Blogs Are Stupid

Doesn't anyone believe in Dear Diary anymore? What happened to the joy of putting actual pen to paper? And why does every ordinary Jane and John think they can write well enough to burden the world with their scribblings? It’s a mystery that badly needs solving. My first entry contains my thoughts about blogging and will set your expectations. The rest will probably be stream of consciousness garbage, much like you’ll find on any other blog. Perhaps we will both come away enlightened.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Facebook Is Weird

I'm kind of a Facebook neophyte.

I resisted as long as I could because frankly, I have a bit of a chip on my shoulder about such things. I spent enough of the '80's looking stupid that I've developed a bit of an aversion to blind allegiance when it comes to trends.

I buck trends. I eschew fads. I am my own woman, dammit!

Do you know how long I resisted boot cut jeans?

I ate a lot of crow when I realized they balanced my child bearing hips quite nicely, made my portly posterior look merely curvaceous, and mitigated my muffin top to a very satisfactory degree.

Still...I regard anything that is over hyped with a healthy amount of skepticism.

But then Husband got a Facebook account and night after night I listened to him exclaim at having found this person or that person. He grew up in a small town where everybody knows everybody from the cradle to the grave. He was one of the very few that moved away and married an outsider.

So when he showed up on Facebook there was a lot "Hail fellow well met!" crapola going on. Within days his friends list was ridiculously long.

I began to feel a little left out. So I created an account and commenced searching.

Like most everybody my age, there are people in my past about whom I wonder: My first love. That dude with the fedora that stalked me in high school. The girlfriend who held my hair the first time I got drunk. That hot young lawyer with the BMW who completely ignored me because I was just the receptionist. The wanna be country star that broke my heart.

But do I want these people on my friends list? No. I'm a pretty private person at heart, and I don't really want every Tom, Dick and Harry from my past privvy to the particulars of my present.

I find it odd that people have friend lists several hundred people long.

Since I blew town as soon as the ink on my diploma was dry, I don't have many deep, lasting relationships with people I went to high school with. There were a few people with whom I wanted to reconnect and other than a few exceptions, I found them easily enough.

I saw a lot of names I remembered vaguely, some I remembered all too well, and some I had done my darndest to forget. I was curious about some of them, I admit. But not enought to invite them into my little sphere of Facebook familiarity.

It seems that some people have no such scruples. Suddenly, I was getting friend requests right and left from people I had scarcely spoken to.

I wasn't popular in high school, but nor was I unpopular. I sort of existed on the fringe of several different groups, accepted readily enough, but not committing myself wholly to any one of them.

I liked it that way. It gave me a certain amount of freedom, but also a little security. If one group rejected me, there was always another.

There were groups that were closed to me due to the rules of socioeconomic divergence. I was not a rich kid, so those that were privileged paid no attention to me. I wasn't scorned outright. I was simply a non-entity.

Why then, twenty five years later, am I suddenly getting friend requests from the sanctified ranks of high school glitterati?

I don't get it.

I understand that things change, people change; things that were once of massive import are now silly and sophomoric. But I still don't understand why someone wants to be my friend when they were never my friend.

Not long ago, I got a friend request from someone whose name was not even vaguely familiar. I noted that she had gone to the other high school in town, and surmised that she might have me confused with someone else. My maiden name is distinctive enough that it was a remote possibility at best, but I couldn't really think of any other plausible explanation.

I sent her what I thought was a polite and diplomatic message.

"Hi there,

I don't mean to be rude, but I'm pretty protective of my family's privacy. I'm afraid I don't recognize your name at all. I notice that you went to High School A, but I went to High School B. Is it possible you have me confused with someone else?"


She responded almost immediately.

"Hi.

Ummm, I think we might have gone to John Doe Jr. High together?"


Really? Huh.

I could think of no way to graciously decline her request and so I accepted, reasoning that I could always unfriend her later.

Not long after that, while trying to remember the name of another long forgotten friend, I remembered that I had brought all my yearbooks home from my parent's house years ago and went in search of them.

I located the yearbooks, found the friend, and then, on a whim, looked up the mystery gal.

When I saw her face staring back at me from the grainy black and white pages of my yearbook, it all came rushing back to me.

She once threatened to kick my ass sideways.

She was one of the tough chicks. She smoked and wore too much makeup and always had hickeys on her neck.

We called her kind "the dirts".

One day, out of a clear blue sky (as fas as I could tell) she took a notion that I was interested in her boyfriend. She advised me to keep my eyes and my hands off of him, or she and her band of hoodlum hangers-on would make mincemeat out of me.

After that, she made a point to terrorize me regularly. She took particular delight in tormenting me about my last name, which, owing to the fact that it sort of rhymes with a certain part of the male anatomy, lends itself quite well to such ridicule.

