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Facebook and Intimacy: What the Heck Are You Talking About?

Posted By Denise Miller Holmes on Monday

Savvy Article #0917

Connecting is supposed to be what Facebook is about. But, some people cheat! I went on a rant about this yesterday morning on Facebook and had a great time doing it. My rant? It was about the chickens that post nothing but enigmatic philosophical statements in their status bar.

You may have befriended people like this: John is just wondering; Markus thinks life is like trees; and Sarah ponders molecules. What are these people talking about and how does this help me connect to them in any real way?

I was recently struck by this when I found out a Facebook friend of mine, who posts nothing but enigmatic thoughts, had been working at a new job for a few months. How did I find out? I visited a group of common friends in another state and found out the old-fashioned way. Clearly, Facebook is not an instrument she uses to let people into her life.

So I went on my tirade yesterday and posted nothing but puzzling philosophical thoughts.  Just to see what would happen, I posted these:

Don’t drive into the smoke. (Kay commented: But strange, enigmatic statements can generate conversation. Like, What on earth are you talking about? I never drive into the smoke. Always a bad idea.)

Denise Holmes is thinking about hair. (Kay: Me too.)

Denise Holmes is wondering about those things in the sky. (Kay: Are they white and fluffy? Or round and silver?)

Hemingway was right. (Kathy: About all first drafts? Yep!)

How do they get those giant Martians into those tiny bottles? (Kay: Denise, you should know this . . .)

Denise Holmes feels like a Van Gogh painting. (Kay: I feel like a turkey sub.)

Sometimes life is like grass. (Kay: What kind of grass are you referring to?)

Take care of the peanut in your soul. (Kay: you must have different friends than I do. None of mine do philosophical statements. Except you. And I’ve enjoyed them.)

After analyzing why I had such a visceral reaction to the philosophical statement phenomenon, I realized I was fed up with lack of intimacy. To get on Facebook and pretend that you are connecting and then spout nonsense is building walls, not tearing them down. It goes against everything Facebook is for. It also comes across as self-serving and egotistical. After awhile, I don’t care to even ask you what you mean when you make it so hard for me to get to know you.

When you get on Facebook with me, I want to know your day—what you’re doing and even what you’re thinking and feeling. And someday, if Facebook has done its job building connections, we’ll be able to share the peanuts of our souls.

About The Author

Denise Miller Holmes
Denise Miller Holmes enjoys teaching biblical topics, and especially researching and communicating what Christians believe about the world around them. She sometimes turns established viewpoints on end. A graduate of the University of Southern California School of Journalism, Denise also has a Masters degree in Counseling Psychology, and has been a Christian for over 35 years. She belongs to the writers’ groups Words for the Journey and American Christian Fiction Writers.


7 Responses to “Facebook and Intimacy: What the Heck Are You Talking About?”

  1. Joanna says:

    Completely agree!

  2. Great article….well-written…made me laugh…and think…but not totally agree. Seldom is there only one way that’s right no matter how married we are to it. With all the identity thefts, phising, and unanswered privacy issues people are reluctant to put it all out there. Besides intimacy is defined differently person to person and I think how we choose to relate with others remains an individual choice.

    Giving folks a grace-based forum for connection is a real gift…whatever our style…or so it would seem to me.

    Anyway kudos for stirring up thoughts…

  3. Thank you, ladies, for your comments. Jo, you and several others have told me I’ve hit a chord with them. Patsy, you are so right that people need to be allowed to be as intimate as they want. For me, I’ve been frustrated because these are people that used to talk to me and they live in another place. Our only connection is FB. But you’re right, there needs to be grace.

  4. Pam says:

    You go girl! You’re right, a steady diet of enigma doesn’t lead anywhere. (But I do enjoy the occasional “huh?!”.)

  5. Jan Parrish says:

    I agree. Don’t be philosophical on Facebook. That’s just annoying.

    Then there are probably those who care sick of hearing about my illness on Facebook and Twitter – but at least I’m real.

  6. Yes, being real is better. And, as far as I know, Jan, no one is sick of hearing about your illness. :)

  7. Dena Netherton says:

    Totally agree. I’m getting so fed up with those kinds of posts that I’m callng them on it. I write: “Say what?” or “Care to explain that?” or even, “What the blazes are you talking about?”
    I’ve thought about going on my own tirade, but the people who post the nonsense probably wouldn’t read it. They’re too busy trying to think of somethig really obtuse and impressive to put in their next post.

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