Posts tagged ‘facebook’
i was recently talking a good friend on the phone. she, like my girlfriend, is much less into the social media than i am. in fact, when my girlfriend knows i will be talking to her, she says to say hi to her “non-facebook friend.”
we were talking about our various ways of dealing with people and our desire for new people to connect deeply with, and after talking about how private she and my girlfriend are, i talked about how i tend to approach new people (not all new people, just the good ones) with something like that book are you my mother? except my version is “are you my new bff?”
it’s so hard for me, the level of shallowness of relationships being a grown-up sort of necessitates. there are people i am close to, but man, i want the grown-up version of sitting outside of dorm rooms sharing secrets with almost-strangers.
i think of things like this blog and facebook like that, but one reason i’ve been lacking in posts over here is because of how creepy the motives of facebook seems to be. as a human, in dealing with humans one-to-one, i think of oversharing as a way to stay safe almost– if there are no secrets, no one can find out your secrets. but then, these days, big brother is a reality in ways i can’t fathom.
i think of blogs as being like the end of the movie pump up the volume when all of the radio stations start popping up. it’s magical. and it makes me nauseated when i think that the reason these services are free is that data is being collected like mad. i dislike when my naivete is shattered, y’all.
the importance? pretty important.
but part of this project, part of my experiment in online existence at all, is to figure out what is guarded and why, and the differences people have for their guarding. i tend to be an open book because there’s less to ferret out that way. and in general, i’ve found that people who have honest public presences can help others who are afraid of bits of themselves. but i guess for me, part of me holds a little bit of a grudge against “keeping personal things private.” we tend to hide so much from each other each day, and so taboo subjects stay taboo. of course, there are professional reasons to keep things quiet, though, and that makes sense. i googled myself today and think things are looking pretty okay– mostly my names come up with regional weather or sports topics.
i’ve discovered that many people find writing much more difficult than talking. this has lead to a tiny bit of soul searching as i discover that i actually think of writing as basically “talking, permanently, with my hands.” i talk like i write and was accused of being a walking dictionary in high school, and i write like i talk which means it’s pretty casual, unedited, and honest. actually, there’s a slight difference in the writing, because it takes just a little bit longer so i can be artfully cutesy and clever.
this project has a lot of intentions, some i’ve figured out and some i haven’t. one is one that i’ve talked about a few times here– exploring online existence and how others do it. and then there’s the aspect of celebrating my friends. in that, there’s a little bit of a “i want to look like the most popular boy in the school” and that’s something i need to keep a handle on, but mostly it’s just me gleefully getting to tell all y’all about how lucky i feel and how wonderful all these people are.
but there’s this whole other thing that’s been coming up. based on people’s suggestions, i’m going to people first to ask their permission to post about them. there’s a standardish message i send out, explaining how i know this whole thing is odd, but i wrote about them, and would they give me permission and should i use a name and/or picture or not. some people respond right away, some people haven’t responded after multiple weeks, one person wants to meet up with me in person. but my plan with the project is to give a me-filtered snapshot of each friend. and that means that maybe for the first time, some things are being said. i am honest and positive, but sometimes a little confessional. past crushes and awkwardnesses are coming out. every profile is first a private moment and then a public one, basically winding up with me posting naked pictures of my friends on the internet– except i’m the naked one, not them.
one more thing– i’ve had people ask about doing something like this, and i had a mini possessive freak-out. but really, if you want to do this project, you should. but i will warn you, it has the potential for some exceptionally awkward moments in your life. be warned.
hello dear reader,
i know you are out there. i can creepily stalk you via “site stats.” i know that there are actually a bunch of you and that you are coming here from links at something called “facebook.com.” which means i probably know you. (which means i will probably write about you, too!) that’s actually about all i know.
no one is commenting. it’s probably awkward. the people who i’ve posted about have already sent me sweet messages in their “sure, go ahead” messages, so commenting and saying in public, “gee, thanks for saying all these nice things about me” probably seems redundant and awkward. and then those of you who are just reading, “wow, i agree about this person i also know” is potentially too revelatory or odd-feeling, “woah, i wish i knew this awesome person” emblazoned in a comments section of a blog is too permanent a tribute to a stranger, & being the very first person to comment on an entire blog is a big step. that makes sense.
but bloggers live for comments. it’s a common phenomenon. this project is definitely definitely DEFINITELY all about saying how awesome my friends are. but the reason i have so many facebook friends is because i love connection.
so here is a hopefully conversation-generating topic:
what about you? what is your relation to facebook? and since i don’t want to be just glorifying a corporate entity… tell me about google+! or livejournal! or diaryland! or … wordpress!
how and why do you social network? is it to network? to stay connected to your past? to find out about current events? or to find out about events? to tell people about how bad your life is? to tell people about how good your life is? to generate envy? to generate pity? because people told you you should join but you still don’t know why?
and if you know it and feel like sharing, what’s your myers-briggs personality type? i’m an xnfp, vacillating between balki bartokomous & anne shirley, retreating from the world to contemplate it, and then dancing and shouting what i’ve learned to a crowd… until i’m ready to retreat again. it seems like the perfect personality type for all this online journalling. i wrote 5 journal entries on my first geocities account in early 1998. then in 2000, i purchased a domain name and kept a journal there for a year or 2 (generally not giving it out to anyone i actually knew). then there was diaryland, then livejournal, and then a primarily locked livejournal, with zines interspersed. and then a blog on wordpress, and then facebook.
now this. reflecting on my sense of online connection. and mostly because i’ve recently realized that we all seem to do this differently. there are people fearful of privacy invasion, or a generation of overly self-absorbed teens, or a disease in which vulnerability and stardom get accidentally mixed up. this is some scary new thing. and it is. and it isn’t, because i think if i wasn’t facebooking and blogging, i would be writing handbills and spreading those around, my s’s looking hilariously like f’s. but tons of people do it. and i want to know why, especially why my friends do it. we humans tend to assume similar motivations for things. but it has finally dawned on me that yours are probably different than mine. what are they?
tell me. & talk hard.
the other day, i was talking with my friend in her car. we were talking about facebook. she was saying that facebook makes her feel exposed and anxious. i was saying that i have other friends that feel the same way (my girlfriend of 4 years doesn’t even have a facebook), but that it’s the opposite for me. i feel strangely secure, wrapped in my facebook friends.
i don’t know if it’s because i’ve moved so many times, or because i’m an xnfp, or because i’m an only child or a taurus, or d) all of the above (that is my guess, though), but for me, the connections i find on facebook feel real.
in a few other conversations, i’ve also expressed how i probably think of at least 250 of my 579 facebook friends as “bff’s” and another 100 or so are people that i wish were bff’s. i estimate about 100 of my “friends” are not people but places and things. so there are really only about 100 or so people on my facebook who i think i relate to in the way you’re “supposed to” relate to your facebook friends– casual acquaintances who you…
i don’t really do casual acquaintances actually, very well, so i’m not even sure what you do with them.