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06 July 2008

Not a friend of mine: Facebook woes [More:]
scroll half way down page for the facebook part.

I used to enjoy facebook but now I hate it. I constantly get requests from people at work and the last thing I want is for them to see my pictures or updates. At first I was unsure and said ok to some and no to others. Now I just flat out say no. Some get offended but then again it's impossible to keep everyone happy.

If we have never socialized in the past, don't hang out now, or ever plan to in the future, why do you want to be my facebook friend?
I loathe social networking sites with the passion of a thousand burning suns. I joined 'Friends Reunited' a while ago, but have since deleted my profile. I didn't like those people when I was at school, my 20th reunion was agony, so why would I want anything to do with them now? And work is for work, not for socialising. I'd hate the people I work with to know anything more about my time outside work than I'm prepared to tell them face to face.
posted by essexjan 06 July | 16:20
I drew the line on social networking a couple of years ago, and I drew it at Facebook.

Recently, a number of friends have been badgering me anew to join Facebook. The new selling point? "But we could play Scrabble online!"

A) I don't even like Scrabble, except for the laughter and comradery.

B) Dude, you live three blocks away. We could play Scrabble on your porch in the sun! I'll bring snacks! You don't even have to change out of your jammies. Isn't that better than Facebook?
posted by Elsa 06 July | 16:30
I'm on FB, but for this very reason have kind of abandoned it. What do I really have to say to friends, distant relatives, high school people I barely knew 20 years ago, and colleagues (all at the same time)? So I just accept all new friend requests, but the larger my group becomes the less useful the place is.
posted by Meatbomb 06 July | 16:35
I was more annoyed by the first story on that page. When I first moved to L.A., I was virtually broke and hadn't found a job yet. A friend of mine (NOT, I should say, a close friend) invited me at the last minute for his birthday party at a neighborhood bowling alley. Wanting to see him and re-establish our connection, I said yes - and wound up paying $75 for all the beer and bowling they'd racked up (the tab was split evenly, regardless of consumption). That was, at the time, one-quarter of my total bank balance. Not wanting to be That Guy, I didn't say anything, but really.
posted by mykescipark 06 July | 16:38
(I'm fine with Facebook.)
posted by mykescipark 06 July | 16:39
It's funny. I got onto facebook because I work with teenagers and they said that's the best way to keep up with them. And then as soon as I did that, about 90,000 people came out of the woodwork from my life to say hi and friend me up. And you know what? It's kind of nice. I've heard from people who I liked in college or high school but that I had lost contact with ages ago. I like seeing how they've turned out, what they're up to, and just reminiscing a bit.

It IS a bit weird that my kids (that I work with) can see all the things I say, so I do keep it pretty clean. I had to tell one girl that she'd better take down the photos with beer it in. That was funny. She didn't respond to that part of the message, but the photos were down posthaste. Heh.

I don't take it seriously at all, though.
posted by Stewriffic 06 July | 16:55
(I'm fine with Facebook.)

I don't have a problem with Facebook, especially; I just realized a few years ago that social networking sites weren't useful or fun for me.

And if my neighborhood friends prefer playing Scrabble through Facebook to playing Scrabble while we sit on the deck together having a lemonade and laughing and looking at the sunset, then I don't understand their priorities.

I agree with mykescipark about the first story in the article; soon, I'll be attending a bridal shower hosted in a moderately posh restaurant, and last night as I wrapped the (slightly too expensive) gift, I suddenly felt a twinge of annoyance as I realized I'd better bring plenty of cash, too, because it just might be one of those parties.
posted by Elsa 06 July | 16:55
Part of the problem with sites like Facebook is that they essentially force you to have one identity which you share with everyone. In real life, most of us effectively have multiple identities (at the extreme, separate ones for friends, family, work friends, school/college acquaintances).

To their credit, Facebook recently introduced some pretty finely-grained privacy options. You can, for instance, arrange your friends into arbitrary groups, and then for each group decide who gets to see photos of you, news feeds about you, etc.

Hence it is possible to create a very closed-down Facebook profile, and then only share details with the friends you actually want to. So if you wanted to have a presence on Facebook for those friends, but not involve anyone else, then that's the way to go.

