Thursday, October 25, 2007

Are You My Friend?

YOU ARE NOT MY FRIEND”, declares Joel Stein (TIME October 29, 2007), “Yes, we’re on Facebook. But I don’t care about your cat. And stop poking me.”

Joel adds,

You message me and comment about me and write on my walls and dedicate songs to me and invite me to join groups. More than once you have taken it upon yourself to poke me.

This is hard to say to a friend, but our relationship is starting to take up too much of my time. It's weird that I know more about you than I do about actual friends I hang out with in person--whom I propose we distinguish by calling "non-metafriends." In fact, I know more about you than I know about myself. I have no idea what my favorite movie or song or TV show is. Last I checked, they all involved Muppets.

Also, you're a bit aggressive in our friendship. Would a non-metafriend call me up and say, "Hey! Guess what? I have a bunch of new pictures of me"? Or tell me he'd colored in a map of all the places he'd ever been? Or inform me, as Michael Hirschorn did in his Facebook status update, that he "is not making decisions; he's making surprises"? It's as if I suddenly met a new group of people who were all in the special classes.

The horror is, I can't opt out. Just as I can't stop making money or my non-metafriends will have more stuff than I do, I can't stop running up my tally of MySpace friends or I'll look like a loser. Just as money made wealth quantifiable, social networks have provided a metric for popularity. We all, oddly, slot in at a specific ranking somewhere below Dane Cook.” … (Who’s Dane Cook?)

But really, these sites aren't about connecting and reconnecting. They're a platform for self-branding. Old people are always worrying that our blogging and personal websites and MySpace profiles are taking away our privacy, but they clearly don't understand the word privacy. We're not sharing things we don't want other people to know. We're showing you our best posed, retouched photos. We're listing the Pynchon books we want you to think we've read all the way through. We're allowing other people to write whatever they want about us on our walls, unless we don't like it, in which case we just erase it. If we had that much privacy in real life, the bathrooms at that Minnesota airport would be empty.

Read complete article here

Are you my friend? May I add you as my friend to Facebook? I have been making and reconnecting to many friends since I joined Facebook. I have been writing graffiti on someone's walls, asking and answering questions, giving gifts and receiving them, looking at my friends' personal data and who they are hanging out with, sharing books and movies, poking them (like high five, throwing sheep and headbutting etc), and making a general nuisance of myself.
I will show you pictures of my dogs (when I have time to take pictures of them). Don't you care about my dogs?
It's great fun and addictive. Hey, where my life, dude? You mean I have a life?


this is Alex's profile

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Blogger Paul said...

LOL!!! Good post
I am sticking to mailing via the inbox, getting gifts (but not sending) since people want to send ..., asking and answering questions and I think that's about it.

I keep rejecting all kinds of silly astuff - vampires, mardi grass or what have you

and I have decided to stop poking! :-)

4:17 AM  
Blogger Alex Tang said...

hi paul,

does this mean I can poke you without fear of retaliation?

7:49 PM  
Blogger Sora said...

For all we know your dog also have an account in facebook.

5:47 AM  
Blogger Paul Long said...

i will turn the other cheek when you poke me! :-)

10:17 AM  
Blogger pearlie said...

thanks for the heads up ... I will read the article ... after I have gotten rid of these I-don't-know-what-book-what-face invitations ;)

5:32 PM  
Blogger Alex Tang said...

hi sora,

how do you know my dog do not have an account. Maybe the one with the picture of a politician? hehe

4:14 PM  
Blogger Alex Tang said...

hi paul.

so 'spiritual'-lah, poke, poke

4:15 PM  
Blogger Alex Tang said...

hi pearlie,

after you have got rid of?....wahhh, you do not want to be my friend! :)

4:17 PM  
Blogger Paul Long said...

Arrghhh . must not poke back! Must not pike back! Arrhg!! Get thee behind me facebook! :-)

5:20 PM  

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