I’ve been on Facebook for four months now, and if you’ve known me for a while, well… Let’s just see what one of my high school friends had to say about that:
Ah yes. I remember saying once that I would NEVER join a social networking site. To me, it was all just superficial back then. These were the days of Friendster, and all that people were talking about was how many friends they had and how big their networks were. They’d add up people just so a number could somehow validate their popularity.
I didn’t need that. I was never one who cared to be popular. I preferred tightly-knit groups of real friends over swarms of acquaintances, and I was happy that way.
And then the years passed. People came and went. Friends suddenly became these transient beings who spent a portion of their lives with you and moved away. I found myself having less people to hang out with. I felt a little bit lonelier.
I later realized that part of what made me feel lonely was that I consistently felt left out of things. People I saw as friends would know things about each other that I wouldn’t. They’d be speaking of moments together that I was never a part of. Sure, that’s normal in every group, but this was waaaaay too much. I was out of place among my own friends. When I finally asked where these things happened and why I didn’t know of them, it was because it was all talked about online.
Still, I didn’t budge. As much as I wanted to stay in the loop, I wanted to do it on my own terms. I wanted to keep up with my friends by physically being with them. I tried, but I never really succeeded. People get a lot busier after college, and rarely have the time to go out for a few drinks. And so I drifted around, leaping at chances when friends would be free and drinking with them whenever I could.
That’s when I met Lauren. A bit of a romance played out, and we became an item. Shortly after, she became particularly insistent that I open a Facebook account, so that she and her friends could “tag me in peekchurs”. Being the absolute sap that I am, it took that one final romantic push to make me cave in. I opened up a Facebook account.
But not without a bit of a quirk behind it.
I like playing around with things. I like making strange little observations that bear little to no meaning in life, like how the aglets in my new black hoodie have nothing to close the tips off. I’m sorta weird and lame and nerdy that way. I decided that joining this “Facesbooks” was an opportunity to have some weird and lame and nerdy fun.
I proposed to myself an experiment: I wanted to know just how many of my friends would find my Facebook account if I never told them about its existence. There would be a few rules behind this:
1. I must not tell anyone that I have a Facebook account. I can
talk about Facebook, but I must never explicitly state that I’m on it. That
way, people would really have to “find me”
2. There must be only two exceptions to Rule 1 – two people very dear to
my heart. That would be Lauren (for obviously sappy reasons) and
Dodge(who’s been my friend since we wore matching short shorts in
Kindergarten). And even so, I had to make Dodge go through a bunch of
hoops and decipher a bunch of clues to discover me. It was fun. 😛
3. I must never add anyone of my own accord, no matter how tempting.
4. I must not add friends that were suggested to me. I MUST be found by
5. I must only accept the add requests of people I know. Sorry stranger-
looking-for-an-online-friend, we can’t be Fezbook buddies.
And so, I set out on this mystical journey of mysticism. I opened with this remark:
• Those two really dear people to my heart are responsible for more than half of my friends finding me. I think’s it cute how excited they are to inform people of my existence. It’s heart-warming, really.
• Officemates will add you the moment they see you fiddling around with Facebook instead of working.
• I look ridiculous in pictures.
• I’ve been found by getting tagged in those ridiculous pictures.
• Old friends who never seem to reply to your text messages apparently prefer to do so online.
• People actually react to the random little thoughts you decide to post on your wall.
• There are two ways to lose friends on Facebook – if you act like a completely jerky moron (sorry) and if you’re my sister, who’s removed me TWICE.
• Some friends are too shy to add you on Facebook, despite knowing full well that you have an account.
Let me elaborate on that last one. I’ve got this friend that I was really close with in college. Heck, we even formed a psychic connection on the basketball court. He also opened a Facebook account just this year, and he’s the one I’ve been waiting for to add me.
I’ve made it perfectly clear that I’m on Facebook without explicitly telling him. When he asked about one of our other friends, I told him that the friend seemed sad based on his FACEBOOK account. When he asked me about a certain event, I told him I found out about it through FACEBOOK. The man knows I’ve got an account.
When he opened his, one of the first things he did was ask me if I had one. HE ASKED ME IF I HAD ONE. So what did I tell him? This: “Um, whenever someone asks me that question, all I can say is ‘I can’t answer that question’.” It’s painfully obvious that he knows, but would rather have me tell him directly. Is it some sort of weird self-esteem thingy? Does he want to know if I consider him enough of a friend to add him? Dude, you’re one of my bestest college friends! JUST FRAKKING ADD ME ALREADY!!!
And so the experiment continues. If you see this man…
At least not directly.
For the sake of, um, science.