In my case, Facebook's pretty obligatory, since most of the my real-world friends organise stuff through it, and use it as a primary messaging platform over email or IM.
posted by chrismear 06 July | 17:04
I've really got into it the past few weeks, but mainly just to play the games. Most of my friends moved away so it gives me the chance to lose to them in Chess or Scrabble.
posted by drezdn 06 July | 17:40
I'm on Facebook. I hardly ever go to Facebook unless I am alerted by an email that someone commented on my Facebook page.

I do not like to bother people with quizzes and such. I accidentally sent some quizzes out to my contacts because I took a quiz that someone sent me. Ugh. I wanted to delete my account right then. I don't like the quiz, cupcake, send somebody a flower BS. It's like chain emails - annoying.
posted by LoriFLA 06 July | 17:46
I do love playing Scrabble online. My sister and I used to play. My husband and I used to play online in the same room - me on the laptop, him on the desktop. We used to play at AtariGames but we were having problems. I miss Scrabble.
posted by LoriFLA 06 July | 17:51
No. Sorry. No thanks.

I already spend too much time online as it is.

posted by jason's_planet 06 July | 18:08
Alright! For a change, I'm ahead of the trend. Never done Facebook, never will.
posted by Doohickie 06 July | 19:09
I've started a massive defriending on Facebook for similar reasons. It's down to family, people I see regularly, and people I've known in the past five years that I actually will want to hang out with some day again. But I'm passive-aggressive, so if we have friends in common or there's a chance we'll see each other soon, I'll accept your friend request and then delete you five days later.

So, people from high school, that's why I'm not on your friends list any more.
posted by kyleg 06 July | 19:37
I keep up with offspring on it, and found a bunch of church friends while I was at it.

Believe me, it is very very convenient to be able to keep a discreet eye on a budding romance...hehehehe...
posted by bunnyfire 06 July | 19:57
My friend has teens that she keeps an eye on through deviantart, I think it's called.

I got on facebook after hearing about scrabble so much on #bunnies. My deal with being online is that I keep work and home separate - people at work know I go online, but I don't share my username with them. My professional online memberships have my real name. Facebook and the others don't.

Some of my friends have gone through purges of friends lists at one time or another. Sometimes it causes trouble "I'm hurt!" emails, but in the long run they're happier.

I avoid this by not having friends.
posted by lysdexic 06 July | 21:43
I had too many 'work' friends as well on FB, basically because they see my position as one of power. (It's not, not really.) So I disabled my account. But I missed the interaction with my real friends online, so I enabled the account again, but the friend list went through a gigantic purge. It is building up again, but I have my privacies set so that I am stealthy and only I can add people as friends. We'll see how long I last this time...
posted by typewriter 06 July | 22:01
I keep up with my friends in other countries who can't be bothered to email via facebook. It's handy for me for that.

Lori - I'll play scrabble with you on there! That's the other main thing I do on facebook.
posted by gaspode 06 July | 22:37
Incidentally, Scrabble-players: I'm not rolling my eyes at you. I am rolling my eyes at the friend three blocks away who laments how infrequently we see each other face to face, then suggests online games instead of, say, seeing each other face to face.
posted by Elsa 07 July | 00:28
Weird. I know an editor who specifically has two separate FB accounts; one for "friends" and one for "colleagues." Only then you get into sticky territory. How many drinks do you have to share at various parties before you become a "friend" instead of a colleague?
posted by brina 07 July | 00:41
I quit facebook because people emailed me there instead of using my email. Like we don't have enough ways of getting in tough every day now people are emailing me at facebook - and getting pissed off if I don't see it for three days since I don't log in all the time? What? I have so many email accounts, some go straight to my server (and end up in the same account), a few gmail accounts and now I have to keep up with facebook as well? No thanks. The straw that broke the camels back was when an old pal (whom I know via one of the advertising mailinglists I run) had started his own ad-site (after me nagging him for each ad he ever produced for years to put on my ad-site, it was like pulling teeth and I'd always get his ads weeks after other sites got them) and now he figured, he'd send out updates regarding his ad-sites via facebook instead of just emailing the people he thought should know. Might be silly of me, but he knew me the entire time as the ad-list owner, and the ad-site owner and had even met me, but he couldn't just send me an email if he ad-site news he deemed important and wanted a link to? Eff off.
posted by dabitch 07 July | 02:37
How many drinks do you have to share at various parties before you become a "friend" instead of a colleague?
That's easy - friends are people who you will have sex with just because it's fun, while colleagues are people who you will only have sex with if it furthers your career.
posted by dg 07 July | 03:56
Oh God, now look what you made me do - I signed up for a Facebook account and, just from my Gmail address book, I apparently have 30 "friends" already there.

