Thursday, August 16, 2007

What I Did On My Summer Break(Down) Pt. II - I Joined a Cult

Like a rash or pandemic, several weeks ago my e-mail inbox began flooding with messages from both old and current friends and acquaintances, asking me to join the Facebook community. I had received requests before, but for whatever reason, in mid-July it seemed everybody was doing it, so I caved.

When i started, I spent about an hour getting my page set up, adding friends and cute little applets, like a "fun wall" and a "places I've been" map (which seems impressive until compared to those belonging to other friends. Sure, maybe you've been to Copenhagen, but I've been to Hutchinson, Kansas bitches!). I sent out a few messages to people in my network, sent back a few "pokes" to people, joined a few clubs - now I'm a member of a "Chicago is awesome" network and a Patty Griffin fanclub. Yippee.

As I went through it, I thought to myself, "this is kinda boring" but figured I'd get into it. Since there are, like, millions of members I figure it must be pretty fun, right? Daily, I'd get virtual gin & tonics sent to me from friends inviting me to join them for Happy Hour. I've now got craploads of virtual drinks saved up (which I do appreciate friends!) but I stare at the row of beers on my Facebook page and all it does is depress me that I'm not really out getting drunk.

And then there's that whole aspect where now everyone in my circle knows every move I make online. Now, all 28 people in my network get a little notice saying "[Cherry] told his brother to fuck off" or "[Cherry] joined the 'I'm Turned On by Little Superstar' Network on Saturday." Awesome for me.

And do I really want to accept the invitation to join the network of some guy who lived on my floor freshman year in college that I haven't seen since then? First off, how did that freak find me? And secondly, I'm afraid if I reject his offer he'll come after me with one of the many hunting rifles that he'd keep hidden in his closet and show off during our floor progressives.

Who are these people who say they spend hours a day on Facebook? How? And Why? While I'm not complaining that I've got great friends in my Facebook community, who has time to keep all this up? Is there something else about this whole movement that I'm not getting? Something else I should be doing besides poking other people and sending them drinks? Am I missing the point?

As far as I can tell, Facebook is pretty much only good for one thing: reminding me of the birthday's of people in my network (btw, Happy Birthday Kathy!). I'm pretty sure I'm over it. I think I'll stick to my tried-and-true cults, like Blogger and Wang-Wang.


Prashant Sridharan said...

I am 100% addicted to Facebook. I don't know why, but I am.

Jenny! said...

I completely agree...I just joined The Face of Bordome a couple of weeks ago...and I dont get it!I thought it was just me, so I am relieved that I am not the only one! I did join some Zombie thing that I don't get either!

JUSTIN said...

I was "pressured" to join as well and normally my resolve will prevent me from caving but since my brain does not properly function in this heat I joined up. It's such a static form of communication...dunno, I'm convinced the federal government is somehow involved.

Geeky Tai-Tai said...

I joined Facebook even though I'm ancient. I like it because I can catch up with the "kids" who used to "live" at our house and eat our food and sneak beer, and other forms of "entertainment" in our basement. I loved those kids and I miss having them around. It's too quiet here now. We've moved so many times that I'd lost track of a lot of them. So, I guess I'm an addict too.

Dop said...

I'm in the process of removing myself from Friendster, MySpace, and all the other friend-networking sites. A simple Google of my name will lead anyone to my blog. And that's good enough. Besides, I don't think I really like being THAT accessible.

Michael5000 said...

Facebook is, like, fine. I spent minutes on it every week.

Sara said...

Facebook is very addicting. I usually spend a few minutes on it in the morning and afternoon. I check up on my friends and I'm the Mom that everyone Facebooked. *LOL*

blythe said...

as your top friend, i have to say, please don't unfacebook yourself as my entire self worth is tied to this ranking.

NamesAreHardToPick said...

Yeah Facebook has become the ultimate tool for stalkers. I remember it being pretty controversial, but I love how they assume the more the better always.

Alison said...

I feel like a loser. I don't think I've received one request from a friend to join facebook.

All I get are those LinkedIn requests. Booooring.

classyandfancy said...

Didn't you join the Paul Poon cult too? It's been a busy summer!

Airam said...

You need to fix your settings so that it doesn't tell your other friends when you've written on a wall or added someone. I hate that people know my business too. Which defeats the purpose of the whole facebook thing because then they will.

Facebook sucks.

Mr. Shain said...

you totally left out the best part of the story, which was hi-larious for us, tragic for you, making it super-hi-larious. you know what i'm talking about (thanks blythe!).

the best part of facebook for me is getting poked by a bunch of half-naked 18 year old freshman girls who are taking my class. it's all very classy (and often fancy).

The [Cherry] Ride said...

Prashant:: Hhmmm....

Jenny:: Let's start a revolution!

Justin:: That might explain the mysterious breathing on the other end whenever I make a phone call.

Tai-Tai:: OK, I suppose that scenario makes sense.

Dop:: You're on MySpace and Friendster? Maybe you should just join Facebook. It is so much better!

M5K:: Ditto.

Sara:: So your kids have friends with that t-shirt? Sweet.

Blythe:: We'll see.

Names:: Wait, I can use it to stalk other people? maybe I will reconsider giving it up.

Alison:: I'll send you an invite. The water is nice and warm.

Classy:: Indeed I did. What can I say, I love Poon.

Airam:: If I knew how I would!!

Mr. Shain:: When I lost my job, yeah, that's a good time.

Ellen Aim said...

I got too annoyed with MySpace for this exact same reason, so I just couldn't exert the effort to discover Facebook.

More importantly: Patty Griffin, yeah baby!

Laaw-yuhr said...

It is a cult! And then you move on to myspace and find you've joined another.

What's most scary to think about is that guy who lived on your first floor is probably trying to have the *most* facebook friends ever so he has searched for every person he knows or has known. Ever. Shudder. Creepy.

Guilty Secret said...

I used to be hooked on facebook... until I started blogging. Now... no need!

Anonymous said...

I refuse to accept invitations to add phony friends. My real friends are too busy to bother with it.
I get blog bsing but not profile networking just for the sake of it.
Interesting blog.