Friendtastic

Mood: dithering  | Drinking: iced tea

facebook1

Obviously, today’s topic of discussion is facebook. BUT. Let’s get one item of business out of the way so as not to be talking around the pink elephant teetering on the coffee table, yes?

My updates have been pathetic of late. I hear you. I know this. It’s not accidental. It’s not even laziness, not really. Here’s the big secret: In about T-minus 14 days, give or take a few, there’s going to be a whole new ladonnawitmer.com banging about on the interwebs. So shiny with newness, you’ll need Olsen-sized shades to stand the glare. I swear.

Part of this fabulous new update will include an absolutely amazing blog space. So I have been loath to post in the old format when I know something so much better is just around the bend. Patience is a virtue I am lacking…

That said, I will do my damndest to post more regularly so you aren’t clicking here in vain. Okay? Okay. Now to the topic at hand.

Remember friendster? Oh, the internet days of yore. I joined friendster way back in the day when it was the new big thing, and the only one of its kind. And then I quickly abandoned it for myspace, newer bigger thing. I found lots of old friends on myspace, made a few new ones (hi, Jillie), and still maintain a space there.

But then, in 2006, facebook opened its door to every tom dick and mary, and we all began flocking to it. Myself included. The difference, I’ve found, with facebook, is that there are just SO many more people there.

My friends list includes a dude I went to kindergarten with, high school classmates I have neither seen nor spoken to since graduation, a girl I worked at Dairy Queen with in 1990, an ex-boyfriend from my college days, fellow Pulliam Fellows from 1994, my cousin from Indiana, my best friend from San Francisco and my new boss.

It’s a harrowing cross-section of my life, with people from literally every stage, every decade, every major experience.

I’ve had a delightful time reconnecting with some long-lost acquaintances, renewed a few meaningful friendships, and cyber-stalked people I’ve been curious about for years.

The question, “What ever happened to so-and-so?” has never been easier to answer. Now you know exactly what happened to them, and you have pictures to prove it.

Since I live 2,000 miles from where I grew up, I never run into anyone from high school at the gas station, never see an old college friend at the grocery store, never have to worry about an unexpected ex-sighting whilst wearing my fat jeans and a limp ponytail.

But that also means that I’m fairly well cut off from my old life/lives and all the news that goes with it. Facebook is a treasure trove of information, and I’m happy as a pig in shit wallowing in it.

Here’s the thing, though… I tend to be pretty conservative with my “add friend” button. If I see a little picture square of a bona fide long-lost friend, I’m only too happy to request their virtual friendship. I tend to leave old acquaintances and ancient co-workers to their own devices, however. If they send me a friend request, I’ll happily accept, but I’m not running around collecting names to drive up my friend count.

So I have trouble understanding why the little brother of a former classmate — someone whose name/face I know, but with whom I cannot recall having one single conversation — would want to be friends. Or rather, would want to add me to his friend list and then never, ever speak of it again.

If I request a friend, I usually follow up with a “OMG, I haven’t talked to you in 15 years, it’s so nice to see you, how are you, tell me all about your life, blah blah blah.”

What’s the social networking standard of conduct for virtual friendship? Shouldn’t there be some sort of actual socializing and/or networking going on? You would think. Right?

So heads up, if you’re one of the head and shoulders on my friends list, I’m gonna expect you to say hi once in awhile. That includes you, dude from college with whom I shared many an weekend adventure. Start yapping!

In the spirit of equal sharing, I will start writing on walls with abandon momentarily. Consider yourself warned!

Meanwhile, keep an eye on this space. I promise you the transformation will be well worth the wait!

-Lo, social networking butterfly.

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