Facebook Fears

01/22/2009

Name that Tune: ‘”Do you think about me now and then?” Homecoming, Kanye West


Movie Quote of the Day: “You’ve waited 20 years for me – what’s another 20 seconds?” – Constantine


So our topic de jour is: –

“Facebook – friend or foe? Smart networking tool medium to trace long lost friends, or nuisance distraction and haven for stalkers the World over – Discuss.”

Having been amused & highly entertained recently by viewing a video clip posted on Facebook of an under 18’s afternoon disco in Scarborough circa 1986/7 (which mercifully I am not on) I began to rake through old albums, warmed up the scanner and started uploading some old photos and newspaper clippings. I blame this video clip of setting in motion a chain reaction of people like myself who should be doing something more constructive (like working, studying, or cooking meals for their families) of going through a similar practice of scouring the loft, suitcases under the bed and parents’ dusty photo collections for gems of yesteryear and embarrassing snapshots of the 80’s & 90’s to scan, upload & humiliate. This in turn has sparked a rash of old names and faces making with the ‘photo tagging’ and the ‘friend request’ and suddenly everybody wants to be your friend and you’re spending swathes of your spare time searching for people not seen for almost 2 decades.

Why do we do this? I have touched on this before. Surely there are valid reasons why these people do not feature at all in our filofaxes, our address books, mobile contacts, Christmas card lists & our IM’s & Skype addresses. We struggle to recall their surnames and strain in vain with weakened eyesight at the too-small profile picture in the list of 500 possible matches to see if they look familiar, We spot a likely candidate and then scour their ‘Friends’ to see if we can find any common ground – another name that will give us a clue…

Why?

The ‘lost address friend’ is one thing but the; ‘never had your address/never wanted it’ or the; ‘I saw you last time I was home but couldn’t be bothered to say Hi’; the ‘we hated each other with a passion at school’ and the; ‘we once shared an ill-advised fumble’? What’s going on?
It’s like the ‘Naughties’ 30-something version of a Panini sticker book collection – I had a full set of ‘ET’ and ‘Annie’ & Bman only a few years ago collected ‘Star Wars-The Phantom Menace’. I’ll swap you a John Jones for a Jane Smith.

Then there’s the Facebook conundrum of seeing someone you also know, who has written on your friends’ ‘wall’ but has not, as yet, friend requested you…why is this? Do they not like you? Did they ever like you? Should you request them? Are they waiting for you to make the first move? What if you request them and they don’t reply? Internet Social Networking Paranoia.

There’s the hideousness of getting in touch with someone you haven’t seen for years and are happy to be back in touch with. You have several years catching up to do from where you left off and your question of; “How’s such & such” is answered with something along the lines of: “They died 15 years ago in an unexplained & grisly manner” or your question of; “How’s you and so & so – married? Kids?” is answered with; “He left me & our 4 children 5 years ago for an ex-boxer, they now run a bar together in Tenerife called The Pink Oboe”. At least in this cybernet Word we now live in we can be mortified in the comfort of our own Ikea swivel chairs with a glass of something sharp at our side to steady ourselves & moment or two to compose ourselves before typing a suitably comforting and long overdue platitude.

I’d love to prattle more on this subject but someone just tagged me in an album called “Sun-in Queens of my 80’s Dreams” so I better check that one out… besides, I am well back into ‘Lost’ so I need my nightly dose of Sawyer & Jack and (heck why not?) throw in Locke aswell – coz you probably Would, if you were stuck there!

TTFN Xx

Me & Meka – I’m the one in the shades – 1990
I am no longer a smoker (or this slim)
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