Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Excuses Excuses

I've been terribly negligent of my blog. The blog that helped me write my way to peace-of-mind after a difficult break-up, the blog that provided me with an outlet for griping and ruminating, stroked my ego through comments from readers (a very important group, as people I've mostly never met go), and has actually allowed me to improve my writing and sense of humor.

So what do I do? I go and run off with another, Facebook. It's an addiction I tell you. Getting out of bed at three in the morning to see if anyone has written on your wall or commented on the Pretenders video you posted is not healthy behavior. It feeds too heavily into the desire to be accepted, and that desperate guy who strove to fit in at high school (actually blowing the majority of his Christmas money on clothes from Chess King--anyone remember that store? Think 80's neo-gangster), is reborn as he strives to collect "friends" from a pool of people who he more-than-likely just sat next to in one class.

Yes, I'm ranting. I knew I was too old for this stuff, but I tried it anyway, and now I've become cyber-space's version of that old creepy guy that sits at the end of the bar at the club and tries to act hip. A cyber lounge-lizard. Lindsay--the song was prophetic I tell you.

Another reason Facebook creates anxiety is that unless you only allow your aunt Gladys to view it, many people can get an idea of the "real" you by checking out your profile. That means if you write something like "I'd rather be listening to Bob Marley and smoking ganja right now" your minister and probation-officer might read it at the same time. Sure it's the same with blogs, but with blogs you might have to wade through paragraphs about how your porch swing is listing to the left before you ever get to the good stuff. Also, people in this day-and-age are more than ready to jump to any conclusion that agrees with their Access Hollywood frame-of-mind, so a brief salutation on Facebook might be regarded as a sign of a torrid affair that's left eight or nine love-children stashed around the country.

Facebook has this feature where you can state what you are doing at that very moment. When you do, all of your friends can get a glimpse at what a cool, smart, interesting life you lead. You rarely read things like "Ian is having a prostate exam," or "Ian just found himself in a compromising position with a Brazilian transvestite"(although admittedly,that would be interesting). Since college students and grads are the primary users, these statements usually read something like this: "Edgar is having dinner at The Trellis and then going to the Bergman film festival," or "Nasuru just based-jumped and is enjoying hummus."

Not to knock it you understand, but I just don't want to get totally immersed because I've never been one for moderation. Many people use Facebook like they drink. Some folks (I stand accused) don't know when to leave the party until they start talking about old times in Modern Art Class with a guy they only actually said two sentences to. Others are very conservative, they ask how the newborn is and give gardening tips. Others bound about checking on everyone's status like a host refilling glasses and picking up used napkins. And all the while you are trying to add more friends to your profile, pump your numbers, be the guy with the most little pictures of people on your laptop. It's like Fantasy Football. It's Fantasy Friendship.

The wall is where I get into the most trouble. The wall is this message board that everyone gets where you can leave messages like "yo, what up dude," (I know that's outdated language but I'm dealing with a generation-gap here). This is where the cyber-lizard kicks in full force. I'll leave messages like, "What up buddy, when we gonna get tgthr and prtay yo." Michael Scott's got nothing on me. I don't know why I try this stuff, it's kind of like gambling, you think you'll win the pot somehow but you end up going back to Iowa having lost the farm.

Yes I know, it's a great networking tool, this is true. Whenever I need the guy who showed up drunk to Political Science class to write a reference letter for me I'll be in luck. I feel like I've been behaving like a freshman since I've signed on. Committing faux-pas, or should they be face-pas, and learning as I go. I'm thinking of trying to go the wine-and-cheese route from now on, networking with connoisseurs, or at least people who know how to spell connoisseur (I don't, spell-check saves the day again). The shout-out isn't me, it wasn't me when I was twenty, so why should it be now?

So back to my blog. The Facebook hangover is almost over. I hope I can make up for lost time. Maybe I should change the blog's name to "Tales from the Doghouse."

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Okay, I have no clue about what facebook actually is, but I loved reading this post--it's hilarious. Have you put anything on it about your Elvis Belt-Buckle? linser

IM said...

linser, facebook is this friends networking site, kind of like myspace. I want to deactivate my account but there are some people on it I still want to keep up with. I think it's just a trend--like Chess King.

Emily Barton said...

You have just outlined exactly why I avoid Facebook like the plague(despite the fact I've had numerous people invite me to join since setting up an account some time ago,after getting my first invitation, that at this point I don't even know how to access). Blogging is bad enough for this addictive personality. I recently read somewhere that I'm part of the "email generation" as opposed to the "text generation." I guess I'm also, hard as it is to believe, part of the "blog generation" as opposed to the "facebook generation."

P.S. Sorry to have missed you in New York, but yes, we were uptown while you were downtown (Linser knows how that goes).

Danny said...

Come back from the Dark Side! I'll take blogging any day over the bizarre Facebook culture. I only joined Facebook to monitor my daughter's activities on there but now I rarely do that because I just don't get it. I think I'm too old, even though my 50-year-old sister is a slave to Facebook and spends hours trying to get more "friends." Calling those Facebook contacts "friends" was a stroke of marketing genius.

Richard said...

You'll get un-addicted soon enough. Facebook has really become a depressing outlet for me. No one writes on my wall, no one makes an effort to contact me, and the only reason I have to go on it anymore is to see what is going on in other people's lives, which ultimately is just depressing and pathetic.

Charlotte said...

I'm a Facebook fan, but really only for the Scrabble. Otherwise, it's a good way to keep up-to-date with my friends' birthdays.

Anytime you want to play Scrabble, you just let me know ...

IM said...

Danny, help, I feel like the little girl in Poltergeist. I'm a facebook slave--I just checked my profile not five minutes ago. Must be strong!

Yep Richard, I'm there too. All this banter going back and forth from the "popular kids" and I haven't had a comment on my wall in days. This should not matter to me, I'm an adult. Shame on Facebook!

Charlotte, scrabble you say? Online? Hmmmm...well maybe it's not all bad on Facebook. And yes, the birthday feature is handy. Maybe I'll find peace with Facebook one day. I was kind of obsessive about blogging when I started that so...

Froshty said...

Your nieces are both heavily involved with Facebook and MySpace. Anna's already added you to her FaceBook page. Even though I don't have either a FaceBook or MySpace page, I do confess to being an addict of the ESPN Men's College Basketball Message Board, which has lead to my creating a profile with a comment wall and a spot for a blog. I'm so addicted to that board that sometimes I forget that I need to do things like work or clean my house--and read my brother's and sister's blogs.

IM said...

Hey Archie, I had to fight the urge with many of these that I hadn't read to say "loved the movie."