Building Meaning In Your Facebook Friendships

Our Facebook experience is what we make it.

Yes, there are algorithms the Social Media Gods use to filter our news feeds and to promote items we may have interest in. However, those algorithms are based on what we choose to post, like, and comment on. We, in the end, are the masters of our Facebook feed.

I’ve had some friends bemoan the vapidness of Facebook, the lack of meaningful interaction. Some have copied the posts seeking meaningful interaction, which say half-way through, “If you really read my posts, please comment with a number,” or some other code to prove the copied post was read. Others use Facebook as a political platform to share their thoughts and debate. Others use Facebook as a holding place of humorous memes and videos, or the new trend popping up of videos of a magical hand making food appear with a few turns of a spoon.

While I prefer face-to-face interaction, I have many friends I value who live miles away. Even friends who live close by can be as busy as I am, and so we like each other, but do not interact in everyday social circles. For me, Facebook is a platform of connection, of keeping a pulse on the other persons life, because I care.

Lately, I’ve been contemplating how to use Facebook to celebrate the people I care about, and give real meaning to those relationships. In the past few days of communal mourning for celebrities, I feel this is even more important.

Therefore, I am announcing a new project, and I invite you to do the same on your own Facebook, Twitter, or other social media platform.

I am using a list of the friends I have on Facebook, and each day (depending on the craziness of life) I am going to highlight one friend or group of friends and make a post about something I like, remember, or admire about them. Then, I am going to invite the rest of Facebook to share what they like about them as well.

It will take time to get through the list, but I am hoping this project will bring more meaningful interaction to my Facebook feed. As I said, Facebook and Social Media are what you make of them. This is an experiment. Even if it doesn’t change my Facebook feed much, I’m hoping it will bring a little brightness into a friend’s day.

So, I invite you to think about it, take a look, and think about how you can deepen your interactions with others on these platforms.

Appendix:

How Create A List of Friends:

  1. Copy and paste your list of Facebook friends to MS Word, using the special copy which pastes only text
  2. Use CTRL+H to bring up Find and Replace Window
  3. In “Find” type “FriendFriends” and leave “Replace” field blank
  4. In “Find” type “^13” (symbol for paragraph/line break – an empty line in the document) and in “Replace” type “;”
  5. In “Find” type “;;;” and in “Replace” type “^13”
  6. In “Find” type “;” and in “Replace” type “^13”
  7. Copy and paste your list into an Excel spreadsheet
  8. Use “Data Sort” tool to sort the column alphabetically, and then delete the rows of how many friends (ex. 135 friends), and now you have a clean list of who you’ve friended on Facebook. Do as you wish with this grand knowledge.

*I am sure you can do this in Google Docs as well

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