Monday, August 25, 2008

Facebook: Blessing or Curse?

The joys of facebook! So many of my conversations come back to facebook these days. Facebook is both good and evil. It's good in the sense that it makes staying in touch and sharing pictures a lot easier. It's bad in that you often find out too much...Or not enough. I blame the newsfeed. Do I really have to know that one of my friends removed "Bon Jovi" from his list of favorite music? That just confuses me. (Why would someone do that?) Or what about when a casual acquaintance on my friend list changes their status to:

"Samantha isn't sure."
"Tom might go for it."

Isn't sure about what? Might go for what? Should I write on their walls and ask them? Or should I let it go? I guess if it's something major, I'll find out in the newsfeed eventually.

One of the weird things about facebook is that you find out about stuff much faster than you normally would. And more often you find stuff out that you might never have known. Like the ups and downs of your friend's relationships. Or you find out that you weren't invited to something that some of your friends were invited to. Like I said, both good and evil.

The following are some conversations I have heard or been a part of. I have changed the names and events to protect the identities. You might be able to relate to some of these.

Alice: Did you hear about Sam and Annie?
Jasper: No, what about them?
Alice: They're dating.
Jasper: Really? Who told you that?
Alice: I read it on the facebook newsfeed.

Four months later...

Jasper: Hey, too bad about Sam and Annie, huh?
Alice: What do you mean?
Jasper: I saw on facebook that they changed their relationship status to "it's complicated" and Annie's facebook status is, "Annie is really sad."
Alice: Poor girl.
Jasper: Yeah. Maybe I'll send her some flair to cheer her up.
Alice: I'm sure she'd like that.

Another conversation I have heard, and possibly been a part of:

Sabrina: Were you invited to Max's party?
Valerie: What party?
Sabrina: I saw on the newsfeed today that "15 of my friends are attending Max's End of Summer Blowout Bash."
Valerie: What!? I can't believe Max didn't invite me!
Sabrina: I know!! I think I'm going to unfriend him.
Valerie: Good call. Me too. That'll teach him.

A couple weeks later...

Max: Are Valerie and Sabrina mad at me?
Conan: I don't know. Why?
Max: I thought I was friends with them on facebook, but today I saw them on the "people you may know" list. I wonder if they unfriended me.
Conan: Did you do something to them?
Max: Not that I know of. I wonder why they didn't come to my party?

One more:

Kelly: I met this cute guy at the party the other night and I friend requested him!
Beyonce: Oh yeah? Did he accept?
Kelly: Yeah, he did. I was thinking about writing a message on his wall, but I'm not sure.
Beyonce: Why not?
Kelly: I don't want it to show up in our mutual friend's newsfeed.
Beyonce: Yeah, that newsfeed is too much. Maybe you should just invite him to play Scramble or Scrabulous. You guys can bond that way.
Kelly: Great idea!

There you have it. I hope some of you can relate to these conversations. I know some of you can, because a few of you readers were a part of these very convos! There's only one name I didn't change, but I'll let you guess which it was. (If you guessed Beyonce, you're right!)


Sarah said...

Did you see the video on my wall (I know, tossin' in the Facebook lingo...) that is a humorous look at what happened if Facebook played out in real life?? It's HILARIOUS!! By the way, via Facebook, I was reacquainted with (aka: "friended by") my junior year homecoming date. Hadn't seen him/thought about him in about 15 years. Then, I'm having a sandwich in Saline the other day, and he walks by the cafe window, recognizes me from my Facebook profile, and then comes in to chat! See...there are real world ramifications people!! :)

Elizabeth Downie said...

I just watched that video, and was cracking up! I hadn't seen it before. "Status update!!" Who was it you ran into in Saline?

There are definitely good things about facebook - it really is a good way to find people you haven't seen in a long time and see what they're up to. I found a long lost cousin on here recently! I don't mean to bash on facebook, you know I love it! :)

Sarah said...

Remember Steve Robison? He was actually very normal and polite when he came in to talk (I was at "My Favorite Cafe"), but I wouldn't have placed him if I hadn't seen him on Facebook.

Long lost, I wonder if I have any missing relatives?? :)

Kelly said...

Hi Elizabeth, this is Kelly, Emily's sister. You may remember me from girls camp. You know, Alice the Camel and all that. Anyway, Emmy said it wouldn't be weird if I left you a comment and I just had to because really, this post is too funny to not comment on. Ask Emmy about my feelings toward Facebook. Someone sent me an Easter Egg made up of a bunch of different letters and I just didn't know what to do. Anyway, I love the blog. It gets me ROLLING!! I really like your choices for names here on this one. And I loved the bonfire/scary stories one too. Hilarious.

Kelly said...

Emmy said it was Sally, not Alice, who was in fact, the camel. And you may not remember me because Emmy said Katherine is the one who is my age.

Elizabeth Downie said...

Hi Kelly! I'm glad that you read my blog! Don't worry, it's not weird at all for you to leave a comment. I love it! I know what you mean about the weird facebook applications! I have a friend on my list (we're not really friends in real life although we do kind of know each other) who's always sending me weird applications. I've honestly considered unfriending her for it. Ha!!

Emily said...

Seriously funny. I was dying laughing. That Beyonce is too much.

Dani said...

You crack me up!

Polly said...

Hey Elizabeth,
I totally understand, but I guess I'm on of the lucky ones because my facebook experience has be overwhelmingly positive. Since I have no friends in real life I think it's easier to be friends with people on face book. Rarely do my facebook friendships overlap with my real live because I'm so isolated. I love how the ultimate insult these days is to be unfriended. That cracks me up. I think that the real issue here is news feed. That's what seems to be causing all the problems.

Dallan said...

Very funny post. I'm telling you, you could give Sedaris a run for his money.

Christi said...

This is so hilarious! It reminds me of something my friend Ryan told me. His sister was on the phone with a friend talking about her ex-boyfriend, and how he had a new girlfriend. Her friend said the relationship probably wasn't that serious, and she said, "Oh no, it's serious. It's a Facebook relationship!" Cracks me up!

Leo said...

love it... so true

Katherine said...

I think you should post some more famous name conversations.

Angela said...