Sunday, July 26, 2009

Oh, Facebook, you are so odd.

So, yeah, I'm on FB. I don't do much with it honestly. I update my status every couple of days and when I remember (which is admittedly not terribly often), I go around and visit my friends. It seems to be best for catching my immediately family for a quick conversation and quick checks in on extended family and some friends. Storing pictures is easy too.

And it's been great to reconnect with people from high school or college I've not seen in years. But I've noticed that after that initial exchange of greetings and catch-ups, there isn't much more to the relationship. It's sort of like a virtul high school reunion. Fun, nice to see how people have grown/changed, and then you return to your life and tend to forget about them for a few more years.

Don't get me wrong - it's had good moments - but really . . . I sort of hopped on because everyone was there, and it's kind of a hassle, really. And it's not very good for the ego. There are unapproved friend requests or people finding you inadvertently through their friends and you sort of think . . . well, I guess I could friend you . . . but why? And then there is the inevitable defriending. I have yet to be involved in a dramatic style drop off, but I did notice on one of my random forays into being sociable and friendly that I'd been dropped by a person or two who probably did some housecleaning. Since I have no idea when it occurred and know it wasn't because of some huge offense, I can't be all that bothered. Truthfully, I'm already an admitted bad FB friend, so there shouldn't be much offense to be taken.

And yet, in the back of my mind was a moment of guilt, and instant of disappointment and sadness. Clearly, the relationship that existed was superficial at best, a passing nod to acquaintanceship or to a friendship that existed in another life or time. But still . . . remnants of guilt or hurt float up and I wonder about those people and what is happening with their lives now.

It's a really sort of weird thing, I think. Has there before been such a tool to reunite people? What does it accomplish, sharing our lives in bits and snippets? It's not that I think it a bad thing at all, but I wonder if it contributes to more superficiality in general, for a mistaken (imo) belief that a glimpse into someone's daily life is the same as a knowledge of that person and who they are and what motivates them and inspires them. Like other things - texting and cell phones and emails - I wonder if instead of bringing us closer, it makes us more impatient and less inclined to understanding our friends and family, replacing confidence and intimacy with generalities and banal tidbits. It makes me wonder what communication will be like when the Chicken is my age, whether people will still be relating to each other and how this new form of communication, instantaneous and trivial, will ultimately change the formation of the future. . .

Strange thoughts to be puttering about my head on a gloomy evening, I suppose.


The Washer said...

You know what the really sad part is? It's when you KNOW that somebody has removed you as a friend (be it on FB or Myspace) and you can't place who it was that dropped you. Obviously you added them as a friend...but when they're gone off of there, you don't miss them at all. I've had one big blow up of a "friendship" on FB, where I was called all sorts of names and was accused of things from HS that I just don't remember. At that point, I realized that I was the one that changed from back then, not her. She's had an easy time since HS, traveling, working unimportant jobs (jobs that college kids have to pay for their fun stuff), living off her parent's $ and eventually graduating from college with her bachelors in like '07. No marriage, no real responsibilities. Yes, I have grown up, and so have you...but some folks never will. You know that I'm always on FB, but all of my status updates are real, I don't hide my feelings or make up stuff to make my life seem exciting or is what it, I've never been as eloquent as you...which is why my blog never gets updated!! In any case, FB or not, I am glad I found you again, even if we weren't the best of friends back then!

CottonSocks said...

Oh, ditto, hon. You are one of the FB success stories, lol! One of the people I'm glad I reconnected with and keep in touch with. There are a few others, from high school and college.

But for the most part, I tend to wonder why people want to add me - like, we weren't really friends back then, and have nothing in common now, so . . . ok?