Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Facebook envy

Decided I might have a bit of a catch-up with modern technology and joined Facebook. For anyone living in the past, Facebook is a device which means you never have to talk to anyone again. You log on, have a look in your email account, email a few people to let them know you're on there and away you go.

There are a couple of problems though. The first is Facebook envy. I have cobbled together 22 friends. I was quite pleased - they are a mix of old friends, former colleagues, online contacts, writers and someone I once spoke to on the phone. It was a wrong number but still, they seemed nice. The thing is though, once you get a "friend", you have a window into their life and you can check out how many "friends" your friends have. They have many more. Many many more than you do. One of the people I know has 2,074 friends. Another has 1,041. You also begin to ask yourself whether their friends are more glamorous than your friends, which would of course mean they were more glamorous than you. You enter a state of permanent need. You cannot just appoint friends, you have to ask them to be your friend. And horror - not all of them say yes. You enter a purgatory for holy cyber souls. You forget. You ask them to be your friend again and the system tells you that you have already asked them to play with you, and they are still thinking about it.

I'm trying Second Life next.

31 comments:

Ladybird World Mother said...

Oh god, this sounds like playground hell. 22 friends seems loads to me... but does tend to pale into, well, rubbish, really, when compared with 2,074. crikey, dont even know if have met that many people in lifetime.
Be bold! Be strong! Oh, and get very thick skin (nice ones in M & S) to wear when facebooking.
Best of luck!

Stinking Billy said...

Judith, I was invited into facebook by one of my links but when I was accepted I found that I had in effect opened my own account. You know me, that technical stuff and all those functions and spreading myself out thinly between friends was just too much, and I chickened out. I couldn't fancy it in a million years.

Parisgirl said...

This will up the friend count...but I tell myself it's quality not quantity!

Diane Foden said...

Pathetically enough, I have to keep beating down the thought "At my age, I should be able to reach a hundred".

Pam said...

One thing I hate about Facebook is that people know you are ON, so sometimes I sneak on quickly and a little box will appear from someone else online trying to get me to instant message with them. I find it a bit of an intrusion but obviously can't be rude and ignore them. There must be a way to turn it off but not sure how.

Maddie Grigg said...

Stay with it, but control it rather than letting it control you. Today, I have just had a message from a friend about six doors away and a cousin in Australia - I hadn't seen or heard of her for nearly 40 years. Swings and roundabouts.
Can't believe the virtual shagging. Unreal.
Maddie x
www.http://worldfrommywindow.blogspot.com

Carolyn Jess-Cooke said...

I used to envy the number of friends people had, until I realised the 'strategy' of adding friends of friends of friends of strangers - now I just envy all their witty status phrases...:)

Laura said...

Someone I know from my school days decided to 'spring clean' his facebook friends and eradicate any hangers on. I haven't seen this person in over 10 years and even though he asked for my Facebook friendship he has not made contact since I accepted his request over 6 months ago ... but yet he kept me.

I am now wondering what he actually regards as 'friendship'!

Laura
http://arewenearlythereyetmummy.blogspot.com/

The Grocer said...

Oh dear not Second Life, full of big strapping men and women who look like Pamela Anderson and Chuck Norris and frequent virtual orgies, it's like going to a Young Farmer's Ball ;)

rosiero said...

That last bit sounds like the school playground... as in, "Can I be your friend?" Think I'll stick with the grown-ups and leave Facebook to my daughter!

As for Second Life, maybe I'll give it a try and be young and single again!!!

jane said...

That's nuttin, I've only got 8 friends and 2 of them are family!

Swearing Mother said...

If I join Facebook, will you be my friend? Have avoided it so far as there's only so much rejection I can handle.

Guineapigmum said...

Facebook is a bit like a family reunion in this neck of the woods. Be elitist and keep your friends to the select few, I say. And whatever you do, don't try Second Life. That's when you know you're spending too long on the computer and it's time to get a life. A real life!

Nicolaboo said...

Ah Facebook, its turned us all into would be stalkers...lured in with wacky photos and funny naraative and then you become hopelessly addicted and end up on there everytime you go online...
Really though....Just how interesting can other peoples holiday photo`s be???? Endlessly is would seem. On the plus side my brother is serving in Afghanistan and its been a way of staying in touch with him, so not all bad. Anyway I`m sure you will more than surpass 2074 "friends" just tell us where to find you and we`ll all add you!!

