Facebook is my Friend

Aside: I totally skipped out on my Thursday Therapy appointment. Take THAT imaginary doctor.

I read an article on Slate last week: “Everyone else is on Facebook. Why aren’t you?” It got me to thinking about the people in my life that weren’t on Facebook: not many. And then it got me thinking about the people NOT in my life who I wish were on Facebook. This, of course, so that I could bring them back into my life via the intimate atmosphere that is the FB.

I spent some time sitting at my desk at work pondering these people. It really helped the day go by.

When I had finished my people pondering, I then decided to spend some time thinking about all of the superbly positive experiences I have been blessed with thanks to my hot FB profile. Let us begin the list:

Dating

Why would I want to go out with guys who asked me out via a test message? Why would I want to go out with guys who asked me out via FB? I realize that if I don’t go out with them despite the lack of courage required to ask me out, they will continue to just HANG OUT. Boo. What should I do?

Family Life

Now that I don’t live with my parents (I know, right?), I sometimes wonder what my Mom is up to these days. Every now and then, I can check on her via FB. Same with all of my siblings, now that we all live in different residences and ONE (of the seven) is outside the great state of Utah’s borders. Also, we now store our precious family photo albums on FB. A few years ago, we spent Halloween at Pete’s, decorating the interior with oodles of cobwebs, playing scary music, and taken myriads of pictures. By the time I got home, Mick had already posted the pics to FB and tagged each of us. I, of course, had to comment before going to bed, as did Maren, as did Thane, Mick replied. I’d like to thank FB for keeping me connected to my family.

Strange Conversations

You know how inside jokes are only funny between you and certain friends? And you know how you avoid telling excessive inside jokes when you’re around other friends who wouldn’t follow, would feel left out, or would just think you’re weird? Well, that same social boundary does NOT exist on FB. Imagine a scenario like this: good-looking guy posts a comment on girl’s picture on FB; girl responds; girl’s other guy friend posts a comment that includes inside jokes; girl responds; other guy friend responds; girl responds; good-looking guy comes back to respond and wants to know why people are breaking beds and throwing up in Crown Burger bathrooms.

Look how many friends I have

FB proudly announces to anyone on your profile your popularity: “Lauren has 23 friends.” Poor Lauren. “Lauren has 326 friends.” Maybe Ishould ask that girl out because she is HOT. Hey, Lauren; how many of your 326 friends are from your kindergarten class? Which brings me to my next item…

Won’t you be my friend?

Sometimes, I get friend requests from people I don’t know. At least, I don’t think I do. Melissa somebody… Sarah who? And then I look at their picture and realize: wow, you were in my 1st grade class. You look totally different than back in elementary school when you wore M. C. Hammer pants every day. Also, with the exception of the day when it was snowing outside so we stayed inside for recess and let you play Scum with us, you weren’t actually my friend back then. Why would we be friends now? So I click on the tab to accept the friend request and 30 seconds later, get a post on my wall: “Oh my gosh! It’s been forever. What are you up to?” Do you really want me to reply and give you a summary of the last 15 years of my life?

Removing Friends

Sometimes, when I’ve been FB friends with somebody and have decided that I no longer want to be their www friend, I really wish FB would inform them that they’ve been DENIED. Instead, I have to send them a message: Hey, ex-friend. We’re no longer FB friends so you can’t see whose walls I’ve posted on, or which pictures I’ve been tagged in, or whether or not I’m online. Take
THAT.

Eavesdropping

The FB environment is teaching us that it’s OKAY to listen in on other people’s conversations and butt in whenever we feel like it. Jack just posted on Jill’s wall. I click on ‘Wall-to-Wall’ and read their entire conversation. If they didn’t want me to read it, they would have sent messages to each other instead, right? So, it’s OKAY that I’m reading their wall posts to each other. And now, I’m going to comment on BOTH of their walls about what they’ve been saying to each other. “Hey, I want to go on that vacation, too.” If they don’t invite me, then all of our FB friends will see that they didn’t and either think they’re stuck up or I’m really not cool for publicly begging.

Stalking

Remember how high school girls would drive past the homes of the guys they have crushes on? We don’t do that anymore. We’re sophisticated WOMEN now. Instead, I just click on the boys’ FB profiles and see what they were doing this morning, what events they’re going to this week, who they’re friends with, all the people they’ve been in pictures with lately, and on and on. If they’re not my FB friend, I can only stalk them to a point, but sometimes, it’s just enough. Somebody wanted to set me up with this guy, so I looked him up on FB, saw that he was nice looking, but then saw his status as “In a relationship” and realized, there would be no set up. And this brings me to the next item on the list…

In a relationship

Really? You’re telling everybody on FB whether or not you’re in a relationship, and often times, even linking to the profile of the “lucky” person who is in the relationship with you. I thought about trying this with a girlfriend (Lauren is in a relationship with Elizabeth), but then remembered that some of my FB friends might not find that funny, or might NOT think it was a joke and then I wouldn’t get to go out on as many FB-initiated dates. Also, when you change your status to “in a relationship” and the other person in the relationship doesn’t, somebody’s going to get upset.

