Helping You Get the Most Out of Your Misery
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Plain as the Nose on Your Facebook
I'm on Facebook.
It's kind of fascinating. It's fascinating because I like to think about how much the world has changed just in my lifetime. Not long ago, when you lost contact with someone, you lost contact with them. Your best friend from summer camp could easily disappear off the face of the planet and you would be none the wiser, as you wouldn't have spoken with them in twenty-seven years.
Google changed that, somewhat. For a long while now, you've been able to waste copious amounts of time by googling people you used to know. And sometimes, you'd find them. But a lot of times, you weren't sure if you'd found the right person. Not always easy to tell. And, of course, there were people who were still impossible to find.
Now, it seems like everyone I've ever known is on Facebook and I'm friends with a whole goddamn lot of 'em.
But Facebook friendship is really only "friendship" in the very loosest of definitions. There's a tiny little bit of information in a person's profile and then you keep up to date on their day-to-day happens sometimes, if they're the type of person who updates their status even semi-regularly.
The dark side of all this is that you're inevitably going to be found by people about whom you'd forgotten and with whom you'd rather not renew ties. When these people add me as a friend, I always say yes, sometimes with a long pause to consider things. It's awfully rude to deny someone's friend request.
And, really, what's the worse that happens if you accept? Well, okay, I'm leaving out extreme cases where you're friended by an ex-lover who still feels that, if they can't have you, nobody can. Because that really is the exception to the rule, right? More often, the worst is that you're then bombarded with status updates from these people that you can very easily just not read.
Don't get me wrong. It can be really annoying when someone you don't like all that much feels the need to update their status to alert the world of every sad little bit of minutae that pops into their heads. I don't need to know that you're planning on taking advantage of the sunny day to wash your car. I really don't. But, again, nobody's forcing me to read it.
Another dark side is that things become a little high-schooly at times. I've sat IMing with a friend about mutual "friends" of ours who annoy us. I'm not proud of that, but I did it.
And I've noticed that several members of my high school graduating class--members of which joined Facebook in droves the last few weeks to find whoever it is that's planning our twentieth reunion--have now removed our high school from their profile. I'm assuming it's because they figured it was the only way to dodge any more people they don't want to be-"friend".
Now, of course, I'm dying to know why they removed it from their status. But it's not like I'm going to ask them directly. We're not that good of friends.
Friends that I talk to on a regular basis keep bugging me to join Facebook (why? I talk to them all the time?) because "they are in touch with so many other people, blah, blah..." So I was giving it some serious thought last week and decided 'no'. One less time suck on my computer is fine. I'd rather spend it reading strangers' blogs. Oh, and posting the occasional comment. The irony.
Facebook is scary good. Not as in "so scary, it's good," but scary/good. I like it for the ability to reconnect with people and to stay in touch with relatives and friends that I would otherwise be dead too because I'm just so far away, but also scary in the ways you described.Post a Comment
Now I have to go update my status to tell the world that I'm committing time theft from my employers by commenting on Joe's blog.