Tuesday, November 9, 2010

When Did "Friend" Become a Verb?

Recently, the awesome KarenG of the blog Coming Down the Mountain: From Reclusive Writer to Published Author, wrote a post about her decision to leave Facebook.

I've been thinking about joining Facebook. It's not so I can reconnect with old friends or meet new people. I want to join Facebook for the coupons.

A lot of restaurants offer coupons to people through this site. But if you don't have an account, you can't get coupons. That's not fair! That's Facebook discrimination!

I'm also reluctant to put pictures of myself online. I'm not very photogenic. In almost every picture it looks like one of my eyes is winking and the other eye is opened extra wide, so it looks like I got a giant eye transplant. I also imagine people viewing my picture and asking themselves, "Why did she get plastic surgery to make her nose look bigger?" (On a side note, my pictures on my online dating profiles are probably why I only seemed to attract losers.)

If they have a "friend" list, why can't they have an "enemy" list too? I'd "enemy" several people with messages like, "Neurotic Workaholic wants to enemy you. And by 'enemy' she wants to make you cry yourself to sleep every night." (If they had an anti-social networking site, I'd probably sign up for it.) I'd also have a "Writers who rock" list, and possibly a "Guys I want to make out with" list.

And seeing as how I'm such a positive person, I'd have a "dislikes" list in addition to my "likes" list. It would say, "Neurotic Workaholic dislikes people who make excuses, people who blow cigarrette smoke in her face and make her go 'HAAACCCKKK', summers in Chicago because that's when the tourists come out and OH DEAR GOD it's going to be Christmas season soon and THEY WILL RETURN HELP HELP HELP, and decaf coffee, because what's the point of drinking coffee if you don't get wired enough to run around with your arms in the air while you babble a mile a minute?"

And I'd probably just lie on my Facebook updates too. I'd write something like, "Today I had lunch with the Mayor. He gave two thumbs up to my moving sidewalk idea so that I don't have to walk as much." Or "Nora Ephron wants to make a film version of my book and I haven't even written it yet." Or "Today I bought all the property on Michigan Avenue. It's hard to have so much money." That way, if anyone from high school did see my page, they'd think I was successful.

That's also why I didn't go to my high school reunion. I don't want to go back until I can arrive in a helicopter, like the class geek (played by the brilliant Alan Cumming) did in Romy and Michele's High School Reunion.

But I'm not going to get a Facebook page anytime soon. I'd probably just get really addicted to it. (You may not have noticed, but I tend to be obsessive. About everything.) I started watching Jersey Shore one day and now I've seen every episode of Season 2. (Shut up.) My IQ has gone down at least fifty points, and my soul cries a little every time the show comes on. And yet I can't help watching. They're so stupid it's funny. And I'm not being mean. Just listen to them talk for five minutes. So it's probably better if I don't join Facebook for now. But I still want those coupons.

What's your opinion of Facebook? Why do you have/not have a page?


  1. I love Facebook because it's how I keep up with my friends from my hometown or who moved away or whatever. It's just the easiest way to do it, all in one place, plus I can keep updated on their lives without actually having to talk to them or I can "like" something without actually having to make much effort, but they'll know I was thinking of them.

  2. Sounds like a fun facebook page though! :D

  3. I have a Facebook account because I don't live in the same city as any of my friends.

    I would like an enemy button, though. Jack Thomas (real name), that asshole from high school, he'd totally get enemied.

  4. facebook is cool! i get reconnected with old high school friends.

  5. I like facebook because it's easy to get in touch with people when I want to. But, I have to say, it's can be a BIG time-waster. Sometimes I don't even know what I'm doing, looking at someone's pictures who I don't even know. It's very interesting if you want to stalk others but not actually be in touch with them :-)

  6. Hi gem,
    Those are good reasons for joining Facebook. I haven't really kept in touch with anyone from my hometown, though, except for one person. If people "like" something on Facebook, does that mean they get coupons? :)

    Hi Marieke,
    Thanks! I think it would be fun, so maybe someday...

    Hi NGS,
    An enemy button would be useful to many Facebook users, I think. It would be interesting if one person ended up on more than one "enemy" list. :)

    Hi janjan,
    It does sound cool. But I don't know if I want my high school classmates to see my recent pictures, tee hee.

    Hi Melissa,
    The fact that it's a time-waster is what I'm afraid of, especially because I sometimes spend more time online than I do on my work.

  7. I like Facebook because I'm so far away from home, and it's a good way for me to keep connected. I have a personal account, and then a writer account, and it's working for me now! :)

    PS - I also hate 'gift' as a verb. Yuck!

  8. Hi Talli,
    I like the idea of having a writer account for Facebook, because then there'd be the opportunity to meet other writers. I'd definitely send out friend requests to any and all of my favorite authors who are on Facebook.

  9. I LOVE the idea of creating a fantasy life for yourself with fake statuses (stata? statae? statii? what is the plural?) A friend of mine created a whole fake person and got away with some very amusing piss-taking of some really annoying people without anyone knowing it was her. I know this sounds like abuse, but they deserved it!

    I do like Facebook because it helps you keep broadly in touch with distant chums without too much effort - it's so easy to lose touch if you move around over the years...

  10. Hi brokenbiro,
    That's cool that your friend created a fake profile. Tee hee, that would be fun! It does make you wonder if there are other fantasy Facebook pages out there, hmmm..

  11. Late to the party, but here's my input:

    I was a VERY reluctant joiner of Facebook in 2008. Yes, it is a huuuuuge timesuck and you have to be careful.

    And yes, you WILL be tracked down by awful people you went to high school with.

    However, Facebook has also helped me reconnect with old pals, keep in touch with friends who don't live in the same city, talk to authors I love, and promote my writing (I have a Facebook page for my blog).

    Still not friends with my mom, though, and that's an ongoing (albeit friendly) battle.

    I'd recommend you jump in. Even if you have an account, how much you check it is up to you. And then you can get coupons!

    Oh, and people DEFINITELY have fake Facebook pages. The movie Catfish was all about this.

  12. Hi maybeimamazed02,
    Thanks for the advice. That movie Catfish sounds interesting. I'm still not up for joining Facebook as yet, just because it takes up a lot of time, but maybe in the future, as a way to promote my writing and connect with other writers.

  13. I'm the same in terms of Facebook and Twitter. I really really want to join in but am afraid of what would happen in terms of time just sliiiiping away without me noticing and then it's bedtime and I haven't marked one of the essays I brought home ....... Like your blog. Your joke in another post about your giant eye transplant gave me a laugh.

  14. Hi Fran,
    Thanks! And welcome to my blog! I've thought about joining Twitter too, partly because a lot of famous people are on it and then maybe I could become Twitter buddies with them, tee hee.
    But like you said, time could easily slip away if I were to use Facebook and Twitter, and marking up essays is time-consuming as it is.

  15. There are LOTS of writers on FB. You don't have to upload pics of yourself, you can upload pretty pictures of scenery or nothing at all. You can also link your blog up to it. If you joined I'd like to read your amusing updates.
    & yes, there are those coupons!

  16. Hi notesfromnadir,
    That's a good idea. Maybe I could have a page without any pictures of myself. And I'd like to see other writers' Facebook pages. But then again I spend a lot of time blogging, so I'm sure that I'll probably spend even more time on Facebook.