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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Spacebook, Myface, Facebook ...

By Rachel H

No matter what you call it, Facebook has seemed to take over the Internet the past two years with adults. What used to be a pastime for college kids has now turned into an addiction for many parents and even grandparents. The non-Facebookers out there will love today’s post as I poke fun at the many nuances of it. But alas, I must admit, I like it. I really do.

Facebook does have many pros, like how cool is it that you can look on someone’s FB page to remind you of the name of their husband and kids so that you don’t look like a fool when you see them at that cookout this weekend? Or that you can look up a friend’s birthday that you should know after being friends with her for ten years, but totally forgot to write it on your calendar this year!

Of course it has the obvious benefits such as reconnecting with friends with whom you had lost touch. I also love the fact that I can easily keep up with my relatives who live out of state and see photos of their proudest moments and updates of pregnancies, jobs, etc. I love that I can get in touch with just about anyone about anything without having to look up a phone number. I also love the fact that it is a good compliment to an already existing friendship. I don’t use it to take the place of hand-written cards, or catch-up phone calls, but it is nice to see and hear about things that you normally would not talk about in a day-to-day conversation.

Another plus was when I reconnected with my friend, Ellen, from college. Not only was I so psyched to have found her, but I found out she lived in Asheville and guess where we were going to attend a wedding that following month? You guessed it – Asheville! Ellen not only offered for us to bag our hotel and stay with her family, but watched our kids as well while we attended the wedding. So Facebook not only gave me one heck of a fun weekend with my old pal, but saved us a couple hundred in our hotel bill and babysitters! Now that’s what I call a win-win.

Now for the downside of Facebook – it can be SO annoying!!!! Why does it have to tell me every time my friends play Farmville or Mafia Wars? Why do my friends feel the need to tell others the most useless information? Why do people keep “friending” me when I have already said no? I don’t know you, Daniel Brookstone! Why does Facebook have to become the political sounding board during the election? Why do people post photos from your worst pubescent days and tag you?

More downfalls – you can’t have a party anymore and not invite someone because sure as heck somebody will tag you in a party photo on Facebook and then that friend will know they were not invited! You can’t lie and tell someone that you can’t volunteer for their function today because you have a haircut at 4pm. They get on your Facebook page and see you commenting on others’ photos at 4pm! Busted! You can’t ever put in your status that you are taking a trip to your hometown because anyone in that hometown that you choose not to call is going to be really peeved.

Then there are the status posts … oh, the status posts, how I love to make fun of thee! I will admit I have been known to post a status every so often and I will admit that many times they are somewhat “braggy” or self-fulfilling. Like when I had to announce that we had a blast at Disney and post 9 million pictures, but I was just too excited to hold it in. Or when my husband opened his restaurant and I had to tell everyone to check it out. And I will admit I have even used my status post to try and lure readers to this very website, but I promise it is only because we have totally awesome info that you need to know!

But some days I just cannot stand the “I am the greatest” posts on Facebook. One day I think I will just mock everyone and write, “I am the most awesome person ever and my husband is sweeter than any of yours and my kids are cuter and smarter and my house is bigger and no one can ever be as awesome as me.” You think?

And I always have the “mental” responses to friend’s status posts that I would never write, but always think in my head and laugh to myself. Like when someone writes, “Look out San Fran - the Jones Family is coming to town tomorrow!” My mental response, “Well thanks for the tip that your house will be empty. Don’t be surprised to come home to your flat screens stolen.”

Or this one – “What a great Saturday … ran four miles, spent time doing crafts with the kids, cooked a fabulous meal with my hubby and got the whole house clean!” My mental response, “I sat in my pajamas on the couch ‘til noon, watched my kids’ brain cells shrink as they played Wii for three hours and told my husband that if he was hungry he could order a pizza. And guess what – I kinda liked my day just fine.”

OK, one more – the status post says, “Having the best time ever with my girlfriends out on the town tonight!” My mental response, “Oh really? Cause if you were really having that much of a blast I am guessing you would not be surfing Facebook right now.”

Yes, I do love to make fun of Facebook, but am I ready to close my account and jump off for good? No way. I need to let everyone know that my son made the honor roll first. :)


Sam said...

I will be laughing about this all day!

Victoria said...

i am not on facebook, but now i want to be so i can see all of these crazy things ...

MichelleW said...

Where is the "like" button?

I want to click it on this blog entry but I can't find it.

"like, like, like"

Anonymous said...

I absolutely want to write things on my status like you mentioned - My husband is the BEST, my kids are the BEST, my job is the BEST, blah blah blah. I don't think people even realize how much they are bragging when they do it!


Jayna P. said...

Ha! Ha! Ha! That was a good one- I was laughing out loud. What about when you "friend" someone from high school and you have not even said there name in over 15 years and all of a sudden, they are in your dream that night...that is annoying. That can be avoided by not "Facebooking" just before bed :-)

Anonymous said...

I guess I'm a FB snob; I only friend people (or confirm requests) if either 1) we're currently friends or 2) we used to be friends and I want to reconnect. If I knew you for half a year in 2nd grade before you moved out of state, I am not going to confirm your friend request because you are not my friend. And don't wait a month then re-send the request; I'm still not friending you and it only makes me feel rude.

Sarah said...

Oh my gosh - I have had dreams about people when they friend me on facebook, too! I thought I was the only weird one! Hee hee!

Anonymous said...

Facebook is so fun to poke fun at but I admit I like it too. I have so much fun seeing how the nerdy boys from third grade turned into studs and the "cool chics" from middle school are no longer cool. Great blog today.

April said...

Love this, Rachel! There is definitely a balance to be had with the status updates. I love it when I see people with jobs outside of the home or my friends who stay home who are FB during the day. It's one thing to check it as part of your lunch or when the kids are napping, but do you really need to be playing Farmville or Bejeweled that much during the day?

I have some pretty strong feelings about "Facetime vs. Facebook". With blogs, tweets, FB, MySpace, Google Buzz, etc., sometimes it's nice to pick up the phone and call a person or pick up a pen and send a note. Social networking sites have many pros, but I do think it can make some relationships start to feel like fast food drive-thrus!

April said...

Also, you probably know this but you can hide individual people and applications from your FB feeds. If you can't stand the Mafia, FishVille, FarmVille, Cafe World and other endless application updates, hide them! I did that with some of my FB friends who were too negative for my liking. I go to the their pages from time to time still but now I don't have to stare at their political rants, complaints about their family members and nice things like that in my feeds.

Anonymous said...

I have a relative who always starts IM-ing me when I am on about how brilliant her son is, how he's a world traveler, how great he is at his chosen sport, how much time she spends driving him to his various activities...and oh yeah, her other kid's fine.

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