Sunday, September 14, 2008

Who needs real life anymore?

On Thursday, I created a Facebook account. Apparently, I'm a few years behind the times because everyone else in the world already has an account there, including, I am not kidding, my own mother. Imagine my surprise when I joined up and under the "People You May Know" suggestions was a picture of my mom.

Before joining, I was almost entirely unfamiliar with the Facebook phenomenon. I had heard phrases like "friend" and "so-and-so wrote on my wall," but that was about it. Until Facebook the other day, adding the Followers element to my blog was just about the most social-networky thing I've ever done. Even that was a big step, since my confidence sometimes suffers from a bit of "they're all going to laugh at me" syndrome.

So now I am starting to comprehend all I've been missing. Basically, I've been wasting my time living a real life with real human beings. Why bother, when I can establish and cancel relationships at will on Facebook? I feel like all of a sudden I'm just a playing card, being shuffled around in different decks.

The thing is, Facebook is awesome in that you can reconnect with long-lost friends without extraordinary effort in a low-key, non-stalkerish way. Just now, after doing a few brief searches for old high school friends and sending out a few friend requests (see how I've mastered the jargon already?), I asked Jeremy what happens next.

"So, do I go write on their wall now or what?"
"Well, they have to accept you as a friend first."
"Yeah, I know that. But do we have to send messages to each other now?"
"Nah. You just are friends and that's enough."

To me, that is the genius of Facebook. I send out a friend request and the message is simply: Hi, I remember you and care about you just enough to tell you that I remember you. Now you add my card to your deck and I'll add yours to mine. And if, in the future, I want to reminisce with you, we have each other's contact information.



Aimee said...

You described it perfectly. Now, just wait until people start requesting you that you don't remember or weren't even acquaintances. That is when it becomes complicated. Should I "ignore" this person? Will they put me on their hate mail list if I ignore them? I think I recognize them? Shall I just accept them to avoid "ignoring" them? Do I want this person to know about my life? etc etc. Its almost like the birthday party invitations from days of old.

Liz Johnson said...

I totally agree. You can keep up with each other without even talking. It's kind of fantastic that way.

Kristen said...

I once heard the internet socialization phenomena described as a hierarchy of intelligence: MySpace at the bottom, Facebook next, and Weblogs at the top. So I think you were doing just fine before.

sarah said...

it actually doenst tell the person if you've 'ignored' them or not, which is probably why some people have never added me as their you're safe just ignoring the ones you dont know. facebook is also very useful for finding out about marriages/engagements/births, etc. i've learned of marriages there before friends even tell me.

Suzanne Bubnash said...

Guess I wasn't the last person on earth to sign up for Facebook--you were. Oh wait--Dad isn't on yet. And I only beat you by 4 days.

Susanne said...

How funny that you found your own mom on Facebook in the "people you may know section." That made me laugh! :-D

I like keeping up with people on Facebook. I read the status updates to see what is going on in people's lives including long-lost cousins in other states. Plus I like seeing the pictures and everything.

Britney said...

I don't have a Facebook account either. Sounds like there are just a few of us holding out.

troykapoika said...

Facebook is wonderful for people like me, who tend to be overly curious about other people's business:) But if I wasn't like that, I wouldn't have found your blog last year and maybe we would have never become friend (just stayed as ward acquittances) and think of the chocolate you'd be missing and obviously my fabulous company.

Eevi said...

Bridget, I totally just noticed that I had been under Troy's name when I posted the comment above. Hopefully that didn't freak you out:)


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