Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Case Against Facebook

What is it about Facebook that incites such ire?

The first Facebook complaint of the day I witnessed was during first-day-of-school chatter. "She's facebooking that she's at the Botanical Gardens!" one woman hissed. "Like I care every time she goes somewhere?"

Two hours later, at Panera Bread, I hear another woman bitching. "First she wanted to be my friend, and I ignored her," the woman sitting behind me said. "But ignoring her isn't enough! Now she invited me to be Linkd In! When will she get the hint?"

There's no medium with Facebook. You're either too demanding. Too public. Too nosy. Or you're obsessed with announcing to the world where you are at all times - physically and emotionally. "Getting tennis lessons!" "Took a sip from my iced soy latte! Too cold!" "Lost all the baby weight!"

My friend Dave -- who is a real friend as well as a Facebook friend -- admitted to this last night. "I was at fireworks with my family and I found myself posting on Facebook. 'Enjoying fireworks with family.' It was crazy," he said. " I was writing about enjoying fireworks instead of actually enjoying fireworks!!"

Initially, the Facebook whirlwind hit me like it did everyone else. Albeit, I was a little confused by the attention and the requests for friends. I went to Andy who already had over 300 friends.

"I wasn't friends with this person in high school," I said to Andy. "Why do they want to be my friend now?"

"They don't want to be your friend," he said. "Facebook friend is different from a friend friend. Facebook friend is like a fake friend. They don't want to get to know you. They just want to acknowledge you then mosey on their way."

Then I friended Andy. And it took him two weeks to be my friend.

Then I invited him to be my husband. And he didn't respond.

"Why won't you be my husband on Facebook?" I said, following him around the house.

"Facebook world is a different kind of world, Hayley..." he said.

"Sounds like you're avoiding me."

"Do I have to be committed to you in the virtual world and inside our house? Are you going to post a 'honey-do' list for me on Facebook? Are you going to ask me to mow the lawn on Facebook?"

So, I thought, if my husband could ignore me. I could ignore some people.

One woman was a friend of Andy's. Let's call her Jane. He took me to her wedding when we first met, and then we never spoke to her again. Just fell out of touch, I guess. I was taken off guard when she first friended me. I honestly didn't remember her name and thought the invite was a mistake. Until Andy mentioned it.

"Are you ignoring Jane? I got an email from her saying you ignored her on Facebook."

"Oh, Jane! I didn't realize it was her. And, anyway, I don't even know her."

"I told her you're having Facebook issues. That you had some trepidation about the Facebook."

"While we're on the Facebook topic..."

"Uh, huh."

"Did you accept my invitation to be my husband?"

[He walks away laughing]

My biggest problem, outside of my real life husband not wanting to be my Facebook husband, are the Facebook braggers. Specifically, one woman who cannot stop talking about her house in the Hamptons, because oh Lord, if I have to hear one more time how a deer is shitting on her tennis court or how her husband is considering buying a Ferrari I will shoot myself. This was not a woman I wanted to be Facebook friends with or friends with in real life. But here I was - hearing details about her day.

Why not ignore her, you ask? Because Facebook Bragger friended me twice! The first time, I ignored her. And she persisted! The second time, I asked Andy what I should do.

"Okay. Should I email her something honest? Like, should I say, 'We're not friends in real life. You were always mean to me. And since there's no place for a Facebook frenemy, lets not be pretend friends on Facebook.'"

"No," Andy said. "That's terrible Facebook etiquette."

"And not marrying your wife on Facebook? Is that good Facebook etiquette?"

"My worlds are colliding!" he screams.

"Oh, because there's a Facebook Andy, and a husband Andy?"

"An Andy divided against himself cannot stand!"

So I accepted Facebook Bragger's friendship. Because, what I've learned, it's okay to be fake friends on Facebook and detest the person in real life. It's also okay to love your wife in real life, and pretend she doesn't exist on Facebook.

And Andy?

He's finally my Facebook husband.


  1. lol. That's funny that he resisted so much! My husband was on Facebook before me and had told me to sign up so that he could have a Facebook wife. When I finally did sign up, he was quick to add me.

    What I find funny is his 400 friend list vs my 140 friend list. Does he really have that many more friends than me? But it doesn't seem like it in real life....

  2. Hi! I think it's hilarious that your husband had you join so you could be his facebook wife! Too cute.

  3. So funny, Hayley! My husband will never-ever join Facebook - so I've no worries. Just watch: that will probably come back to bite me...

  4. thank you karin! and i'm with your husband... i probably shouldn't have joined it either. but i do have to say, i love seeing pictures of people's kids.


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