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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Careful Around the Punchbowl, There, Karl

Like all right-thinking citizens of the mostly-modern world, I’m on Facebook.

I got tired of people saying things like “didn’t you get the update?” or “oh, we knew about their new dog on Tuesday, when they got him. That’s old news”.

So I bought in.

And out they came, every person I’d ever met. Facebook had all kinds of friend suggestions for me, from my junior-high boyfriends to high-school science partners to people I had suspected were dead and/or imprisoned, all with pictures and links and frighteningly angry opinions on everything ranging from how to parent your children to fast food.

Here I thought ol’ FB would be more like a party. You know, we’d chat, share some photos, buy each other a couple of virtual drinks and talk about that screenplay we’re pretty sure we could write if we had more time.

But like every party, I seem to have wandered into the part of the kitchen cordoned off for the politically angry, the porch dedicated to several weeping individuals who want to know WHY, the back steps where a group is (virtual) hugging fervently and passing out (virtual) promises.

I am not among the most readily in touch with my (virtual) emotions and tend to look at these things askance.

And for this – and for using the word “askance” – I will pay.

I offer you this unseemly exchange from a couple weeks back as proof.

Brent - a person I knew a good 15 years ago and now seems prone to sending warm and loving regards to all, sparkling angels, and What Kind Of Elf Would You Be quizzes - posts on his wall: Until you have loved an animal, a part of your soul remains undeveloped.

Pearl - a callus individual I sometimes claim not to know and will refer to here in the third person - responded: And once you have loved an animal and been caught, you have a police record.

I worried about my cynical post immediately, only to have a number of comments of the “LOL” variety follow in quick succession.

Despite the (virtual) validation, I can’t help but wonder: Perhaps FB is a party, just one I don’t understand.

Could I be the turd in the FB punchbowl?

32 comments:

Cheeseboy said...

Oh my dear lord, that is funny! I really want to be your facebook friend now. I am glad you got a good response, but I really want to know: How did BRENT respond?

Pearl said...

Sorry to say that Brent did NOT respond. But he didn't un-friend me, either. :-)

Hey, and anyone one who wants to be FB friend, just send me an e-mail and I'll go looking for you. :-) What the heck.

Simply Suthern said...

I dont do FB. It holds no desire from me all.

I loved your quote. Spot on. "And once you have loved an animal and been caught, you have a police record". Dont want to go to prison on that rap.

You, of all folks, dont need validation from FB.

Kristine said...

I loathe facebook. I'm on it, of course. I suppose it's to keep contact with those few friends with whom I have no other connection. But I avoid it like the plague; those incessant opinionated, issue-driven updates get me riled. I always log out angry.

So, yeah. TOTAL party.

Casey Freeland said...

You really nailed fb here. Unfortunately, like any addictive behavior, after a time you feel like you need it.

There are tricks to making it a little less... well negative and stupid.

For instance, did you know you can hide all the mafia/farmville/endless crappy apps? Just hover your mouse over the top right corner of one of the comments and an otherwise invisible "hide" button will appear. Click that and then it will give you three options. You can hide the person completely, still appearing to be their friend, hide the app (yes please) or cancel the hide command.

This is also a good way to hide a "friend" who is on a particularly bothersome tirade, political, religious, otherwise. Bring them back later and see if they have calmed the f down.

I'll send you an e-mail so we can friend-up jf you like.

Casey

ellen abbott said...

That's what the HIDE button is for.

Silliyak said...

Everyone has already covered any advice I had. My sure trip to the "unfriend bin" is by being in the Sarah Palin fanclub. Unfortunately, my brother belongs, so he gets hid, doncha know?

Pearl said...

All good advice, and I've hidden a number of people, including two Mafia freaks, a person with vehemently angry daily political tirades, and a woman who is convinced that her life is substantially harder than everyone else's.

When did we all become convinced that screaming, pointing, and berating were ways to intelligently debate? Oh, wait. I think I may have just answered my own question...

Fred Miller said...

I'm the same way. Sometimes I feel like Father Mulcahy on facebook. An then there's the rest of the time. A friend of mine in her forties posted that she was going out for a run so she could sweat. I told her that I just do kickboxing in the air-conditioning and I still sweat like a pedophile in a Barney suit. She didn't respond, but she didn't unfriend me, either.

The Fred Effect

Bossy Betty said...

Loved your response!! I too am not acceptable to the large majority of my FB friends. Apparently my humor does not translate well. Who knew?

Sarah said...

That was a great response. I'm considering cancelling my fb account. Like Betty White said, it's a huge waste of time.

Pearl said...

Fred, that was just beautiful. :-)

Betty, I think the problem is that not everyone you meet actually HAS a sense of humor. Many do, but I'm always amazed at how many people aren't all that funny...

Sarah, I've thought of that myself. What with the loss of film and the introduction of digital photos, though, seems no one bothers to print them out anymore and the only way you're going to see a picture anymore is online!

Sausage Fingers said...

I agree, I find it funny that the people I chose to hang out with and scew in high school, are the lunatics and freaks of the fb world. I have had 4 invitaions to farmville and was sent 6 pics of me half naked at prom. Wifey not amused. You are not alone.

Sausage Fingers said...

