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Friends (vs. friends)

July 4, 2009

I’ve done nothing this weekend 🙂

It’s a rare thing for me, and I’m glad I did it. On Thursday night I went out for a friend’s birthday, riding a boat through Tokyo Harbour wearing yukata and having a party, which was great, but I was home by a reasonable hour. Friday night I did nothing, and tonight (Saturday), I also intend to do nothing. This way I get to save money, get some rest, slow the increase of my inflating stomach, and catch up on homework.

Or at least, I should be able to. Turns out the amount of time I’ve spent on homework so far can’t have exceeded 20 minutes. I spent all day in my room yesterday, but instead of homework (which I kept sort of glancing at thoughtfully), I spent most of my time sleeping, practicing bass (also very necessary), reading, or playing around on the computer.

Which meant, largely, playing around on Facebook. Today I got another Friend Request. “**** wants to be your friend! We need to confirm you actually know ****”. I didn’t know ****. And this isn’t the first time. I constantly get these irritating messages from people who want to be my Friend. Currently 14 requests (and 5 Friend “suggestions” – even worse than people who try to artificially “Friend” me are those who do it on the behalf of people whom aren’t even interested in doing it themselves) are waiting my approval. I don’t know who any of these people are.

The thing with Facebook is that it’s kinda personal. Your friends (real ones) will put up photos of you from the weekend for all of your Friends (Facebook ones) to see. People will make comments on your wall (which all Friends can see) about delicate life situations. Your birthday, where you live, all this information is there – some people also put their relationship status and who it is with. Which is something I don’t get. If you need to advertise your relationship with Mr. B to people over Facebook instead of in real life, then perhaps these people aren’t people who are really close enough to care. Not only that, when they break up, they have to change the status on their page, which sends a message to all Friends saying “XX is now single”, with a little picture of a broken heart.

If you are only connected to your friends, then it can be a helpful quick way of catching up with what people are doing, especially if they are scattered around the globe. But some people confuse friends with Friends. Some of the people I get requests from, I look at their page and see they have numbers like 2,000 Friends. Nobody has that many friends. Why could people be so keen to share themselves with the world that they look up and connect their lives with people they have no idea who they are? I’m all about meeting new people, but this isn’t the way to do it.

I have realised who today’s **** is. She is someone in the same club (circle) as me at Uni. However, I have never spoken a single word to her. I have happened to see her in passing a couple of times, but have never been close to talking to her. Until just now, I didn’t even know her name. Obviously, she’s found me through some mutual Friend, and decided she wants to be my Friend too, although she should know full well that we aren’t friends. She may be a lovely girl, but what does she hope to achieve my adding me on here, when she won’t even speak to me in real life?

But my hands are tied. If I don’t add her as a Friend, but continue to add people in the same group who I actually know, and who know her, it will look like I’m purposefully singling her out as “not my friend”. And then I’ll be the bad guy. But you know what? She’s not my friend. That’s not necessarily as evil a thing as people instinctively take it to be.

But, I added her, and now I can rest assured that every time someone “tags” me in a picture, she will know about it. Every time I make a comment to a mutual friend, she will know. Every time someone makes a comment to me (even people she doesn’t know), she will know. And chances are, we will never speak to each other as long as we live.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. July 9, 2009 8:58 am

    I'm glad I am still a 'FacelessOne'! Had a nice few cold days in Dunedin.

  2. July 15, 2009 4:03 pm

    um me and jono MET through a mutual friend on facebook. we didnt know each other dirctly but through me commenting on this mutual friends tagged photo from jonos album, history was made. PLUS if you and you partner are on FB and you ignore to report you relationship, this is also an insult and id rather display it than not. it also filters cyper passes

  3. July 15, 2009 9:26 pm

    I don't know what a cyper pass is, or what good filtering it does, but your story isn't the point. You both joined a mutual friend, that's fine. Both of you knew the mutual friend, and so became Friends with them.Where you and Jono met doesn't really matter – the point is you guys weren't "Be My Friend"ing it up before you even knew who each other were. You had at least had a "conversation" through comments. I'm talking about people I've never met or had a conversation with, and who I don't even know who they are.And if you find it an insult that someone wouldn't broadcast their love for you all through Facebook, that's just sad. 🙂 ❤

  4. August 3, 2009 12:09 pm

    it is a phenomenon that i call friend collecting. i had some guy connect to me recently

  5. August 3, 2009 12:13 pm

    who did so by virtue of the fact that we had the same surname which isn't common so we are probably very distantly related. but that doesn't mean i want to be his facebook friend. he's a very very distantly related person from another continent, not a friend, so one i know or even knew of before he linked to me. we live in strange and unusual times.

  6. August 5, 2009 5:35 pm

    Exactly. I would think it would be more normal in those sort of situations to rather send the person a message and try to get to know them through real communication if you were actually interested, rather than a simple knee-jerk "friend" add.

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