Facebook Follies

It seems to me that Facebook is kind of a guilty pleasure; something you enjoy but aren’t supposed to admit to, like sneaking to the refrigerator at 3:00 A.M. to eat the last of the chocolate ice cream.  But I can’t help myself.  I love Facebook. 

Slowly but surely, though, I’ve begun to understand why some people may find it weird.  For instance:  recently my cousin Drew sent me a message on Facebook saying, “Do you know Bill F?”  This is after Bill F. told me that it was Drew who invited Bill F. to be his “friend” in the first place.  So my answer was:

No, I don’t know Bill F. “in person” but he’s a friend of a friend.  In fact, he’s the friend of a friend of a friend of a friend.  Took me a while to track that back.  And he’s a good guy (I’ve taken him for a test run, so to speak.)  I think you have a lot in common, I said to Cousin Drew.  I believe you will like him.  It’s the Facebook version of being asked for a reference. 

Just yesterday, I was invited to be the friend of the sister of a friend of a friend.  (Try to unravel that.)  And it turned out to be fun, although I was a little leery to see that she has 1,004 “friends”.  At least as of yesterday.  There is a certain acquisitiveness and competition that occurs on Facebook in terms of the number of “friends” you have , but I’m not afflicted with that problem. 

One of the interesting things about Facebook to me is that I’ve had to revisit my opinion of myself.  I am so often in the public eye that when I get home I want to be a hermit, because I hate that public-eye stuff.  Except, I’ve learned, really I don’t hate it.  I love that interaction with complete strangers, and I would wither without it.  Meeting new people is energizing.  Sure…sometimes that makes you wish you had an AK47, but mostly not. 

I need that alone time, that rejuvenating silence, or that time to listen to an owl hoot, or listen to Tchaikovksy’s violin concerto all by myself in the driveway on the way home from work. I need to be able to read, uninterrupted, for at least two hours a day.  At the picnic table in my back yard, where I can listen to the hawks on the hunt. 

But after that…I need the cry of the madding crowd.  Work and Facebook both do that for me.  What can I say?  I love the variety and the craziness and the interesting lives of the people who are Not Me.

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21 responses to “Facebook Follies

  1. FB: the new connectivity. I needed to send a message to the husband of a friend, never mind why 🙂 I do not have his cell phone; I do not have his email. However, his name is distinctive enough that there’s only one of him on FB. Et voila! Instant contact.

    I don’t need to be his FB friend to send him an email there.

    As to my obviously nefarious reasons, the friend is in the hospital and didn’t answer her room phone. She could have gone home by then or be sleeping so I wanted to send her husband a message to say I’d visited and that I’d also bought her an item she coveted from the tack store tent sale.

  2. Exactly Fakesister. You can find people, and they can find you. That is mostly a very good thing. It could go wrong…but not usually. So you have to be willing to be “out there”.

  3. I was a staunch MySpace addict years ago. At that time, was one of those that thrived on the number of friends. Don’t know why.

    I couldn’t even tell you how many FB friends I have. What sucks is finding someone you were once friends with, send then a friend invite, and they send a response weeks later saying “Do I know you?” I blogged about that for days. I’d thought I’d been snubbed. As it turns out, I wasn’t even remembered. What’s better? To be snubbed or forgotten?? LOL

  4. If I were to write a book (which will never happen) I could have no richer source for characters than the people who are my “friends” on Facebook. Many of my “friends” I know for real, but others are the friends of friends of friends. You can only speculate about what really makes them tick, or what their lives are like. Speculating would make…a good book.

  5. Rita! I am so excited to see you comment! In answer to your question, I think it’s better not to be remembered 🙂

  6. It at least means that you didn’t do something in the distant past that seriously pissed them off, that you don’t even remember 🙂

  7. One of my high school FB friends has 2.000+ friends and he wasn’t in the “popular” group then. Plus, the whole high school only had 500.

    At first, I only accepted friend offers from folks I knew. But then friends of friends (almost all from my high school) started inviting me and so I broadened it to folks who were up to the Class of 79 since it is the Classes of 70s that have frequent reunions.

    But, as you probably have noticed, I’m only on FB maybe twice a week and rarely post. Must be that “anti-social” element of mine…

  8. Rofl spencercourt re: your antisocial element. In my imaginary book, here would be your character: affable, outgoing, very successful, but with a secret life. I think I would make you a spy 🙂

  9. http://www.thesocialnetwork-movie.com/awards/#/home

    Ahem…………I mean if we are all gonna be honest let’s start with WHY Facebook was invented. Everything else is deflection/deception imho.

  10. ptfan1, that is hysterical, and I believe every word of it. It’s just that the horse got out of the barn, and the barn owner said “I wonder how I can make money on the escaped horse”.

  11. BTW, pt, in my imaginary book, I would make you a spy too. Both you and spencercourt are keen observers of other people’s tehavior.

  12. Not sure that we are on the same page but we are in the same book anyway. My opinion is that Facebook doesn’t want us to look at the man behind the screen. Most of us are still college mentality and looking to get laid we just don’t admit it,and have devised all kinds of avoidance codes for not confronting our libidos with other folks. Facebook provides us an instant accessibility to Oz and the yellow brick road. I don’t have anything against that, it’s just that I am slow to trust people I know well (trust but verify best describes my mindset) and I don’t trust strangers at all. So I can’t bring myself to “like” a friend of a friends friend, without verification of intent.

    As for being a spy did I tell you I once worked for Universal Exports?

    • > looking to get laid we just don’t admit it,and have devised
      > all kinds of avoidance codes for not confronting our libido

      Why don’t you let it all hang out PT…lol! Pass those blue pills my way! At my age, which I think is younger than you, I am not inclined to see a sexual motivation in behavior.

      As for FB, I think (as I think you do) it is a very superficial
      form of communication. To use a culinary analogy, it is “fast food.”

  13. Universal Exports kind of rings a bell. Was that a CIA front?
    As for your trust level, I’m not sure I agree with your assessment of yourself. You have obviously had to be “out there” in the public eye through most of your work life. And you got to know me and spencercourt online. And you had lunch with me. If you had an AK47 with you, you must have left it in the car 🙂
    As for Facebook, getting laid may have been the original impetus, but it’s still the horse that got out of the barn now. So the original intent by a kid is now immaterial. FB has many protections. So when I become the friend of the friend of a friend of a friend, it’s because I’ve had the opportunity to see them comment and I have a sense of who they are. I really like it…I have met some amazing people, and some not so amazing, and the not-amazing people are not my friends 🙂

  14. spencercourt…I think “superficial” is a little harsh. It’s quick, and short, for sure. I don’t always have the time to wax at length about a subject, and if I wish to, I save it for the blog. I remember when I first signed up, my early “friends” advised me not to be “serious”…that FB is supposed to be “lighthearted”. I said to myself, who made that rule? So I just ignore it. Today I posted two pictures of flowers (mostly because my friend Sue in Canada likes it–it is barely beginning to be spring there) and yesterday I “shared” (reposted) an article from NPR about a woman in Saudi Arabia who was arrested for driving a car. Facebook is kind of what you make it.

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