Some of you might know that I’ve now got a Facebook. While I think it’s fairly cool for keeping in touch with people you know from years gone by, it’s also a little weird.
It’s great for keeping in touch because you can interact with people you know (and might not know) in different ways. It’s like the online forum for non-geeks in that you can see photos of them, see what they’re saying to/about others as well as see what’s being said to/about them.
However – it’s also really weird. It’s weird ‘cos you can see everything about a person – some personal info is supposed to be kept personal, you know? Maybe it’s just me, but whenever I view photos that someone else has put up, or look at their profile, I just feel like I’m stalking them – even though I have the very best of intentions (Hey, I’m just checking out a pic of myself!). It’s an eerie feeling.
I guess social networking (in and of itself) is alright, though. There’s nothing vehemently wrong about chatting to long-lost friends, or people you used to go to school with, but have since lost touch with. It’s okay to occasionally touch base with them, say hi, and ask how they’re doing. Just so long as you don’t poke them too often. (At this point, I’d link you to an Urban Dictionary definiton, but it’s far too vulgar to be linked here. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about, though. 😉 )
But where to draw the line? What constitutes a facebook friend? Someone you’ve talked to once? Twice? More than three times? Or how about: a “friend” who you’ve seen in the hallways at school, but never actually talked to? Someone who’s in your class, but you’ve never heard them speak in public? Someone who you’ve said “Hi!” to once, and then never spoken to that person again due to the negative response you got? Someone you know only by reputation?
What about accepting friends? Do you accept someone who knows you, but you don’t know them? Do you accept someone who you don’t particularly like?
I guess that when it comes to social networking, there are no hard and fast rules about what you can and can’t do. If you want to have as many friends as possible, go right ahead. You’ll then experience such phenomena akin to the Facebook Effect, but hey – not my problem.
Talking about awkward, friend acceptance/rejection, there’s the term Facebook Limbo:
The electronic space between accepting and rejecting a facebook friendship. In facebook limbo, the user fails to accept or reject friend requests from would-be facebook friends from a variety of sources (e.g., random annoying classmates, despised work associates, ex-girlfriends, etc), because the user is uncertain if he or she will have to interact with these individuals in the future.
I’m experiencing this now with a couple of people that I know. I’m getting hugely paranoid that a) they don’t want me as a friend, or b) they just haven’t logged on to facebook in a while. Surely you know if someone has rejected you as a friend, though. I’ve asked a couple of people, and none of them seem to have been rejected by people, so yeah. If you know the answer to the question “Do you know if someone has rejected you as a facebook friend?”, then please stick it in comments, and maybe I’ll be your facebook friend.
Finding a good profile pic is harder than I thought, as well! You want to look good, but not so good so that you look like a metrosexual. You want to be seen, but not attract attention to yourself. You want to show yourself off in the best possible light, doing something you love. For me, that’s wearing funky tee’s with awesome slogans, with blue zinc cream and a scrolling LED name badge. I am indeed awesome. 😀
I mean, really. I am awesome.
A quick aside: Urban Dictionary was down, just as I’m trying to link things. Epic lulz, cos 503 errors aren’t fun!
Some more interesting Urban Dictionary links about Facebook: