Wednesday, November 09, 2005


Originally written Feb. 3, 2005

I have 257 friends. I talk to, maybe, 43 of them. I am a member of 8 groups with names such as: "I like to Watch People Sleep," "In AA and Proud of It," and my personal favorite, "Brad Pitt Fan Club who went to Public High School." If you haven't already figured it out i am alluding to the craze that is sweeping ours and many other college campuses: The Facebook.
This psuedo-community has its up and down sides. First the good things it has going for it. It allows users to see other people's friends which is kinda neat. It also lets you connect with people from your classes that you may not know and secretly harbour a crush on. Allows people to find other people that have similar interests, whatever they may be. Basically, you can find out things about a person without having to actually interact with them at all. Essentially, it allows people another way to lose more social tact. So, the next time you see a 'friend' you can say, "Hey, I love The Three Little Pigs, too!" (sorry to slip into the 'bad'...this is the 'good' paragraph) Again it is a great way to connect with people you dont see on a regular basis, etc. Since im studying abroad this semester it gives me an alternative to keep in touch with people which is nice. It also gives me a way to stay 'in the loop' when i can't use Instant Messanger. Although it could be argued that i could just as easily e-mail people. But, I try and use both to cover all my bases.
The bad and ugly part of this website/service are a few things. Like typical social activity it is a way to establish who is the most popular. Who can collect the most friends. Who knows the most people. Who knows more people outside of their own school. How many groups can you be a part. It also is a great way to stalk people without them knowing. I can find screen names to people i have never even met. It's great. I have an infatuation with someone i can spy on them. Create a special screen name and send them cryptic messages online. It also can be a competition to who can find the funniest, weirdest, dumbest picture of themselves to display to the outside world. The best part is that it can be a picture of anything. Well, pretty much anything. Another annoying thing about this is getting 8 emails a day telling me someone wants to be my friend. I got a few the other day from kids i went to high school with and haven't seen let alone spoken to in 3 years. Not because i am a bad friend, but because generally when you go away to college, you make new friends and keep in touch with a select few from high school. But honestly, what is the point of requesting to be 'friends' with someone you havent talked to in so long?
Essentially, the bad parts add up to be a superficiality/degeneration/trivialization of the term 'friendship'. That is my main complaint. Like many things that the internet has brought about it is all in how you use or abuse the service. It's up to you, but if you want to be my friend try talking or communicating with me more than once every 3 years.

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