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Don't 'Unfriend' Me Because I Sent You a Holiday Card

So, as the holiday cards come rolling in, I wonder to myself what would happen if I sent an real card (yes, in the mail) out to all of my ‘friends’ on my Facebook page.

I was tagged in a Facebook post last night. A friend from my pre-marriage, pre-baby, pre-everything days sent me a video. It was a very funny video which actually is a promotional ad for the Fiat 500L. It was “dedicated to all those women who have to be all things to all people and live it large on a daily basis.”

But even though the video caught my attention, it wasn’t the song that struck me so much. It was the fact I was tagged by a woman I used to work with. This was a woman who was one of my former clients in my previous life. We lost touch after I left the corporate field, and a couple of years ago we casually reconnected through Facebook.

While I don’t know her well, I do know that she made 30 gingerbread houses last night and that she didn’t get to bed until 1:00 am. I know that her husband made her gluten free cookies for a cookie exchange. And last weekend she went to Chinatown with some girlfriends for dinner.

So even though I haven’t spoken to this friend in three years, if I bumped into her on the street, I could carry on more than just a superficial conversation about her life.

So, as the holiday cards come rolling in (which seem to be fewer and fewer since the invention of Facebook) I wonder to myself what would happen if I sent a real card (yes, in the mail) out to all of my ‘friends’ on my Facebook page.

Actually, I think it might be just plain weird for my Facebook friends to receive a real card from me. There’s my ex-boyfriend from college. There’s my brother’s friend who lives in Korea with his family. And there’s the boy that I grew up with who I haven’t spoken to in probably 35 years.

What would these people think if they got an actual holiday card from me? They might think that I was stalking them, and they could ‘unfriend’ me because they may feel like I am getting a little too close.

But yet, I have a relationship with these people.  I’m interested in what they post. I am curious as to which of my friends ‘like’ the same news stories. I adore seeing pictures of their children on their birthdays.

Facebook allows for a different type of relationship. As silly as this sounds, it allows a relationship to grow without the parties actually interacting with each other. I have lost touch with so many important people in my life over the years, yet there they are on Facebook. Sharing with me... what their kids are like... who they have become... and what is important to them.

So maybe Facebook has filled a void that many of us didn’t even know that we had. It allows us to connect with people without feeling guilty for not reaching out more often. We can continue to feel close to those we haven't talked to in years... or maybe even decades. 

Facebook is sort of like getting and sending a Christmas card every single day.

But don’t worry, friends, most of you won’t be getting anything in the ‘real’ mail from me this year... I think that could be bordering on poor Facebook etiquette and that might be getting just a bit too personal.

Happy Holidays!

Kati Spaniak is a Real Estate Broker with @properties specializing in selling real estate in Northbrook, a 37-year resident of Northbrook and a former Northbrook Village Board Trustee. Contact Kati at KatiSpaniak@atproperties.com

Or you can reach out to her on her Get Involved Northbrook Facebook page and send your own Holiday Greetings to her!

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Angel Oakley December 20, 2012 at 06:16 PM
Kati, what a great way to tell the story! You hit on so many of the key value points of Facebook! :) When I was just starting out in my professional life, I remember listening to a speaker talk about how important it was to keep a well organized binder of business cards. Every time you met someone and got their business card, you were suppose to write a little something about them and your encounter on the back. He proudly showed us his binder with nearly 10,000 cards in it. Wow!! That's a lot of interaction...but is it? How do you keep up with 10,000 people? Would you call them? Would you send them a post card or a holiday card? Perhaps you'd stop by to say hi. Maybe for 150 or so (Dunbar#), but what of the rest. With the advent of fax broadcasts and then email, keeping 10,000 informed of your info seemed a little more attainable. But, it wasn't a reality until Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. From my perspective, Facebook is this amazing tool that allows me to retain a connection where otherwise it would have been lost, and it allows me to cultivate and deepen relationships with people I hardly see to a point which they have great value to me. Kati, you have so many admirable traits, you're an amazing woman, and I'm thankful social media enables me to keep a connection with gems like you! Happy Holidays! Angel #TheMuse
Kati Byrne Spaniak December 20, 2012 at 06:43 PM
Right back at you, Angel! And, I appreciate you taking the time to write this note. Because social media allows us to interact with those reading it, but only sometimes is there an interaction back. So, if I keep posting and writing online, I may have hundreds of people (or realistically, maybe just 10) following me and feeling as though they know me personally. But I feel like I am missing out knowing them because they just read my posts and move on without commenting. I guess what I am saying, is that we need more back and forth interaction for the best success. And THAT is how our relationships will continue. I hope that your gluten free cookie exchange was a success!

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