But I wasn't interested in her boyfriend. Her boyfriend scared me.

She scared me.

And now, she's on my friend list.

And thus, I assert...Facebook? Is Weird.

21 Comments:

  • At 7:35 PM, Blogger nina said…

    Heh, and what about those people who "unfriend" you. You go through mourning and run to the mirror to look for the big letter L that must be sitting on your forehead. I have found one thing even worse. The ignoring of a friend request... good god. I found my favorite old therapist whom I adored. She moved, no longer being in a patient-therapist relationship with her I would have loved to say hello to her. I waited.... nothing. Perhaps I scared her more than she ever let on? ;)

     
  • At 7:43 PM, Blogger the only daughter said…

    Both son and daughter have accounts. Daughter loves it and son, not so much. He's located a few he was interested in finding but more he'd rather not.

    She met a friend (a guy) who had a different name is high school. Took several back and forths to determine this IS a guy who was a friend who would like to be a friend, again. Sheesh.


    I'm not doing it. Ever. I did not like high school and there is no one, absolutely no one I want to reach out to or whom I want to find me. Ever.

    Probably. ;)

     
  • At 7:52 PM, Blogger ♥~♥ Tracey ♥~♥ said…

    The same thing happened to me. I was never a part of any particular clique in school...I was a clique hopper, having friends from this group and that group, but never completely fitting in anywhere. And then I discovered Facebook. I was happy to get back in touch with about 5 people. I was shocked at how many friend requests came from those who wouldn't even blink in my direction in high school. Maybe they are just curious to see how many of their high school "inferiors" are now superior in the adult world. Heh...revenge is sweet!

     
  • At 8:04 PM, Blogger Tootsie said…

    I'm a recent convert and I love it. I pretty well friend anyone who asks, but I also don't have anything on there I wouldn't say to my mom or boss. As far as friending those who I wasn't technically friends with in high school, my thoughts are this: I like looking at the people who weren't the most popular or celebrated and seeing that they have really interesting lives. One guy I went to high school with is a physisist and works on the biggest laser in the world. How cool is that? More often than not, I look at the profiles of people and think "hey, good for them." And if other people are using it to feel superior, eh, screw 'em.

     
  • At 8:55 PM, Blogger ShortyMom said…

    I find it amazing that people who wouldn't talk to me in high school or people that will "not see" me at walmart now have no problems adding me to their friends list. I use it for friends that I don't get to see who live out of state. If nosy people want a glimpse into my life so be it. They're not going to find much more than a couple pictures of my family and I still get to share things with people I don't see often enough.

     
  • At 10:39 PM, Blogger IIDLYYCKMA said…

    Pssst I deleted my person Facebook account -- so please don't think I unfriended you.

     
  • At 11:55 PM, Blogger flutter said…

    yeah, an ex found me on facebook, and not one I EVER thought I would hear from again.

     
  • At 12:10 AM, Blogger Lara said…

    i have a FB account for myself and my friends, but i created a second one purely for the purposes of letting my students "friend" me. i can police what goes on on my page because it's only me and my students - none of my real life friends can go telling embarrassing stories, posting terrible photos, etc. it's a great way to keep up with my students' lives, but i'm constantly amazed at how open they are. i keep thinking, "do they remember that i can see this stuff?" but they all seek ME out and ask to be MY friend, not the other way around, so i feel no guilt about following up on what they're doing. :-P

    still, yes, weird.

     
  • At 4:17 AM, Blogger margalit said…

    I feel the same way you do. I blew town the second I graduated HS and I never looked back. I have my yearbooks, but really... I don't care about 99% of those people. The only FB person I found was my old boyfriend and he's now gay, and that was the extent of my facebooking. I just do not get it at all.

     
  • At 6:18 AM, Blogger Jaime said…

    I have a Facebook account, and I do like it. I connected with the three or so folks from high school that I did keep in contact with for a few years.

    Somehow, though, it includes far more current friends than folks from my past.

    My husband pretty much has your former opinion on Facebook. He also says its because he spends too much time on computers at work.

     
  • At 8:34 AM, Blogger Avalon said…

    I recently started a Facebook account after much nagging from my daughter. it confuses me. I spent a lot of time searching for friends, but when there are 353 Leslie B%&*er's on Facebook, I don't have the patience or desire to wade through them to find the right one. Therefore, I have about 3 friends on Facebook.

     
  • At 9:03 AM, Blogger justcurious said…

    Thank you for pointing out the fact that the emperor has no clothes. Fb is a weird concept; one that is easy to understand how it started on a college campus, hard to understand why it has become so accepted among adults. All this public sharing of life, conversation, and minutiae. That said, I AM on fb, but i have a presence, not an obsession!

