Saturday, May 03, 2008

The Fine Art of Facebook

This is stupid, I know, but it's something I struggle with partly because I am so freakin' literal (ask my wife) and partly because my definition of friendship is way different than alot of the world's. Everyday I am shown other people that I might be friends with. Now, for me, a friend is someone I am intimate with to some degree on a regular basis. It seems in the Facebook universe a friend is anyone you have been in contact with, even if remotely, so you can jack your numbers up to the Nth degree.
Okay, I already told you this was stupid. So why are you still reading? I guess I bring this up because not only is it a struggle for me in Facebook but it's also a very real struggle in real life. There are many, many people I interact with quite a bit but I do not consider them friends. Whether they consider me a friend, well, you'd have to ask them. It seems to me that there's a game that people play where friendship is a facade, a game to be played. That game is played for many reasons. Some play to get something they want. Sometimes this can also be called brown-nosing or butt-kissing. Some play so that they can say they know the person. These folks are called name-droppers. There are other reasons but I won't go into them. The point is that this whole playing at being friends is not something I want to be a part of. To me a friendship is a deep, important thing. I abhor shallow aquaintances as much as I do small talk. If I sense that someone has no desire to invest in real friendship, I usually won't have much to do with that person. I don't have time to work at relationships that aren't going anywhere. I'm also not a gameplayer. You're not likely to see me kissing ass. If I am required to smooch someone's nether regions to aquire an art show or the like, count me out. I can hang my stuff elsewhere.
So, what's the point of this rant? I think it's just an expression of my frustration with my struggle with Facebook and it's correlation with the real world of friendship. It's something I've struggled with all my life and I guess I will continue to struggle with it for the rest of my days.


Anonymous said...

You've hit on one of the main reasons I've resisted Facebook for so long. It seems like a shallow way to do relationships. I have discovered that it can enhance existing "real world" relationships, especially those separated by physical distance, but as a means of developing relations... I'm not so sure. And I wonder, with all these people vying to be my "friend" on Facebook, what happens when these acquaintances move away and I don't even see them randomly anymore (as will be the case with many of my school "friends") -- will I still care that they've updated their profile status or added some new app to their Facebook page? What happens when I decide to "de-friend" someone on Facebook? Is that cyber-rude?

becca said...

I relate to where you're coming from... I don't get many friend requests from FB, but the one I did respond to didn't go anywhere, just 2 rather meaningless messages-and now, do I ditch her and say I don't want to be her friend? Is that rude?
FB has helped me keep in contact with my 'already friends'- My Company friends, my family. I love playing scramble with Sharla & Melissa & Karole from Company! The fact that I'm playing a game with them all the way from AK makes me so happy!
And I lovely the daily updates... even when they're silly. I LOVE seeing how Kelcy's doing on a regular basis... So for that I really like it. And now, I just mostly hit 'ignore' for anybody I don't know.
Sadly, that's probably what I do in real life. I'm a fairly inward person- I have about 2 really close friends (my husband & my sister) and then my traveling friends- Company and the drama team I traveled with in college. My family is in there, too... Friendship is hard! It's hard for me to share much of me- probably from moving as much as I did growing up. I expect a lot out of a friendship: and one thing I definitely expect is for it NOT to be meaningless and shallow.