Wednesday, August 4, 2010

While I'm Baring It All...Some Facebook Thoughts

(I hope the title of this post doesn't get all sorts of p*rn hits).

I have been on Facebook since the dawn of time. That's because I went to Harvard and that's what we did back then.

Okay, not really. Just checking to see if you're paying attention. But I have been on it for longer than you. Probably. But this isn't about bragging rights. This is about things that make me laugh on Facebook. Or that I like (insert thumbs up symbol here). Or that I dislike (still haven't found an app for that). This isn't comprehensive, certainly, just now.

The Good
I have been able to find many old friends. Not aged friends, but friends from my past. That has been fun. Some of the good finds have been college roommates, missionary companions, girls' camp buddies from back in the day, high school pals (less of those). Conversely, some of those people have found me, and that's been good too. It's fun to catch up and stay caught up when I don't think that would otherwise have been an option. With name and address changes, Christmas cards, though I do send them regularly, aren't always effective with keeping up with people if they don't return the favor. Through this medium I can get occasional updates, or see current photos, and that's fun. It can be impersonal, but I think that as a society we're trending more towards that.

It's also easier for me to stay in touch with family (especially nieces and nephews) that I wouldn't otherwise. I'm rotten at sending birthday cards, etc., and am not going to win any "Favorite/Bestest Aunt" prizes anytime soon. At least this way I am able to know what's happening in their lives, despite distance, busy-ness, and ... life.

The Bad
Finding people on Facebook you used to be friends with but realize that now you have nothing in common with them...and don't care.

The Ugly
I have been able to find many old acquaintances. Not aged acquaintances, but ones from my past. Some of these finds have been college roommates and missionary companions. I have had to completely block one person from cyber life for fear of complete intrusion into my "real" life. Not cool.

Another not-so-great-find was a former college roommate. She was abrasive and hard to get along with back then. I was hesitant to accept her as a friend because of the very rough year we had together, but figured that if I've mellowed with age and over the years, maybe she had too. It was tenuously okay until she commented on one of my status updates alluding to one of our constant disagreements about the apartment cleaning schedule...24 years ago! If it wasn't clean when she wanted it to be, then in her eyes you were worthless. In her comment, she expressed sarcastic amazement that I knew how to clean my own house now since I certainly didn't back then.

What I wanted to say: I guess if we were going to judge people on their behavior from two decades ago I would still expect you to be the same loud, foul-mouthed, drunk, boyfriend stealing mean person.

What I did instead: Delete. *poof* Friend gone. She hasn't tried to re-add me.

The "Eh, Whatever"
I think there should be two categories of Facebook friends: Friends and Acquaintances. Not to just necessarily label as such (think of the social faux pas being committed left and right if that were the case!) but just because every time I get a friend request, I tend to take it literally and think to myself, "Friend? Because you talk to me at church all the time and we hang out together? More like acquaintance because you're in my ward and know my name." "Friend" is a very broad term in the Facebook world.

Socio-politically, though, it's all good. I have a friend (a REAL friend, not just FB friend) who joined Facebook just so she could let people think she's their friend. Otherwise, she would be getting emails and phone calls from people that she doesn't really care about in real life. This way, they feel as though they have a connection to her, and she can keep them far away from her real life, filed away in a cyber life -- again, that separation of the cyber world that is making our culture more impersonal and less intimate.

The Funny

* Thank you, Facebook, for suggesting that I "like" BYU. I guess if you knew that that fine institution and I parted ways not-so-amicably you would not suggest that. Even now, if I ever visit the campus, I get nervous parking in the visitor lot because I'm sure that the Administration office is going to find me and tell me I still have no business being there.

* Bejeweled Blitz. My biggest competition each week are my extremely intelligent nieces. I get a kick out of trying to be the top scorer in the family each week. Uh oh. I've just now admitted that. I'm sure that will bring on some intense competition next week.

* Yes, I realize we have 38 friends in common, but I don't actually KNOW this famous person and think it would be laughable to try to become "friends" with him.

* Yes, I realize we are related (distantly or otherwise), but I don't actually KNOW you. Plus, you are slightly famous, and, well, see the "laughable" part above.

* Let's not all get our panties in a bunch because we're posting what color bra we're wearing that day. No, it may not ultimately cure breast cancer, but it's not gonna hurt anything either.

* I'm not thrilled either with all the Farm, Zoo, Cafe and other virtual world games. But if you're playing one, it sure does help pass the time! (I played a lot of Zoo back in the day.)

* Thanks to Facebook quizzes, I have found out that my aura is green; my color is blue; that my literary character is Jane Eyre; that my animal spirit guide is a bear; my old lady name is Adelaide; my redneck name is Cletus; I was a cheerleader in high school; my parents should have named me Bonnie, I'm going to die on August 11, 2044; I am a tritone chord; and I am earth.

No comments:

Post a Comment