FB and the singles’ ward

I moved and therefore moved (LDS) singles’ wards. This meant that I kept all of my FB friends from the first ward and added FB friends as I met them in the new ward. Wow. Look how popular I am now. The new ward is a big fan of FB. They post pictures from ward activities and tag us all. Look. I was playing pool at FHE with these other guys. They also announce all of the ward activities via a ward group. So, if I wasn’t on FB, I’d have to actually pay attention to announcements in church about when and where activities are during the week. What a hassle.

Looking up an ex

There MIGHT be two guys in particular that I dated in the past who I would really like to check in on and see what they are up to. There might be. And they might not be on FB. How annoying.

Promoting my own blog

Yes, I have a link on my FB profile to this rocking blog of mine. Of course. But
sometimes, I ALSO inform my friends that they should go to my blog via my FB STATUS. It’s shameless promoting, but has provided an additional connection for some of my friends who didn’t previously know I had such an awesome blog. I used to update it every time I updated my blog. I saw the stat counter jump for the number of visitors after I did it. But eventually, I sort of felt embarrassed for advertising that way. Maybe I just shouldn’t care and should try it again. All for the sake of more blog traffic.

Ambient Awareness

I think I know my friends more now, thanks to FB’s News Feed. If I’m ever feeling lonely late at night when I can’t sleep, I can just log in to the FB and see the latest status updates, who joined which FB group, the last pictures posted by friends, etc. Having constantly updated information about my friends actually makes me feel more attached to them—attached in a non-attached virtual world kind of way. Social scientists actually studied this. Seriously. Did you know that each time I post a status update, that little “dot” makes up part of a “pointillist painting”? That’s what the social scientists said. I’m LETTING you read my mind… just a little bit.

So what did I forget? What are YOUR reasons for being on or refusing to be on Facebook? And are YOU my friend yet?

Advertisements

10 comments

  1. Wow. You really put a lot of thought into this. I’m very impressed. VERY. It’s all so true and I’ve done it all. Except the singles ward thing…

    I got all freaked out when you mentioned the “set up” deal and that the guy was “in a relationship”. I had to go and look, but my setup is not. And he’s not added any new friends… I’m going to have a talk with him!

    This post put so eloquently into words the many wonders of FaceBook. I think I might just plug for you and do a link on my FaceBook status to this here blog. Whadaya think?

    Like

  2. @clancy – this is what I sometimes do at work because that’s part of software testing: hurry up and wait. One of the last times I had a lot of waiting to do was when I wrote my 100s lists: 100 things about me and 100 things I learned from my mother.
    yes, you give your friend a talking to, mmmkay?
    also, I hadn’t ever thought before about having somebody ELSE promote my sciolist blog via their status… sweet

    Like

  3. “Imagine a scenario like this: good-looking guy posts a comment on girl’s picture on FB; girl responds; girl’s other guy friend posts a comment that includes inside jokes; girl responds; other guy friend responds; girl responds; good-looking guy comes back to respond and wants to know why people are breaking beds and throwing up in Crown Burger bathrooms.”

    You never did explain the bed breaking and puking in a Crown Burger bathroom…

    OOOH crap, I’m the not good looking guy that tells inside jokes in this story.

    What can I say, soccer on the tube, daddy didn’t approve of vacationing with a male and at the beach… things get exciting and yada yada yada. Broken bed.

    I ❤ the inside jokes. probably why I fail at social interactions with people I have not spent 100 hours with.

    Like

  4. Yes yes you covered all aspects of the FB very well. In fact just the other night Patty (my mother) called me and asked me if it was OK for Natalie (my lil sister) to open a FB account…. I mean all of her friends have one! HA HA, too good, right?!

    Like

  5. Ah Lares, I read this post to Justin and we both were laughing at your insights on facebook. I have nothing else to say, you wrote it all so well! Especially the relationship status part. J and I did our own little “experiement” when we both posted our relationship as “It’s complicated”. I was amazed by the concern that generated! I mean seriously, would I really post something that personal on FB??

    Like

  6. @kaakun – would you rather be the good-looking guy or the friend with the inside jokes?

    @marcus – how nice of Patty to be looking out for Natalie… unlike how she used to “look out” for us to go to sleep at girl’s camp and draw on people’s faces with markers… I never slept

    @kow – so glad you and J enjoyed this… I thought of you while writing some of it and how you said you were going to leave the FB. hahaha, you and J have a complicated relationship. FB told me.

    Like

  7. LOL… loved this post and thought I’d let you know that I got to read your totally awesome blog because Clancy sent me here! 🙂

    Cheers!

    Like

  8. hmmm… good-looking or inside jokes.

    DUH. I go with the superficial good-looks.

    What scenario is more likely?!?!

    A:attractive girl looks at picture of me and you and says, “Wow he’s cute, set me up Larrie”

    -or-

    B:attractive girl looks at picture of me and you and says, “Wow, I’m sure he’s got great inside jokes, set me up Larrie.”

    Like

  9. @kristin – I’m glad Clancy sent you my way and even more glad (or gladder) you enjoyed the ol’ FB post

    @kaakun – ALL my friends ask me to set them up with the inside jokes friend, but I tell them no because their last name isn’t Larsen

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s