I don't get it.
I must get at least three or four messages a week from FaceBook with requests for people who want to be my friend.
Well, most of them are already my friends, so I don't understand the request.
Then, there are the messages from people who are friends of my friends with a note that reads, "X thinks you should be friends with Y."
Well, that's nice. That's real nice. Friendly, even, if not, well, a tad presumptuous, don't you think?
How is it that we can be "friends" in cyberspace? Being only one dimensional, it's not exactly a relational medium, even for the best of friends.
Besides, what does it mean, anyway?
Near as I can figure, it means that I get notices when someone has a cause to which they want to "invite" me to contribute. I also get "invitations" to "warm hugs," "good karma" and other very cute but confusing messages which I think are simply designed to increase web traffic to the FaceBook site.
I also get "invited" to what looks like various "affinity groups" - Anglican Bloggers, Episcopal Priests, and various efforts to get people who don't want to be on FaceBook to join FaceBook.
I don't know. I don't think it's really healthy to have too many "friends" who are Episcopal Priests. Indeed, I was advised against it by my ordaining bishop. Many of my friends have a healthy suspicion of organized religion - some of whom are my parishioners. Some of them are even Episcopal / Anglican priests. I treasure my friendship with them. They help keep me honest.
I often get a whole whack of invitations all together in one email. I 'ignore' most invitations for karma and hugs, 'reject' the invitations to become friends of friends I don't know, and 'confirm' the friends I know.
Mind you, I'm not at all certain why I do this, but never mind.
I got a message today that said, simply, "Rev'd X is really looking forward to vacation." Well, good on yer, pal. So am I. This is not exactly a news flash.
The worst moment comes when I have added the last "friend" and FaceBook has the absolute audacity to send me this message:
I can't tell you how distressing this is. I mean, I'm old enough and have had enough therapy not to be as traumatized as I was in high school when I was not invited to sit at the same lunch table with all the 'cool kids'.
Even so, it's a rude thing to say, don't you think?
NOT "No more NEW friends," which would be okay. No, it's "No more friends."
I'm depressed for oh, one maybe two whole minutes after reading that.
Now, for the most part, nothing else happens after this.
I've checked out a few of these FaceBook pages. Folks seem to write lots of very personal, very revealing things on these very public places, with no way to control the messages and comments.
I mean, there was that FaceBook by a certain very high priced "escort" who had a certain, um, "relationship" with a certain NY Governor. That didn't work out so well for either of them, as I recall.
Then again, who am I to talk? I have this blog where I sometimes share very personal, very revealing things. But, then again, it's MY Blog. And, I have control over the messages left here.
Here's what it looks like to me: FaceBook is an alternative to people who don't want to have a personal blog, per se, or to be on or have to manage a listserv, which is replaced by these 'affinity groups'.
Is that right?
Someone help me out here. I'm not exactly a 'techno-Neanderthal, but I don't get it.
What's it all about, Alfi?