joy magnetism: joy = fuddy-duddy. Yeah, I'll own it.




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Thursday, July 10, 2008

joy = fuddy-duddy. Yeah, I'll own it.

Magnet #139 - Friends are Angels
(Rant ahead, which will offend your young interactive sensibilities)

So, according to Merriam-Webster, the definition of friend is:

1 a: one attached to another by affection or esteem
b
: acquaintance
2 a
: one that is not hostile
b
: one that is of the same nation, party, or group
3
: one that favors or promotes something (as a charity)
4: a favored companion
5:
capitalized : a member of a Christian sect that stresses Inner Light, rejects sacraments and an ordained ministry, and opposes war —called also Quaker

I'm of the mind that social networking sites, such as Facebook, MySpace, or LinkedIn, will soon make it necessary to add in
6: Persons interactively connected via social networking sites (whether they are real friends or acquaintances or not)
Since the advent of SNS, I've been torn over who my friends are online. There are those friends:
  1. who you actually know and spend time with IRL (in real life)
  2. who are former schoolmates from years back who have suddenly come back into my life (either I've gone searching for them, or they've found me)
  3. who are past and present coworkers and colleagues
  4. who are members of various groups you belong to
  5. who are family members
  6. who aren't really friends, they're just total randoms. (Well, no, actually, I'm one of those people who refuse random friending - I have to actually have some sort of interaction for you to see my profile. But, you get my point.)
What I don't understand are the folks who have a trillion friends, and openly admit that they don't know half of them. What is that about? Limited profile access or not, you're allowing random strangers into your life. You might as well walk up to people on the 2/3 train and say, "Hi, I'd like to be your friend. Ya wanna?"

Oh, I totally get the random friending, if you're a brand, a company, some sort of entity that wants to build a community (a band, author or other artists trying to get their name out there), or even a blogger with a high Technorati rating with some sort of influence in the blogosphere. But for individuals to follow this practice seems a little weird to me. For the individual, what's the point? So you can say I have a thousand friends? Is that how we're measuring popularity? Or how we're measuring personal relevancy on the web?

I mean, Mark Cuban hit 5,000 friends, and then was faced with how to tier his friends, or figure out another medium to get his message out there - because his website(s), blog and other accounts weren't enough. And, in his post, he goes through his tiers of friends - his real ones, the acquaintances, and the so-called Power Layer of those he's just friends with because they're good network connections. So that meant he (or, ok, his assistant) had to sift through those friends to figure out who stays/goes and at what level. Good grief. But, then! He's like all shocked that people wanted to treat him as a real friend - people checking in on him, sending FB emails, etc. I don't know why he was surprised - you accepted randoms, silly!

While I'm at it, SNS has completely obliterated the barriers of personal space. I mean, really, does your boss need to know that you went out over the weekend, got trashed and got laid and lived to regret it? Do we need to see the proof of that night? Do we need to know you're about to do it again this weekend? Does your high school crush need to know that you're still the same old dork you were years ago? Does your cousin need to know that your boyfriend loves you and thinks you're hot? Do we need to know what you dress like outside of the office or school?

One could argue that everyone has a vote in how much access they want to have to your life. We don't have to read the statuses, we don't have to click on the pictures, we don't have to watch the videos, we don't have to read all the Wall-to-Wall comments on the newsfeeds. And, yes, everyone has the choice to defriend friends, but man, how awkward is that? Plus, really. How will I know where the nearest happy hour is. In your neighborhood. Three states away.

Mind you, I'm not completely against social networking - I love being able to keep up with my actual RL friends via these sites, and in fact, I keep pushing more and more of them to join. SNS does have its benefits, I just worry that this Friend-frenzy is going to come at a long-term cost.


eta:
Just a quick eta, to say that I'm betting when my BFF gave me this magnet, she didn't anticipate me using it for this vitriolic post. If she were on FB, my status would say, "Joy apologizes for using Jan's magnet for today's vitriolic magnetpost."

But she's not. So now my status says, "Joy can now confirm
Rear Dress, Row K, Seat 19 for Hamlet in December 08. AND Dress Circle, Row D, Seat 21 for Hamlet in January 09. Decisions, decisions."

Hell. Damn. Yeah.

And Robert? Yes. I'm the same damn dork you knew in high school. :-)

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2 comments:

GoldenGait said...

Congrats on the tickets! You lucky girl, you. :-)

joy said...

Heh. Thanks, much!

I've decided to keep Dec 18 ticket, since it's the talk-back with the cast. *Not* that I know which of the castmembers are staying after. But, even if it's Patrick Stewart - yay!