God, I could have more fun with the title of this one but the above will have to suffice I suppose. See, I may be hedonistic in my sensibilities, but I’m more of a kinder, gentler Neanderthal. And, correspondingly, I’m likely a bit awkward too with regard to exactly what it is I’m trying to say here, but, oh hell, I’m just going to spit it out and quit sputtering like one doing a bad impression of Katherine Hepburn … I think I may have to dump somebody off of my friend’s list! There, I said it.
Here’s how it began … I get a “friend request” sent to me from someone I know, used to know, intimately. A really groovy ex-girlfriend whom is one of those past loves that you just can’t ever dislike, despite the fact that it ended like all the others in a burning spiral of angst-filled anger and tears. She’s a fellow artist and photographer, so I figure, okay, I’ll “accept” this friend of hers.
But, having only a modest 231 super close friends on Facebook (it can happen), I naturally want to stay “aware” of who I’m associating with on line, so, I send out my near-standard “welcome” message to this new friend, out of respect for my old friend. Here’s my simple “hello” message, with only the names omitted to protect YOU, more than anything …
“Dear _______, Was just taking some time to actually “look” at who some of my “friends” are here ( on Facebook) and what they’re about … happened to notice you and I share a common friend, so, was just wondering if you know her personally? She’s a dear friend of mine from a while ago. Anyway, your work is lovely. My best to you …”
Well, about a month goes by (and no big deal mind you), before I realize, that I never got a response from this “new friend.” I mean, she accepted my friend-requested-request, but I still didn’t know how she was connected to my “real” friend.
So I write my ex, and she, like me, tells me she befriended this person from some obscure request she received; doesn’t know this woman any more than I do.
What cracks me up now, is that (and I’m a huge opponent of making assumptions) I can’t help but wonder if she thinks I was trying to “Mack” on her somehow, as if I were “interested” or something. After all, she does denote that she’s “single” and interested in “men” and so forth …
Well, for the record, I’m not listed as “anything” nor “interested” in anything on Facebook, other than actually having some dialogue and honest exchange with my actual friends, especially the ones who don’t annoy me. Hence my need to take some action.
Anyway, so now, I’m seeing my new friend’s posts popping up on my Facebook news feed like ticker tape from Al Jeezera during any one of those Storms in the desert. Everything from “Save the turtles” to “vote for me” for this contest or that. And I love turtles, and I love photography and I love to win and vote and be supportive of my friends who do all the above … Turns out though, as of this writing, she has 1,927 “Facebook friends.” A month ago she had only about 1,500. She’s not going to miss me or my votes.
Before you start thinking I’m simply jealous that I don’t have that many followers, I assure you that you’re likely right. Yeah, I’d welcome having my own cult. Give me a couple thousand fans who worshipped every trite little ditty that I doled out to them daily and I’d probably not have the time to respond to the hundreds of little messages I’d likely get on a regular basis. But I would at least get one of my many minions to handle all the out-of-office replies to the newbie’s in my fold. Showing that they’re appreciated for their selfless devotion to expanding my popularity.
She now has 1,928 friends. A new one in just the past five minutes … Isn’t it maybe time, once you start collecting friends in the thousands, to simply have a fan page?
Maybe I have it all wrong. This woman is working this Facebook thing. She’s selling her wares; she’s adding almost a friend an hour. So obviously, she’s supposed to be somebody. I guess I should be grateful to be “included,” albeit serendipitously in her mind. But on some level, I’m still mostly annoyed that I bought into the notion that Facebook was exclusively a place for like-minded friends and colleagues to touch base, network a little, share whimsical fun … at least have some sort of rapport with for fuck’s sake. I’m not a fan of any one-way dialogue. I have this blog, and yes, I’d love you all to subscribe, comment on occasion and maybe patronize me a little and even have fun with me at my expense. I can take it.
But I promise you, as I grow into a god before your eyes, as I rise to ultimate status in your mind’s eye, as you dream of someday being as brilliant and loveable as I am, I won’t forget you. I’ll reply, to each and every one of you, in a timely manner no less.
PS: She now has 1,932 friends as of Thursday, 2:45 p.m. MT … not sure I want to end our relationship just yet … curious to see how large her “movement” gets.