January 18, 2009

Facebook Friends

Inspired by Colin McEnroe's latest column in the Hartford Courant: I Haven't Got A Posse, But I've Got An e-Posse - I've been a little blog lax so pardon the cut-and-pasting of my comments there, here.

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I think part of being in a posse is a certain responsibility to show up for things. So even if one wants to go watch a movie alone, or seek solace in a solo hike, or go hang out at Barnes and Noble, there is always the posse, sucking one into a social whirlwind. There is an obligation to show up for this one's opening or that one's birthday party. Some people are just not cut out for the life of the social butterfly. Or gang membership.

As for Facebook, I have a reasonably strict (and somewhat penurious) policy of not friending anyone who I do not know personally, who I have not had at least one meaningful conversation with. I have one friend request at the moment who I am not sure I have ever met. We have two friends in common (a certain Colin McEnroe and the radio show Where We Live). He seems resonant spiritually, politically, geographically. And if his friend request carried a little disclaimer "Hey, we chatted over at the Creative Cocktail Hour!" or "My friend Colin says I ought to get to know you" then I might accept. And I even do some due diligence on Friend Requests. Check references and all that.

One thing that Facebook has done is draw me more solidly into connection with remote friends. I go to a folk fest every year (for the past two decades almost) and I see the same people every year. Yet we do not stay in touch, we just reconnect each July. Now with many of them connected via Facebook, I'm getting to know them a bit deeper and more permanently. That's nice...

I've only got 70 Facebook friends (which seems like a lot compared to how often I spend weekend nights alone) but I like to think that my Friends are people who I really might consider friends, as opposed to acquaintances.....I run a tight fiscal policy on Facebook Friends - doling out my Friendship carefully so as not to devalue the currency and spiral into social inflation.....

3 comments:

jencoop said...

I wish you did call your yourself a "wannabe" writer. You're a writer, gurll.
Did you like the popcorn? I did NOT spit into it...

jencoop said...

Duh. I meant "I wish you did NOT."
Yours,
Dopey

sandy shoes said...

I think of Facebook as 1) helping to grow friendships with people I care about but haven't yet met IRL; 2) a way to be in closer touch with people I met the traditional way but don't live near; and 3)a reinforcement of local "3-D" friendships, i.e. "throw something up on Facebook so I know you got home safe."

The "friending" thing has its weird moments. I like someone, but I don't want to be pushy, or put her in a position of feeling weird not accepting my friend request... still, why wouldn't she accept my friend request? Like that. Gaaah.