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Social media and space in friendships

(17 Posts)
pinballwitch Tue 04-Aug-15 15:54:41

This might be rather a pathetic post - I'm more comfortable giving advice to others and this seems a bit teenage. Though if social media had been around when I was a teenager I might have figured this out by now.

With close friends I tend to have phases of very frequent contact and then lulls - recently there are some friends I've been leaning on a lot and I think they need a rest.

I like my space and it's always felt healthy to me to have those lulls and breaks. But it's bothering me that it's not possible to do that and also use social media to communicate with other people.
It's usually possible to choose whose content you read.
On facebook you can at least choose the audience for your own posts (though I don't want to shut out close friends, so I don't, I just think it would be good for them to have a bit of a rest from me, and get a round up of stuff in a week or a fortnight rather than having all my posts in their face all the time). But on most other sites you can't filter like that, and it's just not done to remove good friends from your followers (it would be a terrible insult after they've been so helpful too) so you can still post stuff into the feeds of people you haven't been spending loads of time with lately.

Just so two or three people can have a rest from me, I stop myself from posting anything at all, when there are things I could do with communicating to others, and it's all a bit inhibiting and frustrating.
I perenially worry that I crowd friends or that someone's partner will have a problem with me, and having phases of saying less has always been a way of modulating that, and dealing with my own sense of having overdosed on certain people for a bit, but it seems to be impossible to do this now.

Offred Tue 04-Aug-15 15:56:15

Classic overthinking as a result of using social media, which IMO turns you crazy. Come off social media completely would be my advice!

cailindana Tue 04-Aug-15 16:13:04

In the kindest possible way I'm not sure at all what you're on about. Do you post a lot of personal stuff on social media?

RealityCheque Tue 04-Aug-15 16:17:41

Don't live your life on social media. Post occasionally (if at all). Simple really.

If there is something that you need to 'communicate to others' why not actually talk? You know, old school.

Joysmum Tue 04-Aug-15 16:22:02

I only post inanities on Facebook and I share what's important with friends in real life.

People can make their own decisions about what they read on Facebook so don't feel a need to edit to please all and don't assume what you're posting is always being read.

You're overthink things.

CheersMedea Tue 04-Aug-15 16:28:03

Solution is: Just don't post anything on social media yourself and use it to stay in touch with others and see what they are up to.

Facebook is downright peculiar. It's actually normal to have spheres of life that don't meet or cross. It's not the best thing for your work colleagues to see photos of you drunk on holiday or in a bikini.

Just so two or three people can have a rest from me

I too don't really get what you are on about. What do you mean "a rest from you"? Are you posting 24/7? If you have a large number of friends, most of what is posted passes you by totally as it is replace by more recent stuff and your top friends.

Plus it's easy to hide posts - I do that to lots of people who are incessant posters - I'm still friends with them but their bullshit doesn't come up in my feed. If someone wants "a rest from you" it's easy to do.

You sound a bit over thinking and self obsessed tbh.

pinballwitch Tue 04-Aug-15 16:34:34

A lot of my friends are quite far away (moved a lot). Also have an established presence on some things & get free stuff for review.

There are times when I simply want a break from social media and have a break and like it. That's great. Cognitive assonance.

But this is when the need to take space from maybe 3 people is stopping me (to an extent - I can still comment on others' posts) talking to lots of others I'd like to talk to, and where our main point of communication has been those sites, for quite some time, or in some cases is the place I met those friends.
Just now it feels spontaneous and natural to post things - just like it's sometimes spontaneous and natural not to for a while - except when I remember, oh, that's going to x and y and so I stop.
Individual emails and phone conversations are, I find, something for the closest friends or older relatives; conversation with others who are not nearby, is mostly online.

Offred Tue 04-Aug-15 16:39:00

If you leave Facebook you will have lost nothing important and gained all kinds of important things IMO. I've been off Facebook around 4 years, I really think it can cause you to become mentally unwell. Just leave.

bambooyoohoo Tue 04-Aug-15 16:41:33

I still don't quite get it... X and y etc don't have to respond if they don't want to. If you don't post things directly on their wall you're not specifically aiming it at them.

But then I mainly use FB for pictures of the kids, posting links to news articles etc, and the very rare occasions I have a witty thought in my head!

NerrSnerr Tue 04-Aug-15 16:43:24

Sounds like you're really over thinking this. If you don't over share then no one will care what you post and when. If they're fed up of you they can move you to heir acquaintance list or mute you and you'll never know.

pocketsaviour Tue 04-Aug-15 18:00:39

OP has already said Facebook isn't the problem, it's other sites that don't allow for a custom audience.

