Sunday, July 27, 2008

facebook etiquette.

Here's the thing that essentially everyone in the world knows: Facebook isn't just for your younger sibling in college nor is it not for your mother anymore. Facebook has become this massive social networking giant in the world that really has EVERYONE in the world on it. Literally, I've seen people whose parents are on FB, to which I say, really? Like, do you really really want your parents to see you tagged in drunken photos and reading a message on your wall about how you were a drunken slut? And not just people. I have friends who have created FB pages for their pets.

I could essentially rant for hours about the weirdness that is Facebook. But that will probably be Facebook rant part 2. The first question is, because everyone and their mother is on Facebook, how do you go about accepting and rejecting friend requests?

No matter how impersonal you might try and make your page - the long story short is that someone created a fanastically brilliant stalking tool when they invented FB. I mean, even if you didn't have ANY interest at all in stalking, you inadvertently stalk all your friends just by signing in. It's essentially the devil in friendship clothing. If you have any inclination to find out what is going on in people's and even eventually strangers lives - you will spend your lifetime on Facebook.

So even if you have been good and kept your homepage to a skeletal version, before long someone is going to tag you in a photo that all of your 'friends' can see and eventually they can even then scroll through your friends photos so that they can see how the entire evening went or how your trip was. When you really stop and think about it - it's pretty scary. I choose not to think about it too long. I'm not usually one for doing anything online at all. From Friendster in the good 'ole days to MySpace. I have Killer as my witness that she had to badger me into joining - and the only reason I did was so that I could play Scrabble online with her and Smiles during the day. What else was there to do all day at my old job? I have to say that I have weaned off the FB - when I first joined it was a crack that I just couldn't kick. Suddenly I found all my friends from high school who I could never find through googling - and now I could see how they looked now, what they might have been up to recently from their photo albums. It was AWESOME. I have since weaned off - but I have to admit in the past two weeks to getting right back into the Facebook wagon. I have no idea what brought me back in.

I digress.

The Facebook etiquette I'm most concerned about is the accepting friend requests. Clearly, when you see a person and they've requested you and you really have no idea who they are - then fuck em. I either ignore or reject the friend request. But then what about the peripheral friends - the ones that you slightly remember knowing from way back in your past life. Do you say yes just to say yes? Do I think that there isn't really anything too incriminating about my photos that I might as well say yes despite the fact that I might not be able to pick them out of a line-up even with pictures? I have to admit that I have for the most part. If I see that they're friends with a group of my friends and I can slightly remember them, I'll accept. I just feel awful if I don't.

The questions I've been struggling with lately - and have been getting mixed advice about - is whether to accept 'work' requests. I mean, clearly there is a difference between work friends and then the people that you meet professionally. Essentially I work with PR reps now and journalists - and these are people that you chit-chat/schmooze with - and essentially make them believe that you're their best friend. Unfortunately - sometimes you can do your job too well. There's that fine line of bullshit where people will say "Oh, I'll totally add you as a friend on Facebook!" and you say, "Totally! Yes! We'll be Facebook friends! It'll be awesome!" But in the beginning is the mutual understanding that they won't request you and you won't request them. Though I didn't understand that at first and was seriously concerned about them asking me to be their friend and thinking just how many incriminating photos I can really have on Facebook and just how many entries on my wall might have people calling be a bitch or twat or slore. Essentially things that you wouldn't want for people that you are trying to impress and take you seriously should be seeing.

Luckily this dilemma wasn't really popping up as a dilemma - and I started to realize that as disgenuine as I was being - so were they. Until recently. The first was a sweet PR girl who was clearly still young and not jaded and she added me. I went back and forth - consulting my British counterpart (mostly because she's awesome and I stalk her because I still have a wicked friend/girl crush on her) and she essentially said: "No. Don't add them. Ignore it." Which? I felt like I could have done had I not said, go ahead and add me. If they had on their own volition just decided to add me, I would have felt better saying no. Plus? I'm a total soft touch and would feel horrible about essentially rejecting this girl. Odd considering I can be a raging bitch sometimes. Anyway. I decided to add her - hoping that maybe it would be an add without anything. Alas that wasn't the case. She wrote on my wall immediately - but I figured. How bad could it be? I don't have too much that would incriminate me. Unless the person went looking in all my albums - and I was hoping she just wouldn't have the time. Then of course started the requests from journos that I liked - but it is that fine line of you're both on opposite ends of the spectrum. You're PRing them and catering to their every whim - whilst being nice to them. It's a hard thing to do. British counterpart recently said: "You're much too nice to these journos - making them think you're actually their friend." To which I was said "Well of course. I'm nothing if not charming." She laughed. Yet I accepted another request from a journo I got this morning.

So far I've accepted most of the requests - but my concern is for the ones I don't actually like that much and wouldn't really want seeing my pictures or my status updates or just more information about me. I'm sure I can change the privacy on my account, but I don't think you can change it for just one person and I would rather not spend hours changing the settings on each person on my friend list. The question is really just: how can I not accept a friend request and not come off as a douche - or do I always have to accept friend requests and take down everything that might even be deemed personal? Which? I mean my true purpose still to FB is to play scrabble - so I guess it shouldn't be too too horrible.

Dilemma, dilemma, dilemma.

Which? I realize isn't a life changing dilemma in any way. But it's Sunday assholes. No one wants to have a horrible dilemma the day before they go back to work.

Music Suggestion for Sunday: Neil Halstead.
He's fucking brilliant. He used to be part of Mojave 3 - another brilliant band. Their song "Bluebird of Happiness" is a beautiful song that I discovered from "The O.C." (Shut it!) and made me fall in love with them. Neil's voice though is wonderfully evocative and his quiet, relaxed music is perfect for a calm Sunday in the Summer.

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