened to face-to face contact? Has the whole world gone mad with technology?
— Boycotting Facebook
Dear Boycotting Facebook,
Let me just start out by saying you are not the only person who is experiencing this issue. A lot of people who joined Facebook have since left due to similar issues like the one you are having.
You also make a great point, that people are turning away from face-to-face contact and are preferring the computer screen as an alternative. I am afraid it is probably only going to get worse as the years go on and technology moves us forward.
People tend to change as they get older, some for the worse and some for the better. In some cases, these old friends and classmates that you are trying to reconnect with in person may not want to see you in person for other reasons that have nothing to do with you. For example, people fluctuate in weight as the years go by and perhaps they could be embarrassed by the way they look to see an old friend. Others may have had a rough couple of years and don’t want to see anyone from their past because they feel as though they will be considered an outcast from the rest of their classmates who had it smooth sailing over the past few years. Or it could also be that they are now a mother or a father and have children to raise so their time is limited.
There are hundreds of possible reasons for people not wanting to reconnect with people from their past outside of the computer screen. Maybe one day you will find out the reason, and maybe you won’t. However, you cannot stop living your life or get down on yourself because you think that it’s simply because they dislike you. At the same time, why sit around and wait for them to maybe eventually come around?
If friends are true friends, they will make the time to see you. And I am not talking about on the computer screen.
If you are considering shutting down your Facebook account, do it for you and not because of the lack of response you are getting from people you are trying to reconnect with. If you do decide to do it for you, I would suggest writing one last message letting people know that you are about to shut it down, and if they would like to get together with you, it would be best to exchange information now.
See who responds … it might just surprise you.
• Ahwatukee Foothills resident Michelle “Mikey” Arana is a 2003 graduate of Mountain Pointe High School. She offers free peer advice, however, Mikey is not licensed or trained, just a fellow friend to the community. All inquiries made to Mikey will remain anonymous unless legal issues occur. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.