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Thursday, July 22, 2010

a love/hate relationship

I've been hanging out on facebook a bit lately, ever since some bright spark discovered that it's 20 years since we all left school.  So old school friends are popping up everywhere.  So are the old school enemies, suddenly wanting to "friend" me.  Also, the old school "I really don't remember you - are you sure we went to school together?" people.

I'm not sure how I feel about it.  Some of these girls (it was an all-girls school) were quite mean to me, or quite mean to my friends.  One girl in particular was very funny.  Side-splittingly funny.  But always at someone's expense.  And now, twenty years later, I don't find it so funny.  But she's my fb friend. 

I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place.  I don't want to offend anyone by ignoring friendship requests.  But it does seem hypocritical to "friend" people that I barely remember, and didn't necessarily like anyway. 

I'm looking forward to our 20 year reunion, but really only so that the girls I'm still friends with (very close friends, in most cases) can all be in the same place at the same time.  It's been too long since that happened.

Don't get me wrong, fb has put me back in touch with two people that I'd completely lost touch with - one from school and one from piano lessons (actually, not to split hairs, but they're both from piano lessons).  I'm delighted that these friends have come back into my life, and very grateful for the chance to reconnect with them.  But I can't reconnect with everyone.  For one thing, I don't have time.  Friendship is more than "liking" someone's status update. 

I love the Internet.  I've made many Internet friends, and I treasure these friendships.  I have an online mother's group, and although we're all a bit slack these days about checking our fb page, I read their blogs, those who have them, including my buddy The Missus.  (You may remember her from Good News/Bad News - hey Missus, we need to get that going again!)  I'm also part of an online book club.  It's my sanity-saver, my reminder that I have a brain, and a group of real friends.  And I've made some lovely friends through blogging, too.  So I'm in no way suspicious of on-line friendships.  But fb just isn't the same.  I'm getting tired of the voyeurism, peeking into the lives of people I have, otherwise, nothing to do with.  I'm tired of wondering who will read my updates, and how they might respond.

I'm not going cold turkey on fb.  Not just yet, anyway.  It's a handy way to touch base with people I really care about, and a handy place to make plans and share news.  But I am going to stop commenting on updates of people that I barely know.  I'm not going to check out their photos, just to see if they've put on weight since school, or how cute their kids are (gorgeous, always!). 

I'm going to concentrate on my real (whether IRL real or Internet real) friends.  You know who you are :-).


  1. I feel the same way but I could never stay away from my FB page. Too addicted. Ha ha. But I don't befriend people if I don't remember them or know them as that freaks me out. But it is such a great way to keep in touch with everyone else.

  2. I have a similar problem, but I just decided that I wouldn't accept requests if I never liked or barely remember someone. I mean, if I don't even like them in the first place, who cares if it offends them? (Though this is easier said than done!)

  3. I have that same issue. I should probably "clean house" on my friends list. Honestly I just don't remember half the people I'm friends with on FB.

  4. We SHOULD start GN/BN up again. I'm kinda slacking in general with blogging (and posting to fb) but I'm reading everything. It's like I'm a lurker. :) I'll de-lurk soon, promise.