I just had a brief conversation with my wife after overhearing her 45 minute conversation with a good friend from CA about how "the friend requests, pokes, food fights, virtual flowers, and other miscellaneous facebook crap has become "overwhelming" and how "She’s ready to shut it off due to spam and 20 friend requests a day".
I don’t think she’s alone. For the purposes of this post, I’m talking about stay at home moms.
Stay at home moms need connection. I think the toughest job in the WORLD is managing the emotions and daily tribulations of a couple of youngsters. I know in our case, moms get together frequently to let the kids play and do things. Of course that’s important…but I don’t think the moms would disagree when I say it’s as much for them as it is the kids. They need to commiserate and relate to decompress and understand that what they’re feeling is not unique.
Enter social networking.
Now, moms can get this connection at home during whatever downtime or time that can be carved out while kids are playing, sleeping, chilling at home. Not only can they connect with their current friends. Now they can connect with the multitude of connections gone by the wayside through the years (high school friends, moved away friends that were not close enough to keep up with permanently, etc.) In other words, their network can expand exponentially in a matter of months. With that expansion comes all of the associated connectivity that social networks provide.
It seems Facebook has no lack of means to annoyingly enter someone’s day. If you’re like most friendly mom’s, you may feel obligated to respond/answer/participate/propagate these little "pokes" (or superpokes…huh?) Before long, mom’s may find that these activities and "just keeping up with their social networking platforms/email/groups/etc. is an obligation…..and not a pleasure.
The recommendation. Don’t feel obligated. Don’t accept all friend requests (or suggestions). If you haven’t talked with "Jane Doe from high school" in 20 years, you probably don’t need to connect on this or that and share flowers/pokes/or otherwise.
I’m not suggesting that these platforms are bad ( you can see all of the bazillion things I participate in by checking out my friend feed). Just be selective and don’t feel the pressure to be all things to all people.
By all means when it’s too much, just pull the plug on the bells, whistles, alerts, and pare back your social networking activities to a less stressful level.