     
  • At 9:44 AM, Anonymous Apryl's Antics said…

    I enjoy FB for reconnecting with people, but I agree with almost everything everyone has said. It is weird. I have 'friends' now who never looked my way in HS.

    Good thing: I received 17 additional birthday wishes I didn't get last year.

    Bad thing: I posted what I thought was a witty remark regarding a posted video and it was deleted. Now, I'm a little concerned I unintentionally offended someone and I don't know whether or how to address it. There's a problem I don't have the time (or possibly the inclination) to deal with.

    Like so many other situations in my adult world these days, it reminds me of high school.

     
  • At 10:43 AM, Blogger Mac and Cheese said…

    If by weird you mean having two of my ex-boyfriends, my husband's ex-girlfriend, and my brother-in-law's ex-boyfriend on my friends list, than yah, it's weird.

     
  • At 10:43 AM, Blogger jen said…

    it IS weird. it's like having a drive by friendship or something.

    speaking of....HI! HI!

    xo

     
  • At 11:43 AM, Blogger cndymkr / jean said…

    Thank you! I don't have a facebook account and don't intend to get one. I loved high school but I've no desire to "friend" any one that I'm not already in contact with. If I cared about them I would still be friends with them.

     
  • At 10:25 PM, Anonymous Tracy (t-gardens) said…

    Hmmm, I think you made me quite glad my maiden name is not on my account :o)

    Some of it's weird, but I also find it very very fun. It's the lazy way to keep in touch (which is sad).

    I also find it amusing to see how people are connected. I'll look at this friend list, that leads to this friend list, that leads to this one, that leads to ME. Weird and fun, all in one package....

     
  • At 8:03 PM, Blogger Shelley said…

    I was dragged kicking and screaming onto Facebook several months ago. My "friends" mainly consist of my current friends, one college roommate, a few ex co-workers, my husband and my sister-in-law. I had no desire to go looking for people from high school, which is the main reason that I didn't put my maiden name on my account. That means that no one from high school can find me. :)

     
  • At 8:13 PM, Blogger Shelley said…

    I have to add this: I just looked up a kid that I was in band with in high school, just because I knew he'd be easy to find, unusual name. Yep, there he was. Then from that, another guy I knew. So I looked at the second guy's friends list. He has 651 friends. Six hundred. And fifty one. Friends. As I looked through that list, I recognized a LOT of names. And it occurred to me, there's not one single name I've seen that I want in my life again. Not one. Facebook is weird, indeed.

     
  • At 1:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I am beginning to hate facebook. I decided to do the new thing of staying off it for 2 weeks except for 30 mins 1x/week and that's it.

    Wow....it WAS the eye-opener everyone says it is if you want to get off the facebook thing.

    EVERYONE looked ridiculous...who the hell posts what they are 'doing' on the internet every day? Who cares? Why don't you call your friends and tell them what you are doing??? wtf??? I realized that posting 'status' messages is insane! I put one last one and this proves it '..is increasingly wary of the big-brother-ness of facebook'. Within 5 SECONDS someone commented on it - 'yes we are watching you'. It was written in jest yes but 5 SECONDS!! what the hell.

    I deleted SO much stuff. I deleted so-called 'friends' who I actually don't even LIKE! and I don't even talk to, even on facebook, and who I wouldn't want to run into anyway in person.

    I deleted my 'notes'. I actually wrote a notes about myself - to give more information to facebook? Who cares after it's been read anyway - do I really want all those people (the majority who I DON'T like) to read that???

    I deleted my info - religion. Who the hell needs to know that? Do they really care?? I deleted my political stance - does anyone really care whether you are republican, conservative, liberal or democrat??? Or is it for information. I deleted my school - if you are REALLY my friend you would know what school I went to.

    Facebook - Seriously, anyone who wants to see if they really 'need' facebook in their lives - try the 2 week test - you'll see what I saw....

    I hate facebook. I'm deleting my account - very soon

    Oh and about the high school thing - there are about 6 or so grown women on my facebook who have added almost everyone from our high school - they have 'reunion' parties - with any female that went to our particular high school. At 30+ years old I have no desire to do this. I have kids, I have a family. Speaking of which - do I really want these people seeing my children online? I don't even like them!

    Facebook suck

     
  • At 6:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    It was a BIG RELIEF to finally shut down my FB account. I did it by not posting and staying off it for several weeks at a time to "fade away". No one notices right away when you leave FB and when it came up I told them, "I deleted me, I didn't delete you!" No one seemed to care, and several friends admitted they were uncomfortable with FB, that it's a huge time-drain, and they were thinking of getting off it themselves.. You are not alone!

     

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