I swore I would never do this. Now you've broken me, damn you!
posted by dg 07 July | 04:16
get away! stay out! the cia runs the damned place!
posted by dabitch 07 July | 04:21
I'm fine with Facebook, too - I ignore friend requests from most work-related people, though. I've quietly 'de-friended' a few people who I knew I wasn't going to see probably ever again, and nothing's gone wrong there.

I too was more struck by the first question on that page - it made me remember that mr alto and I have a pair of friends who married last year, and to celebrate they went, and invited about 20 friends, to a musical in London (25 each plus travel and dinner costs), had stag and hen weekends involving trips abroad and hiring cottages (150+ per person for stag, 100 for hen), then the wedding itself, with lavish wedding list and all. It was all fun, and we still love the friends, but I did feel required to spend money in order to celebrate with them.
posted by altolinguistic 07 July | 04:59
That right there is why I haven't attended many friends weddings. Take time off + flight + food + gifts + stag nights etc and so on. But that's probably my fault, living abroad and/or having exotic pals who want to get married in Budapest. Whenever I watch father of the bride I keep giggling at the fact that dad pays for everything and flies Danish relatives over. As if.
posted by dabitch 07 July | 06:14
I'm on Facebook. Sure it has its drawbacks, but there are lots of good things about it. My nieces and nephews are all on there daily, and I find I'm more in touch with them now because I hear little day-to-day details I would otherwise never have known. It's a good way to keep in touch with those more casual friends and know what's going on with them. It helps me keep track of birthdays. I've reconnected with almost all the members of my grade school class, and we'll likely have a pub night sometime this fall (Facebook also makes event coordination a snap). I've reconnected with some old boyfriends — and gotten fervent apologies from them — and regained their companionship. And it's a good medium for reconnecting with people. You get to ease into contact with them and either leave it at catching up with each other and casual back and forths, or pursue it further.

The best thing that has happened to me on Facebook is reconnecting with someone I worked with (and on whom I had a HUGE crush) when I was a teenager. Over the last year, we've become correspondents, close friends and more. We live 500 miles apart so it doesn't make sense for us to become a couple... but there is visiting back and forth and it'll be interesting to see what happens as things between us continue to evolve.

Sucky things... well, there are a few. A few people whom I did not want to talk to have contacted me, and haven't taken it very well when I didn't get back to them. I blocked one person. She had not heard from me in 2.5 year and was still trying to get in touch. I knew she'd be regularly checking out my friends list and reading stuff I wrote on mutual friends' pages and I just wanted her to leave me alone. She used her husband's account to send me an email chastising me for blocking her, asking indignantly "how she was to know I didn't want anything to do with her?" Uh, the fact that I haven't responded to you nor contacted you in 2.5 years despite knowing full where you are MIGHT be a hint.

I've had my feelings hurt once when I contacted someone and he didn't reply, but of course I left it at that single attempt.
posted by Orange Swan 07 July | 09:08
Facebook is obligatory for me, as so much of politics happens through it. Unfortunately I can't let loose on it anymore, and I have to keep up this chirpy, positive view that fucking annoys the shit out of me.

I'm glad I have the MetaSites to blow off steam on.
posted by By the Grace of God 07 July | 14:29
I said yes - and wound up paying $75 for all the beer and bowling they'd racked up (the tab was split evenly, regardless of consumption). That was, at the time, one-quarter of my total bank balance. Not wanting to be That Guy, I didn't say anything, but really.

Thank goodness all of my friends are poor. If you had spoke up and they weren't totally apologetic about it, at least you'd know that it wasn't somebody you wanted to keep hanging out with.

And I know big parties are the bane of restaurateurs and waitpeople, but it's the 21st fricking century and we don't have a simple, universal system for splitting checks? What's wrong with society?
posted by Skwirl 08 July | 16:11
I am eating a deerburger. || It's Bunday!