Friday, September 28, 2007

When we pretend that we're dead

I think I hate facebook. I have oh so many friends – nine, I am popular – and I think at least a third ‘friended’ me merely to boost their own stats. One, well, I see him every other day anyway and chatter to him at work so I guess I just make him look popular whilst making it look like I have a friend. Another is a school friend who I now suspect wishes she’d rejected me – and, really, didn’t we reject each other when we ‘lost contact’ for eight years? Another is another work person who I don’t speak to very often but have quite nice chats with when I do. I don’t know her very well though and suspect that this might be a good way to do so. Two are very old friends who I utterly adore for their complete wonderfulness and the fact that they love me enough to not mind that I am a bit of a crap friend. Aside from the lost-contact-with-school-friend I suspect that at least one secretly despises me and I know one thinks I am fool. One gets massively annoyed with what she sees as my great waste of potential. And for two, well, I doubt they ever think of me at all.

Yeah, call me cynical but I think the whole thing is about who looks most popular and who knows the most people [I do wonder when it will end and a winner will be declared]. I do not think it is at all about friendships or even the connections we make with each other. Quite frankly, I feel awkward about those of my ‘friends’ that I know but don’t have any major connection with. How much of me do I want these people to know? Obviously, given that I have a semi-secret blog under a pseudonym and I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of people who actually know my real name who read this, I am a fairly private person in that oddity that is real life. Hell, of those two very old friends only one of them knows about this – and I’ve known the other since I was four. The thing that gets me thinking is that if I am not close to them in person, if we cannot be bothered being friends in another way, in a proper way, why should we even pretend just because the internet is watching? Not that I think the internet is particularly watching but, you know, popularity contest – hello.

I suppose this is an odd thing to mention on a blog given the nature of the space and the rather odd set of relationships that come out of blogging but I do not feel comfortable with these half relationships, the relationships that are more about popularity than about the players. Fond as I am of a number of bloggers, really some of you are too fabulous for words, you are not my friends.* You may know me a little, you may imagine that you know me a lot, you may, in fact, know me quite a lot but you do not know me and I do not know you. Friends are the people one can phone or, being me, send random text messages to. Friends are the ones that you phone, in tears, when you realise your love and its ultimately pathetic and unrequited nature. Friends are the people that you go to the pub with every week. Friends are the ones that know your family and/or your family stories. Friends are the ones that realise that you love a person despite the fact that you may call them dumbarse and tease them mercilessly. Friends are the people you spend ten hours travelling to see and to spend a couple of hours with. I really must get back to the point. Did I have one? I think I was saying that I don’t like facebook because I find it essentially false. It is another way for people to pretend to be friends, or pretend to have a connection, and then spend their time ignoring each other.

* This is not to say that I wouldn’t like to know some of you better but, as is, well…

10 comments:

Chesty LaRue said...

I agree with a lot of what you're saying. There's something about Facebook that gets me thinking 'If I couldn't be bothered keeping in touch with you, why would I care what you're up to now?'

But then - sometimes I do care. Sometimes you lose touch with people not because you don't like them or don't care, but because life just sucks.

Is Facebook a huge popularity contest? For some people, yeah. For me, it's mostly a way to keep a very loose finger on the pulse of a lot of old friendships. I'm not going to pretend that there's any huge 'reconnection' with 90% of my facebook friends - but when I'm thinking 'oh, I wonder what so-and-so is up to' I can find out.

That said I'm sure that there's a whole bunch of people out there who only friended me for the numbers. I choose to think that that's more their issue than it is mine. And I could have more friends but I don't see the point - I haven't friended anyone I work with except the scrabble players and every lunchtime my cell mate and I are both on our respective facebooks checking things out. We get along great, but we're not facebook friends, because if I want to know how she is ... I turn around and ask her.

Point is - it's all about how you use it.

Woah. Loooong comment. Hope it makes sense. Sorry for hogging.

TimT said...

It is another way for people to pretend to be friends, or pretend to have a connection, and then spend their time ignoring each other.

You say that like it's a bad thing...

Basically, I agree, but maybe Facebook could be improved if we could have a list of enemies as well as a list of friends. Then we could send 'Enemy Requests' to one another and join 'Nemesis Groups' or sociopath networking websites.

Anonymous said...

I wonder which one I am - I am as shit a friend as you think you are! Which reminds me, I genuinely wish to drink an alcoholic beverage in your company -- not quite New Years'-esque, but maybe we both need something close?

PS. You must join me in drawing cocks, balls, and boobs on Papertrap's Facebook. Hell, draw 'em on mine!

x Miss Q (the Anonymo who gave you the deeks bread site)

JahTeh said...

Who needs friends when you have bloggers!

There's absolutely no-one from my married life that I would want to keep in touch with. School friends either since they didn't invite me to join the old girls' club. (something to do with those sailors I turned up to the school dance with)

nailpolishblues said...

Chesty, I may just be bitter but the whole thing leaves a rather strange taste in my mouth. I find it quite disturbing - but, again, that probably has a lot to do with me and my fondness for personal space. And you're quite right, it is all about how you use something rather than what it is.

Tim, I'm not sure I have enemies any more than I have friends. I kind of hope I have fewer enemies though. Then again, given my fondness for threatening people with death/bodily harm there's probably a hate group out there with my name on it.

Rina [seriously, dude, wasn't there another 'n'?], you know I'm always up for alcohol though I am about to move into financially straightened times - birthdays, parental visit/my birthday [have yet to decide what to get me...], xmas - gah!!

JahTeh, got to admit that for most of the time I prefer bloggers. I quite like people who are happy to have attention, any atention, for god's sake look at me, talk to me, read my blog!!!! Oooh, comments, I am good!
A nice simple relationship that - good boundaries [generally], an all round nice show.

Caz said...

You can always close your account with Facebook, non?

I fancy Tim's idea: 'Nemesis Groups'! Yes!

Sociopaths? Psychopaths? Could be problematic as one can anticipate no end of argument about who is "legitimate" and who is merely neurotic, with aspirations above their station.

Facebook and MySpace are definitely not "my thing", they have no resonance for me.

My daughter signed up to Facebook only a few weeks back and had hooked up with a few dozen old school friends within a couple of days, some overseas, some still in Canberra, others scattered across various states. She enjoys it and has all sorts of fun stuff on her page.

Guess it all depends what you want to "get" out of it. Not as though you have to stick with it.

TimT said...

People who have signed out of Facebook have been confronted by messages like:

If Facebook is not working for you, perhaps you might like to find more friends.

TimT said...

I was pleased to get back in touch with someone I went to school with at Balranald from Kindegarten through to year 10, and Facebook's scrabble is fun, though apart from that, I'm not sure I see the point.

nailpolishblues said...

Balranald? How the hell do you even say that?

Ah, Caz, I was a cunt at school and have pretty much remained that way - they no more want me than I want them [can't remember most of them as it happens, just the occasional 'you, my server, look familiar, did I go to school with you?' when I visit my parents. One of them many reasons I left town was because it was like living in a fishbowl - people you had a past with everywhere - ugh].
I just don't like the feeling of not knowing loads of people. You know, even though I basically hate people anyway...um, yeah.

Isn't the point fashion, young Tim?

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