Thursday, January 29, 2009

Facebook: Like a high school reunion but worse

I've been a casual Facebook user for awhile but my history with it has been spotty. I opened the account to stay connected to some friends I met through blogging but soon after I essentially abandoned the thing, mostly thanks to their position on posting breastfeeding pictures. I had blogs to read anyway, and then I had Twitter - and those in the know can tell you once you've been Twittered you never go back. Or something like that. Once you've been Tweeted? Once you've been Twittled? Anyway - but I picked it (it being Facebook) back up a couple of months ago for reasons I'm still trying to figure out.

It's an interesting medium for communicating for sure, but I'm not sure how I feel about it. At first, as I mentioned, it was for staying close with new friends but then it was also for social networking. When I started using Facebook again I included every day friends in my virtual circle. It was a hoot getting a peak into their brains; viewing pictures of their kids and catching up on harmless gossip. It was also a little awkward posting a rant on my wall forgetting for a moment that everyone could read it and then seeing some of those people the next day at preschool dropoff, but I take the good with the awkward. It's the story of my life.

However, call me naive but I never expected to start accepting friend requests from people from my past - otherwise known as the dreaded former high school classmates I was never very friendly with at the time but who now want to reconnect and compare notes about our new lives.

Doesn't really flow off the tongue, does it? Really deserves a nickname.

Almost twenty *cough* years of separating myself from that awkard girl with the HUGE 80s hair that I was and BAM I'm right back in the 11th grade, shyly taking a peak into a former crush's page, hoping he doesn't see the gawky girl behind the teased bangs. Or these days, hoping he doesn't see the gawky woman behind the under eye circles and muffin top. And the girls from my class? They're even worse. I'm sure they're lovely people now, actually, I'm sure they were lovely people then, but old inadequecies die hard. Ya'know?

My actual 20th high school reunion is next year so I suppose I should get used to this new dynamic by friending a few former classmates myself. It might make the party and all the grab-handing, getting to re-know you's a little less awkward. But then again, I doubt it. I do like a good rant.

36 comments:

Emily said...

I have a love hate relationship with facebook too - its a great way of being able to stay in touch with friends from other places but I often feel weird posting there while I'm more than happy to twitter away whatever's on my mind.

furiousBall said...

i mostly enjoy giving people the wrong impression of myself that isn't me

Mom101 said...

Oh man, I feel you. I had three ex hs boyfriends in one day "friend" me. Trauma. Major.

catnip said...

This is exactly how my facebook experience has been the last couple of weeks. All these high school people invading my space! Gah! I think all of my class has now joined. I'd prefer they go away.

My 20th is next year too. I wonder what kind of excuse I can come up with? It's gotta be good though - since they know everything about me now.

SciFi Dad said...

Facebook is the place you go to find the people who tormented you in high school and learn how miserable their lives are. That's all.

Oh, and to be inundated with crap requests from family members who "friend" you and then want to "bite you" using "the vampire application".

Heather said...

Yeah, I think I hate Facebook more than I like it. This is probably why I only go there once a month or so. It's like a "time of the month" for me. Oh! Look! I'm feeling bitchy. Guess it's time to check out Facebook.

So Not Mom-a-licious said...

I swear I just started a post about this the other day. No I haven't finished it. Too much Facebook farming to do. So, this last week I have gotten so many friend requests from old classmates. Then I started thinking that maybe I wasnted a seperate account for just my blog buds because I really didn't want these people to read my blog in case I felt like calling anyone out. I really forgot what my point was. I guess it was... I know what you mean!

courtney said...

I find it so odd when old classmates that I barely knew back then decide to contact me. Why? I love Facebook, but I've always found that part of it really weird.

Whirlwind said...

Yes! People who I would never talk to, now want to be my friend. Gah! And worse, now my life is mixed up with theirs and with people from school - so yeah, totally understand the rant thing. I actually decded not posting about the freaking "skating rink" my girls school calls a parking lot and how it wouldn't hurt to actually treat the surface BEFORE someone falls and sues the Church. Seriously, WTF????

Anyway - so yeah, since my blog is linked from Facebook and more people know about it (but I don't know if they actually read it) I feel even more censored then when I accidentally let my family know about it. Now I can't write about playgroups, family or school. And possible soccer, because it will get back to the super controlling president....

Dorene said...

My facebook friend list is littered with people I never talked to in high school. Very strange, indeed. I live 5 hours and a few states away from my high school so I never fear running into these people in real life. That makes it a little better.

daysgoby said...

My twentieth IS this year, and absolutely - all these people that I've been gleefully thinking were part of my past?

Popping up like rabbits.

What's really amusing, though, is how they re-write history. I had a boyfriend from eleventh grade contact me the other day - he went off on this huge diatribe on how he misses me and hoping we could reconnect - and all I can think is
Um? You blew me off to date a friend of mine umpty-million years ago. Why do YOU not remember this?

Patois said...

I would never friend people who I wasn't at least friendly with in high school or college, yet I get random friend requests all the time from people whom I never knew. Um, no, thanks. And I think I'll block you while I'm at it.

Fairly Odd Mother said...

Want to know awkward? I've been friended by a guy I had a casual fling with, a one-year "serious" boyfriend, a guy who once poured a beer down the front of my pants and another who I drunkenly told my 'biggest fear' to years ago. I friended them all b/c I'm a sucker for the awkward. I think that someday I may post, "Christina is wondering how many of her friends have seen her boobs" and see what happens.

