Friday, September 4, 2009

The Not-As-Good Book

Facebook is getting old. Despite its efforts to stay hip, relevant, and phresh, the F-book is approaching Alta Vista-levels of internet banality. Nobody gets excited about it anymore, its just part of the internet – as much as checking e-mail, googling, and steamy midget-on-horse action. Nevertheless, it remains part of most of our internet rounds, along with checking e-mail, googling, and steamy midget-on-horse acti…er, ebay.

The Rise and Fall of the Book

Between 2003-05 is when most people joined The ‘Book, or when most colleges signed on. (Fordham joined in Fall ’04) Easy connections were made between actual friends that made MySpace look accurately irrelevant by comparison. For those of us already in college, it made all too much sense. You were being friended by several actual friends, and yes, some acquaintances thrown in, but even they you knew at least pretty well.

Time passed…

The strong initial influx of friend requests had given way to long quiet periods of being content with your 83 friends. That felt like a good number. Anything larger would just be ridiculous, right? This all changed with Stephen Waltman – the first questionable friend request you received. Sure, you guys went to the same middle school, but barely spoke to one another, if ever. Hey, what the hell, you accept the request. 84’s still a decent number.

Little did you know however that once this snowball got rolling, there was little that could stop it from becoming a large, cumbersome Pluto-sized orb of destruction. Yeah, that’s a sentence. More childhood acquaintances gained access to The Book, and requested your friendship, an action they never did in real life. However, now that they can see your favorite books, it’s a whole new ballgame. Still, whatever, you’re sitting at a cool 135 friends. You never thought you’d get into triple digits, but here we are.

More time passed…

Suddenly, now high schools have been given access to the Book. You’re getting friend requests from kids who were freshmen when you were a senior in high school. The number jumps to 205. This is getting nutty. You didn’t think you knew this many people, let along people with computers. Nevertheless, you don’t question it, and figure that’s just the way the internet wind’s a-blowin’. Can’t stop change from a-comin’.

The next day…

Everyone has access to the Book. You’re getting friend requests from pretty much anyone who has the internet. Standards rapidly drop for what constitutes Facebook Friendship. Seemingly, all it now takes for someone to feel entitled to your facebook friendship is knowing how to sort-of spell your name. The number is now at 450 and climbing…

The only friend requests you find yourself now receiving are…

Friends who just got Facebook – This is usually accompanied by a status message that claims “I finally gave in”, followed by ample wall postings stating “I knew you’d give in!” and “bout frikin time!” These people rarely show up on your news feed. Their hearts are simply not in it.

Old members of your graduating class you’ve never spoken to. Never the hot, popular ones though. You never get a friend request and go “Hey now, Brenda Lipski, I wonder if she’s single?” It’s always “Uh…it’s Brenda Lipski, I wonder if she went through with that pregnancy.”

People you met at a party last week - You rarely get much use out of this one. If you’re a girl, this is usually a guy taking an extremely passive approach to hitting on you.

Extended Relatives - Who taught Grandma how to use The Book? Cousin Ray, I’m looking in your direction. This one requires some profile and privacy setting adjustments.

Immediate Relatives - Your father wants to reconnect with some old college friends. And if you’re lucky, he’ll constantly comment on your status.

Friend’s Dogs – This isn’t cute or funny. Okay, it’s sort of cute.

People You Don’t Know – These are the people who take the term “social network” to the extreme. Profile picture is usually self-taken, either in a mirror or freehand.

Okay, I don’t feel like writing this anymore.

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