Facebook is funny. Over there on the right side there’s a button that says, “Find Your Friends.” Do I push this to find brand new friends or the old friends that I’ve lost track of over the years?
When you’re new on Facebook everybody wants to be your friend. There are people whose only objective is to collect as many friends as possible and they’ll all want to be your friend. I finally decided that nearly 3000 friends was unmanageable and dropped all but about 70. This is fun and novel, for a little while until you start asking yourself, do I really need to be friends with 16 year olds in Italy. I started thinking about people I respected looking at my friends and decided that if I’d be uncomfortable explaining any of them, they were gone. I will admit that saying happy new year in the 9 languages my friends spoke via the wonders of Google Translate was briefly amusing.
I found “old” friends and you know what, some people are better left unfound. People grow and change, amazingly they are NOT the same people they were…25 years ago in high school. They’ve been through stuff too and some of it…well it makes them not so fun or interesting as you remember them being. Back in the old days you lost track of someone and they were forever preserved in you heart, frozen exactly as they were.
Sometimes you find them and think, “what an idiot.” Then there’s the awkward, trying to hide from them on Facebook until you “accidentally” delete them and hope they either don’t notice or return the favor. Maybe you’re happy and they think you’ve become a moron because you don’t subscribe to this or that political view or conspiracy theory. ” What do you mean you don’t watch/listen to…?” Stranger still are the people you honestly do not remember at all, but they remember you plenty well and resurrect all your juvenile antics you’ve worked so hard to hide from.
Some old friends you’d like to restart with, it’s just hard to reconnect with, you’ve grown so far apart. One of my best friends from high school has had a rough life. I don’t know if he’s done much with it so far, or even tried to for that matter, but…I wish you could help extricate people from their lives sometimes, but you can’t, that’s why its called their life. I suppose it’s just their version of normal.
Spacebook…I call it that because anyone who has had an account for any length of time has woke up on a Saturday with a list of things to do, decided to check their Spacebook account, then looked up and realized the sun was setting and they still hadn’t had breakfast yet, you space out on Facebook.
I’ve stopped looking for old friends on Spacebook, other than talk about our lives back then, what would we have to talk about unless by some fluke we agreed ideologically, politically or religiously? Catching up is what class reunions are for. Why go if you talk to them daily or weekly online? So you can eat some really bad chicken in a town that you only ever aspired to get as far away from as possible?
There is a spot in the water about 120 miles SSW of Johannesburg South Africa that I aspire to go to because it is as far away from the town I grew up in as you can get and still stay on the Earth. If I can ever fly in space over this spot, even better because I’ll be another 120 miles or so further away! I have only and very recently accepted the fact that Sylmar California is in reality my home town, the place I grew up. I feel no special affinity for the place other than the fact that my mother and brother are still trapped there. I was elated a few years ago when my Mom mentioned that she might sell the house and move to Orlando to be near her sister.
Ah…Spacebook. On the plus side, I do get to keep tabs on my sisters lives, at least the ones that have not aligned themselves with my Father, The Prince of Self Centeredness, that individual upon whose axis all other objects in the known universe revolve. I understand, there will be money to inherit and she wants to be on the right side of the fence when that day comes. I’ll happily take my $1 and donate it to something he doesn’t believe in, like church!
A negative… how about your friends kids who go off to college and forget all the people back home that can still see their page. It’s like an exhibitionist show sometimes. What are they thinking….college IS supposed to be about learning to think…right? I still cringe at a comment I saw a friends daughter make, “I wouldn’t ever have an abortion…unless I found out the baby was gay.” (Eyes roll upwards as you hold you breath momentarily and sigh).
Another plus, occasionally, no…very occasionally you actually rediscover someone you are genuinely glad to find and can actually resume a relationship with, for example my old work buddy Juan. I was practically ecstatic when I got his first message, We’ve found and lost track several times over the years but Juan, he’s one of those people you can miss for 5 years, then walk up and hug like a blood relative, and we’re both guys so it’s not typical.
I was also excited to discover that two of The Prince of Self Centeredness sisters, my Aunts Kathy and Marianne were on Spacebook after losing track of them 15 years ago. Suddenly I had all these cousins that were married and had kids, people I remembered being little girls.
Other friends will suddenly appear with a page and just as quickly disappear because they’ve given up on Spacebook before really getting the grasp of it. John and Fred, two people whose lives I’d love to be a part of online, pages there, people not. Yes it takes time, yes there is a learning curve and YES it is annoying when they change the page layout just as you’ve started to get the old changes figured out.
Some people will disappoint you after the initial excitement I’ve had friends that are still too much the same as high school. Hello, did we miss the grow up bus? No I don’t listen to all that anymore, yes it sounds familiar and brings back memories, but I can’t relate to it anymore. In hindsight high school wasn’t that great after all. I’m more of a classical music kind of guy now, you know Bach…Debussy, and Copeland…you’d know him as the guy who wrote the music for the beef commercials. No I don’t watch reality TV, I have no clue who is on Jersey Shore, no Desperate Housewives for me, no I don’t listen to music about high school angst or glee clubs. I’m too busy with Frontline, Nova, Nature, going to the museum, hanging out with my family, church and of course…Spacebook.
I’m even evolving here, no more Farmville, Fishville, Mafia Wars, Speed Racing, Street Racing, the list goes on and on. My one and only game that I intentionally only play part time is Starfleet Commander, and even then I’ve been in diplomatic mode for months because I have some long term fantasy of finally building a fleet of the Death Star looking ships and finally bringing a little peace to my corner of the universe. Of course then, I could quit it tomorrow no problem because even that takes too much time from the truly important things in life, like writing.
Has this made any sense, have I rambled too much. Spacebook bad…no good…no…hmm…maybe Spacebook is really what you and those you connect to on it make of it. No less, no more.