Sunday, May 04, 2008

The Facebook Dilemma: Be nice to that nerdy girl

Say you're on Facebook, or some other social networking website. When you contact someone from your past or present, and click on that "Add Friend" button, how much time do you give them to respond before you start thinking they are not interested? 

And how many people do you add as friends, who are just lovely acquaintances, colleagues or folks you know who are just on Facebook? People you might see almost every day anyway?

In other words, is Facebook making you a better friend or a shallower one? For an interesting take on Facebook, please read Scott Dobson-Mitchell's excellent blog piece about how Facebook seems like a continuation of the kind of socialization you might experience in high school.

Maybe that's why I'm on Facebook. In high school, I was--or felt like I was--a socially outcast fat, braces-wearing nerd of a girl. In Facebook, while I don't feel like Ms. Popularity, I feel that I'm among friends and more in control of my destiny. You all can't see that I'm a pizza-face this morning, or in desperate need of exercise or abdominoplasty while I'm sending you some cyber refreshment or feeding your virtual pets.

And my friends are so kind on Facebook. They feed my pet, pet my cat and poke me, all in the nicest way. Perhaps there is nothing wrong with this at all. Is this because we are NOT f2f that we have to be extra nice to one another?

I give up. I like Facebook. I like the ease of social networking online. So please don't diss me if I send you some Good Karma, a Lucky Cat or a charming invitation to participate in something silly, but not morally reprehensible.

Just don't poke too hard.


DaddyMan said...

I jibberjabbed with my wife-to-be online for three years and we really got to know each other that way. If people are honest and true, face to face isn't required, especially when she lived 1,800 miles away.

Still, it would have been nice to take her out more before we decided to hook up and drag her out here to BFE midwest.

Anonymous said...

Re: Be nice to that nerdy girl!

Hey Eri,

If there were more girls like you in my high school (smart and funny, who love books and aren't mean to nerds!) maybe I'd take a chance and actually ask someone to my upcoming Prom.

But right now everyone looks too scary.