Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Facebook 2: The Sequel

I've been on Facebook a few months now after debating whether or not to join (no worries, I blogged about it here). Contrary to popular wisdom, I have not found it addicting as some others have said I would. I pop on it every so often and poke around a bit before jumping off and continuing my real life. I will say that I love the lists people post about themselves. The latest list making the rounds is "25 Random Things About Me." It may sound cheesy, but I am kinda addicted to them. Each list is like a mini-blog; some are witty, some are funny, some are beautifully written and all reflect the personality of the writer.

But I have to admit that some aspects of Facebook are rather annoying. The first is the "Status Update." At the top of my page there is the question, "What are you doing?" and a box that starts "Kate is..." I'm supposed to fill in the rest. Well, to be nit picky, if I'm typing in that box than what I'm actually doing is updating my status aren't I? I know that Facebook wants us users to fill in the box with something witty or the details of our current pursuits.

Over drinks one night my friends (real) and I decided we preferred the witty updates as opposed to the minutiae of our friends' daily lives. I do not need to know how your cold is progressing unless of course it lands you in the hospital. In which case, you are probably not on Facebook anyway.

One of my friends commented that most of my status updates included a reference to alcohol. Well, that's because I usually check Facebook on Cocktail Thursdays or another night when I'm relaxing with a beer. It's not as if I'm going to update my status while practicing yoga. "Kate is in Downward Dog." I don't think so. She actually made the comment because she put my updates in the witty rather than boring column. But lest my Facebook friends think of me as a lush, I have omitted most of my references to alcohol. My real friends, well, that's another story...

The other aspect that bothers me is the tagging and poking and sending people things because it's not real. It's virtual poking so I guess that okay because it doesn't really hurt? Over the holidays I kept getting ornaments for a tree I don't have. So if I don't actually have a tree why do I need ornaments? And since it's not real why are you sending them?

And as for sending people virtual beer, well that's just cruel.

Recently, I read this article in the New York Times, about unfriending or de-friending which is eliminating a friend from your Facebook list. Burger King ran an ad saying they would give a free Whopper to anyone who unfriended 10 people from their Facebook list. Burger King then sent a note to the unfriended people saying they had been unfriended for a Whopper.

And Facebook users did this. But really, I think the unfriended person is better off don't you? Who wants to be friends with someone who prefers a processed piece of imitation meat?

One man, profiled in the article, asked Facebook to create tiers of friends such as BFFs, close personal friends, personal friends (but not close), acquaintances, etc. Then the user could moderate which information the "friend" could see.

What is this high school? He sounds like my daughter when she was four, "Rebekah is my bestest friend, and my next best friend is Emily, and..." And, seriously, if you're spending your time putting your virtual friends into different tier groups, I'm thinking it may be time to get some real friends.

Perhaps, I'm just jealous because I don't have a ton of friends on Facebook. If I ever unfriended 10 people, I'd probably have no friends left at all. But really, I do like Facebook. I don't even mind the status updates although I think it's weird when I write "I'm baking (with a cocktail!)" when I'm actually typing. Facebook is a great way to get back in touch with old friends and see what other people are up to. Oh and the pictures! I love seeing pictures of children and trips and such. Just don't tell me how your cold is doing.

Oh, and don't even think about sending me a virtual beer because then I will unfriend you.


  1. Got it, no fake beer!


  2. As opposed to ommitting the alcohol, you could just omit the friends.