OP why don't you message the people you think might have had enough of you for a bit, and say something like "Thanks for all your support recently, it's really helped. Just wanted to say I know I post a lot and I won't feel offended if you don't like/reply/retweet/comment/favourite all my posts as I know it's a lot to keep up with!"

Then you can keep posting at normal volume or whatever feels natural, but hopefully will remove any sense of obligation on their parts to keep interacting.

CheersMedea Wed 05-Aug-15 14:08:42

when the need to take space from maybe 3 people is stopping me (to an extent - I can still comment on others' posts) talking to lots of others I'd like to talk to, and where our main point of communication has been those sites, for quite some time, or in some cases is the place I met those friends.

I still don't understand this. What sites are you talking about where 3 people seeing something stops you from talking to lots of others? Twitter? It makes no sense to me at all.

What's the issue? If these 3 people don't want to see your stuff they can block you or hide your posts (most sites offer this type of option). And as I said, a lot of what people post gets lost in the tidal wave of drivel other people are posting. What makes you think these 3 people are paying so much attention to you that they "need some space from you"? As I said, it does sound like you are giving your own social media postings far more importance in your head than these 3 others - or anyone for that matter- is giving them. It's very ego-centric. Most people just scroll and scroll past the dross.

SomethingBad Wed 05-Aug-15 14:29:49

Think you are being a bit silly.

Firstly, you can post selectively on facebook - if you don't want someone to see your posts, set them to "acquantance" status. Instructions here: www.facebook.com/help/209850012449913

Secondly, if any of your friends are annoyed by your posts, they can hide you. They may already have done so - you wouldn't be able to tell!

autumnleaves123 Wed 05-Aug-15 14:49:12

I went through a phase in FB when I was obsessing a bit, worried that most people didn't wish me happy birthday (that one really upset me), worried about what others might make of my life, worried that they didn't "like" my posts or photographs. In the end, I decided to delete my account and my worries, and a lot of noise and unnecessary stress left with that.

Ok, I am no longer in touch with old classmates and ex co-workers but I am happy with that. I've happily accepted that we have all moved on and don't need to be sharing intimate details of our lives. It's a lot healthier that way. It's what life was like before social media.

Social media only works for me in very small doses and people like very close friends and relatives. If FB is not working for you OP, you can always leave, or stay inactive. Nobody really cares that much, believe me.

pinballwitch Thu 06-Aug-15 15:11:56

This thread didn't go anywhere as other posters aren't really on the same wavelength in terms of internet use or how they feel about this kind of personal space. Attempting to explan some of it anyway. I think it's good to put some space there before people get sick of you in the first place - and I can get too much of people as well, so it's also for my benefit.
(Don't really understand why frequent mumsnet use is ok with some people when social media isn't - I usually spend more time on the latter and often don't look at MN for months at a time.)

Thanks to the PP who recognised that this isn't about FB, - I know plenty about controlling audiences for posts on there and would make use of the facility if it was available elsewhere. The lack of that option is really the problem.
Why do I think these people take notice? Because they are good friends, they comment on stuff I post, and because they've told me I post more frequently than most people they know, whilst I'm average among other people I know, less than plenty.

May as well leave this now I think as it might be more of a website structure problem.

CheersMedea Thu 06-Aug-15 15:20:55

What sites are you talking about where 3 people seeing something stops you from talking to lots of others?

You never answered this question above. You can't really whinge about "the thread not going anywhere", when you haven't actually explained what the problem was, what your audience options are and on which site. Most sites have some kind of options, you just have to know how to work them - sometimes it can be more tangential slippery methods, like using group distribution or operating different accounts for different things.

Why do I think these people take notice? Because they are good friends, they comment on stuff I post, and because they've told me I post more frequently than most people they know, whilst I'm average among other people I know, less than plenty.

OK - well either stop posting so much or realise that IF THESE PEOPLE REALLY GAVE A SHIT about your excessive posting, they would either block you or scroll on by.

It's an absolute non-problem that is totally in your head. If people want to comment, it shows they are interested = needing space from you is not an issue. If they wanted space, they'd not be commenting or coming off your circulations list/link list/friend list whatever they have on this mysterious site you are referring to.

Offred Thu 06-Aug-15 15:23:53

Othe ppl don't get what the problem is because there isn't really a problem. No-one forces you to have an online presence. It is meant to be something complimentary. For many people MN IS a problem and they stop using it for periods of time to readjust. You are putting a huge amount of thought and emotion into something which is not important at all - just come off social media, it shouldn't require this much thought, if it does then you are one of the many people have a problem with using it.

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