The Coffee Lady said...

and then when you get your friends, they send you so much mindless circular drivel that you wonder what you are doing being friends with these no-marks anyway

The Dotterel said...

I'm a Facebook 'newbie' too. What I can't work out is how 'it' keeps digging people out who it thinks might be my friend. I mean, every day when I log on there's another list of people I have never heard of. What's happening?

Chasing Cars said...

fantastic description of how facebook works, what I find amazing is people will request your friendship and then never actually speak to you.... so really what was the point? I also find I forget to ring friends because I feel I know whats going on with them because of this window into their lives!

http://alwayschasingcars.blogspot.com/

Braja said...

I wrote on my Facebook account, "Braja is closing her Facebook account: find me at [my blog address]" and then got 10 new applications for friends. I mean, is that needy or what??!

Retiredandcrazy said...

I joined facebook months ago and still don't quite "get it". Am I stupid or something? Don't answer that!

Iota said...

I'm sticking with blogging.

Expat mum said...

Just wait until the first time you're "un-friended". One minute you can see their little face on your list at the side, and the next day they're gone. So humiliating.

Crystal Jigsaw said...

I'm a member too. Don't get much chance to visit though but if you want another friend I'll be it. I'm not glamorous either.

CJ xx

Le @ third on the right and cold peas said...

I am not a facebook fan - wait till you start getting requests to 'friend' people you didn't like much the first time you met them... I think blogging is better for keeping in touch - facebook - well too in your face for me :) le

ps since I got pinged by two long lost people who I'd wish would stay lost I have not been back - what a chicken I am ...

MikeH said...

I can never really understand this 'virtual' friendship with someone you have never even met. Seems strange to me.

Has anyone ever 'poked' any of their virtual friends? It sounds painful.

Sarah said...

I was invited to join facebook and did, not have, ooh, 20 or so friends, mostly in the dancing fraternity, but have had some nice surprises- folk who have looked me up, or happened upon the page.
Ahem- I HAVE A FACEBOOK ACCOUNT...
Don't make me beg, Wifey!

Tracyann said...

Is it me or has everyone had "work" done on their Facebook profile photos? Mine is blank, but I'm thinking of putting a photo of Angelina Jolie on mine and hoping no one notices...

Tracyann
www.stayathomemummy.com

Henry the Leaphound said...

Leave facebook to the kids - it's all far too scary and intrusive for us grown ups. A little bit of mystery did no one any harm! Oh and same goes for freinds reunited, I utterly refuse to list myself, however I do occasionally spend an hour or so looking up people I went to school with to see what they are up to now....

Moi said...

You've missed the point about Facebook. The idea is to be very, very selective. Anyone can cobble together 1000 people they don't know, but it takes extreme self-control to limit it to 22. You wait, people will be gagging to join your exclusive little band. As in real life, you'll soon have friends you didn't know you had....

sandra wyman said...

Oh how I know what you mean - wait till you get the "x sends you a hug" or "y sends you a little green plant" messages - it can really get quite yucky...not to mention the one that told me that at three in the morning I have the IQ of a brain-dead guinea-pig. But it's worth staying on cos my two nephews have forgotten that I'm friends with them and I can spy on them quite well...BTW did you know you have a really rude-sounding comment moderation thingy?

Dee from Downunder said...

Hi there, I came via Le@third on the Right and a few others...

have been having a good read too.

I like your facebook post - I personally have only a few friends, and notice the large amounts on others... but its fun to look for people, I found my long lost sister and BIL, but when I contacted them, he deleted his facebook - a hint maybe????? LOL

I used to add all the applications etc, but with a slow computer, had to euthanise my online puppy and never got over it ...Blogging has now taken over really....

Primrose said...

Hi Judith,

I did add you as a friend today. Not sure if it was you as the photo was of a woman holding a lamb but it shall be interesting to see what happens! Facebook works as a 3D business card for me. I use it purely for networking for my books and to snoop into peoples lives at times. As long as you dont' get sucked into doing the quizzes or playing with the applications then it's a great way to get your books out there. I do think at times the world has gone a bit mad with Twitter and Facebook and all the social networking but when you have books to sell it can help. xx