The best was when I was new to FB and hopped on to say how pissed off I was at my MIL. About two minutes later, I had an email from my SIL saying, "Oh no, what did mom do?" Gulp.

The lines between my blogging life and my IRL are collapsing as I type.

Manic Mommy said...

Total Facebook addict here. I just picked up the unfortunate habit less than six months ago. I do converse and comment regularly with high school frenemies.

I haven't figured it out either. It is a strange dynamic indeed.

Caffeinatrix said...

I have a post about FB brewing, as well. It's just such a weird thing having all those people from your past suddenly all up in your bidness again. I really haven't caught up with anyone from HS but a few from grade school and many from college. I skipped all my HS reunions. My friends were all older or went to different schools so I'm pretty sure I'd be bored silly at a reunion anyway. People always say they can't believe how bad everyone looks...OUCH!

Ella said...

my rants are tempered by the fact that not only are my parents on my FB, but so is my pastor and a whopping majority of my friends from church (my largest social circle) are too. they mostly know i'm sick and twisted so as long as i don't drop any f-bombs, i'm good.

Krissy said...

I agree that's exactly what Facebook is! I was always the girl who was quiet, chubby, glasses, made fun of, the girl that NO one liked. Yet, so many people from my past wanted to add me. For unknown reasons, I guess! :)

Ericka said...

i SO relate to this! i've been on tribe for years, but it was to stay in touch with far flung family. a college friend nagged me into joining fb a couple of months ago and it seems like my entire graduating class is there! very very trippy. i feel so... stalked.

thankfully, i don't allow my various online activities to cross so my blog is still safe from rl.

but i posted something on fb about my tongue piercing and 10 minutes later, my 70 year old aunt emailed a message titled, "wtf??" i'm so traumatized by 1 - my aunt being on facebook and 2 - her knowing what wtf is that i'm still in shock over the whole thing.

so, yeah, right there with you.

Chibi said...

"Facebook is the place you go to find the people who tormented you in high school and learn how miserable their lives are. That's all."

This. Then, you delete them. ;)

I only have 2 or 3 high school friends on my list: there were more when I first joined, but I cull pretty regularly, so anyone who isn't really "talking" to me gets deleted.

High school blew. I skipped my 10 year reunion.

Anonymous said...

See, this is my standard answer to the constant question of "Are you on FB?" It has always seemed to me like a 24x7x365 high school reunion. I didn't GO to my high school reunion (either of them), why would I want to CREATE one?

Christine said...

I don't think I've ever left a comment before. I don't know how I found your blog, but I have thoroughly enjoyed reading it for several years now. I have two boys 3 1/2 and 9 months so I we are on the same page and every time I read your blog, I have ahh moments because the same thing has happened to me. I love Operation Get Happy, because I am going through the exact same thing. I love my children more than life itself and and I don't know why I can't be happy. I don't know if it's the breastfeeding hormones or what. I'm rambling, but I just wanted to say that I love your blog! We probably couldn't be more different in some ways but have so much in common as mothers. I wish I could add you as a friend on facebook but I don't know your name. :) I have a blog, but I don't want to sign in under it for privacy issues. I live in Nashville, TN. How could I find your facebook profile? Here is my email. adcockcd@yahoo.com I hope you don't think I'm some crazy lurker. You just make me laugh and I appreciate the laughs from someone who knows what I am going through.

jerseygirl89 said...

I've just gotten into FB in the last few months, mainly because my 20th reunion is this October.

I won't friend people I don't have at least one nice memory of, though. So I doubt I'll be the most popular girl at the reunion. . .and this time around I'm happy to say. . I just don't care.

Kate said...

This is EXACTLY the same experience I'm having with facebook. People from 20 years ago are coming out of the wordwork everywhere. Do I confirm their friend request? Ignore? Ah, it's too much. But I have gotten into with the people I actually know.

Yarasawat (BatGirl!) said...

I was always able to describe my problems in high school as not being blond. Still, to this day, when I meet blond people (including you) it's hard for me to believe they would want to talk to me. In fact, one of the best compliments I have ever given a recent friend was "You make me feel blond." It took me so long to get her to understand what I meant!

So how could it possibly have been hard for you? If you were blond, then I just don't get the problem!

Isn't it weird how scarred we get and how much it affects our lives from then on? Or is it just me?

kittenpie said...

It's weird, the long-ago people. I mean, what are you supposed to have to say to them? yeah, hi? If I really cared about them, I would have kept in touch, right?

Ruth Dynamite said...

Facebook is very, very weird. But Twitter? I'm not sure about that either!

highclass said...

I definetely see all kind of ways of keeping in touch with old firiends very useful.

mysocialsite said...

Actually, I love Facebook. Not only you keep in touch with old friends, but you also make new ones.

iphoneland said...

I still think that a better way to communicate are cell phones. Or iphones, more recently, since you also have many other applications on them.

teenagers said...

If you ask me, Facebook is a site only for teenagers. They have the time to navigate facebook for hours, when they actually do nothing.

copper canyon grill boca raton said...

I can so relate to this post but Facebook has also been quite helpful for keeping in touch with old friends.

watching from the stadium fence said...

i'm embarrassed to admit it but i'm actually addicted to facebook.

serving trays by lisa said...

What a fun blog this is. Glad I stumbled upon it!

Anonymous said...

AGREED ! ! I haven't been on Facebook now for years for this reason exactly. Someone should come up with a social networking site called, "Move on with Your Life".

Anonymous said...

Today, I went to the beachfront with my kids.

I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said "You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear." She placed the shell to her ear
and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear.

She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is entirely off topic but I had to tell someone!



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