I meant screw in HS not scew

Sam Liu said...

You do make me laugh, Pearl :D I'm on Facebook, but this is only due to convenience and to that golden line "everyone else was doing it". But I don't really get it. Personally, I prefer Twitter :)

Silliyak said...

Fred, THAT WAS FUNNY! As noted, humor does not always work well. I commented on someone's post about the oil spill, and I said (in jest) that the government's involvement was just leading us down the road to SOCIALISM! Someone else agreed, and it turned out they were serious!

Sweet Cheeks said...

Facebook was ruined by the applications (Why won't you be my Farmville neighbor?) that insist on posting spam to play the games (Come on...be my Mafia buddy...) I mean seriously, who puts up with this crap anyway?(I'll SuperPoke you in the eye with Sheep if you don't help me dig up that Golden Monkey Treasure - I swear!)
It is utterly ridiculous (You've just received a hug from Sweet Cheeks...click here to send one back!)
I'm so glad we're facebook pals! (You have 38 new messages from Buddy Finder...)
=]

Charlotte Ann said...

ROFL! at all Pearl's comment...and all the responders that posted what I feel about FB. I do NOT want to have a farm, a mafia, a zoo ....I do NOT want all the "god loves you" BS either. nor the "copy and paste this if you love Jesus" or "copy and paste this if you have a daughter you love"........
I do have a FB page..I stop by, seldom post and am amazed by how much time is spent by some on the apps.
Please don't send me a virtual drink..it will only cause be to be virtually intoxicated and that sucks.

Pearl said...

You guys are killing me over here. :-)

Frantically pushing the "Like" button and poking you all...

Oh, and Sausage? The biggest freaks, hands down, from high school, are now the most outrageously right-winged people I know. They want the good old days back, and I can't help but wonder: WHAT good old days?

As Gogol Bordello says:
There were never any good old days
They are today, They are tomorrow
It's a stupid thing we say
Cursing tomorrow with sorrow.

Irisheyes said...

Another great post Pearl. I too am on FB but I quit playing Yoville when I realized I am still not able to make money at my virtual job which made my virtual apartment pretty bare. I could only make enough to buy a virtual shirt to change into once a week. This caused me to go into virtual depression which in turn caused me to have a virtual drinking problem.

Willoughby said...

I'm on FB under an alias. I use it to keep in touch with my online friends and a few people I know in real life. I've thought about starting an account in my real name, but I'm not sure I want to get back in touch with people I haven't seen in over 20 years!

Kal said...

At first I thought you were talking about KAL around the punchbowl but then I realized the truth and my secret was safe.

Now about facebook. I hate it. Old girlfriends showing me pictures and talking about their new guys and losers from high school who I don't need to hear from. They interfere with my bitterness.

Gigi said...

I'll be your friend on FaceBook, Pearl. I'll be the best friend you've ever had there. Because I don't post anything and it is extremely rare that I ever comment on anything. I guess I'm kinda like Sweden - neutral and quiet.

I hate FaceBook - with a passion. The only reason I'm still on there is to keep an eye on that boy of mine.

ICKY said...

To the turd question........yes and you know it.

K A B L O O E Y said...

I am still Tweetless and (except for 24 hours) Facebook free. But I'm going to BlogHer and am sure I will be told to drink the Kool Aid. Blech. If I wanted to talk these people, I would have been talking to them. And I'm impulsive enough with the internet.

Jocelyn said...

Gee, I dunno, Pearl. Maybe if you had different friends, FB would be more "easy" fun--without the worry of offending. Generally speaking, ALL of my updates are about pleasuring animals, so what's the ruckus?

Any chance you'd try friending this crazy wench? Jocelyn Pihlaja

Katie Gates said...

Funny stuff, Pearl. And funny comments, too. I'm on FB, but I rarely visit or participate. I was at a party recently (a real one, with actual drinks, tangible food, a backyard and all those offline bells and whistles), and I shared with some people (who were physically standing near me, if you can believe it) that I had posted a blog called "I'm Two-Faced About Facebook." To which one person said, "Ooh, they should have a Two-Faced Book!" To which I said, "Yeah, and you could have fairweather friends!" To which another said, "Right, and rather than POKE you, they could STAB YOU IN THE BACK!" If nothing else, maybe FB is good for witty dialogue, both online and off. Gotta go now. The day starts awfully early on Farmville...

RawknRobynsGoneBlogWild said...

Still, 'tis better to be a turd in the FB punchbowl than a twit in the twitter canteen. I suppose. I mean, so I hear.
xoRobyn

Kelley said...

Only if that punch also includes lime sherbert and Sprite. I'll drink anything with lime sherbert and Sprite. I also am in love with FB and love making fun of people on it often, especially those that send out lame quizzes.

Tempo said...

Remeber the old days..when you left school and never saw your school mates again?
I really miss that!

Tail-Kinker said...

When I learned to hide all the BS apps & annoying activity, FB became ok.

Oh, except for all the people from high school who want to be "friends" now even though while we were in school together, they did not have the time of day for me.

Ruthibelle said...

Ahhhhh!!! ROFLMAO. But your comment was funny and witty. THat's still priceless anywhere - on or off facebook!!