Facebook, Stories, and Getting to Know You

On Facebook, getting to know someone looks like this:

Have you ever been arrested? Y/N
Had a parent die?  Y/N
Traveled overseas? Y/N
Gotten married? Y/N
(My answers are, in order, N, Y, Y, Y).

I don’t think that’s getting to know someone. Getting to know someone involves listening to the stories behind the answers above. In doing so, one can detect the feelings and thoughts of the person who’s telling the story.

It’s hard to do this on Facebook. People don’t tell their stories when they don’t think the other is listening, and it’s hard to look like one’s listening behind a screen. Nuances are lost. Emotions are lost.

That’s not to say that I don’t feel connected to people on Facebook. I feel connected to the people I’m friends with in real life. They’re the ones who have my stories.

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