Monday, February 1, 2010

Facebook Friends Don't Always Get One Another...

I think I've blogged about Facebook before. What I like about it is that it's a really good way to stay in touch with friends, new and old without having to do more than log in to see what they're up to and how they've been. It's fun to 'spy' on people by reading their status updates and see what's new with them. In short, it's a great way to stay connected. It's a way of marrying together the unique aspects of your life. In my case, I'm Facebook friends with my oldest friend who I met when we were both five, friends with my childhood friends in England, my high school friends in the U.S. and my college friends. My former and current coworkers are also my Facebook friends as are my family members, local and international.

It's great. Except that sometimes, it's also a little awkward.

In my case, I tend to like to write random Facebook statuses that reflect what I'm doing or how I'm feeling. I have the advantage of being able to do this from my Blackberry. Unfortunately, the advantage is also a disadvantage. My Blackberry is one of those with a smaller, non-full-sized keyboard. Since it's also been dropped down the toilet twice, it's a little touchy...quite understandably. Occasionally, I run into the problem, like I did on Friday night, where I'm trying to Facebook that I'm drinking wine and hanging with my parents and having a great time. Except that my Blackberry decided that it was going to send my message after I said I was drinking wine, before I got to the bit about my parents. Thus, it got posted and looked like I had drunk a little too much wine. To make matters worse, I tried to correct the error and my Blackberry amusingly posted this thought before that, too, was finished. I finally had to tell everyone that my Blackberry was posessed and that I was NOT drunk. Too late though. I finally got the real status posted but the damage was done.

I suppose the world didn't need to know all that but when you join Facebook, updating your status, for many of us, just becomes a habit. It becomes more of a habit when you can't surf the web at work and the only diversion from, you is looking at my Facebook application on my Blackberry. So, I update my status a lot. I also read everyone else's.

The thing with Facebook and having so many different 'types' of friends is that occasionally, they don't get each other. I have one friend in particular who I met in L.A. who only goes on Facebook every couple of days and only has a few Facebook friends. Thus, she feels very inclined to post on every Facebook status I've posted since she had last logged on which, on some days, particularly boring work days, is rather a lot. Mostly, it's ok. However, she also hasn't seemed to learn some of the simple rules of Facebook etiquette. One of the basics being if someone is having a 'conversation' via status comments or Wall postings and you have NO idea what they're talking about, posting your two cents is a little...rude.

It sounds petty but, trust me, she's offended a few of my friends by posting her opinion on something which ends up being mostly unrelated to anything we've been talking about. She's a nice lady but she's also very, very opinionated. She's also of the opinon that she's usually correct. She just simply has to comment on EVERYTHING I say. And when I say EVERYTHING, believe me, I mean...EVERYTHING.

For example, Saturday evening, I posted a question (sardonically, of course) as to whether it was sad that I was planning my week around the season premiere of "Lost".

Now, here's the thing. Most of my real friends know that I was being sardonic. Yes, "Lost" is important to me and yes, I absolutely have to watch it but I'm also not so far gone that it really is the only thing in my week worth thinking about. It was more just to see what reactions I got.

Naturally, my friend who is a "Lost" die-hard posted in her traditional blunt and to-the-point manner that of COURSE it wasn't sad and that anyone who wasn't should punch themselves repeatedly in the face for being so stupid.

Now, this is where the problem with having multiple friends from different walks of life comes in. They don't GET that comment. Now, if you knew the friend who posted it, you would know that she really wouldn't hurt a fly and when she says "I'd like to punch you in the face," it's actually quite hilarious, rather like trying to watch a chihuahua take on a great dane and end up playing dead so it doesn't get hurt. In other words, it's meant to be taken with full eye-rolling and laughing because it's just a fun, ridiculous thing she says and she means it to be fun and ridiculous. It's her way of showing the strength of her beliefs.

But you have to know her to know that she's not serious and that she's saying it completely tongue-in-cheek.

Today, my Friend Who Cannot Stop Commenting read that and posted something to the effect that she would then have to punch herself in the face because she will not be watching "Lost" because TV is stupid and a waste of time for anyone who watches it.

Conversation over.

In the short space of one comment, my friend managed to belittle not only me but all of my friends who had commented on my status. Also, since many of my other friends like TV, she pretty much shot them down too.

Now, it may seem like she didn't know what she's doing but, well, she did. Unlike my face-punching friend, this Friend Who Cannot Stop Commenting actually meant what she said. She's very good at posting comments which are quite insultive. Ironically, she doesn't meant to be insultive, per se. She's just one of these people who thinks her opinion is so important that when it's given, the matter is solved. The first time she ever looked at one of my novels, she said it was far too long to bother reading and that because it was about teenagers, it was never going to sell so she didn't even finish reading it. What she did read, she said was just too much about teenagers and she didn't care for them. My novel was intended to be about teenagers. Her comment actually ending up being more of a compliment that time.

Most of her Facebook comments tend to fall somewhere along those lines. That's it. She has spoken. The End. Goodbye.

In the grand scheme of thing, it really means nothing. Facebook is another diversion from life, not really worth anything but still important to us, nevertheless. It's where we go to find out what's going on with people, to find out who is celebrating, who is hurting, when people's birthdays are. For me, that feature is invaluble. It's a great way of knowing exactly when someone's birthday is coming up, even when you know you're in the vicinity of the date.

In short, Facebook has become an add-on to life. When you have time to kill on a computer, Facebook is where you go to play. We keep in touch with short little comments, letting each other know that we can see what's going on with them and adding in our blurbs so they know we're reading.

It's just that sometimes, having all those friends in your network is rather like going to a party in which everyone's invited even though they shouldn't all be. There's always that one person, you see, who can make a room go silent.

Even if the room is a comment board on Facebook.

Happy Tuesday!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Technology's great but it's also made it easier for people to be annoying.

Your Friend Who Cannot Stop Commenting sounds a lot like a new coworker who is annoying the crap out of me. It's hard when you have to sit next to someone 2 or 3 hours a day and she doesn't have enough work to keep her busy. She is also very opinionated and frequently announces her opinion on things, usually negative.