Thank You For Being a Real Imaginary Friend

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 A couple of weeks ago I was sent a Facebook friend request from a girl I went to high school with. She was a year younger than me. She was also pretty, athletic and popular. I was none of those. Obviously, we weren’t friends then. My sister who gave me a dressing down about not going to my 25th Class Reunion (sweet fuck, I’m old), said people change and I should be more open to reconnecting with people. It’s not like she can make fun of my buck teeth or flat chest anymore. She said that while we weren’t BFFs then, there’s no harm in just being FBFs now.

She had a point.

With that in mind I accepted this person’s request and opened the floodgates of all those school (a.k.a. purgatory) memories, not to mention the possibility I would now be on the radar of some people I hadn’t thought of, much less seen, in the past two decades.

Today I saw one of her posts on my feed. She’s a regular poster, not like some who seek out friends for the numbers and then never post, so I knew she was on FB frequently. Not as frequently as myself, but routinely. She wrote about whoknowswhat and I realized that even though I had accepted her request two weeks ago and we’re both on FB, that neither of us had written on each others’ walls.

In that moment, I went ahead and blocked her.

Facebook Friends is a misnomer. We were Facebook Stats; Facebook Quotas, but we were not Facebook Friends. We never would be. I like my tight-knit group of friends that I keep easily under 200. Most I have forgotten who their blogging identity belongs to as it doesn’t matter because I see real people with either very similar or very different thoughts than me and that’s pretty sweet. We don’t seem to let our polar views on politics or raising children or fashion take a front seat to having a connection in spirit. It’s a connection made out of a heady mix of grief and joy; one impossible to make when one is only 15, 16, or 17 years old. I’ve allowed a handful of other IRL people as FBFs, but it’s on a trial basis. If they’re lucky, I’ll keep them around and let them peek into my life once in a while and hobnobbed with the meaningful people I’ve had as FBFs.

As it was in Blogging, so shall it be on Facebook.

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14 thoughts on “Thank You For Being a Real Imaginary Friend”

  1. Between the two of us, Mr Oro and I have less than 100 friends on fb. What’s interesting is seeing comments from your friends on FB and then wondering if I read their blogs…I did recognize one bloggy pal who rarely posts on her blog any more, and that was way cool.

  2. I’m with you. I don’t want hundreds and hundred of Facebook “friends.” I have enough trouble remembering people as it is. Don’t need to wonder where the hell I’m supposed to remember a person from every time they feel they need to post about a run to Target.

    Last year I was excited to get a friend request from an old high school boyfriend. No! I was not looking for a hook-up! But thought it’d be nice to know what he was up to. Quickly realized that he’s now a realitor and just fishing for business.

  3. I just went ahead and deleted a whole family of people from high school when I remembered that I didn’t like them then and they haven’t ever posted a single thing to me, while I’ve posted several things to them. I suspect the purging isn’t even close to complete. I’m getting rid of people I didn’t like then who haven’t yet changed. Some of them have changed and are very, very nice people now, so I’ll keep them.

    But I’m not quite so selective, since several of the “friends” that I have on there are people I know through Ethiopian adoption but have never actually met. Bloggers are the same thing. And since I don’t post anything I wouldn’t care about anyone knowing about me, I don’t mind “friending” people I don’t necessarily know that well.

  4. I just cleaned out a bunch of my facebook high school “friends”, I decided that if I wasn’t friends with you in high school and all you post on facebook is seashells or game crap, then we would still not be friends even if we lived in the same town still. Funny thing was after cleaning that out my friend list is now almost all bloggers who have trusted me with their real names and some I even have addresses for. 😉 I did keep my crazy sister-in-law though for the entertainment factor.

  5. I am majorly torn about facebook. I have had so many people I barely knew in high school, or honestly didn’t like, request to be my friend and I feel so bad I just accept them in that moment. Then I never speak to them and also end up blocking them. Slowly but surely I’m losing more than I’m gaining and I think that’s okay. I would much rather be “actual friends” with someone than just a stat.

  6. I miss FB because of you and a select FEW other people…mostly, I’m just glad to be off of there and not have to deal with the BS. I have guilt over de-friending people but I just didn’t want to be “FBF” who never spoke or really gave a shit…they didn’t care in school and guess what – they still don’t. And don’t get me started on my family. My Mother is the final straw that made me get off FB…I love/hate the internet.

  7. I really fought the facebook thing for some time – I couldn’t see being FBF with people that I had nothing to do with in high school. It just made no sense to me. I’ve never been to any of our reunions, and the people that I wanted to stay in contact with, I did. With that said, I’m glad I let my guard down and accepted requests from people I went to HS with. With the exception of 1 or 2 people, they all have turned out ok and dropped their attitudes and are now people I would love to see at the next reunion. Go figure. I have a very tight group of friends that I went to school with and am still in contact with on a daily basis, and WOW, has FB made it easier to do so! It is funny to me now to watch my husband try interact with these people. Several of my closest friends are male and Michael was VERY leery (jealous) at first but he’s now completely ok with it and is quite tight with them as well. So, for me – facebook has been a very good thing … but man, I fought it big time. Of my 200ish FB friends, I see about 50 of them on a regular basis. The rest are people that have come into my life for one reason or the other and I love knowing about their lives. I do periodically weed my friend list, but I haven’t had to do so in several months.

  8. I send requests to people from high school…I wasn’t popular or unpopular. I just flew under the radar. So, I have no bad memories. I find it entertaining to see what people are up too. Actually, one of the girls from my high school started up a political discussion group, which is quite interesting. I’m moderate to liberal, and some people in my friends group are extremely conservative. The ones with whom I went to high school are people that can have an intellectual discussion. Some of my other IRL friends are just plain wacky, and it makes me crazy because I know there’s no arguing with them.

    Anyway, I rarely stalk people, but I will send friend requests if the FB suggestions are names I recognize. I’ve also accepted some siblings, children, and spouses (for the sake of my Mafia, of course!). I’m not much for status updates, though. I don’t figure that anyone cares that I’m bored again. 🙂

  9. Oh wow, I am formulating a post about facebook a well. More specifically, high school acquaintancs that are now facebook ‘friends’.
    I think what bothers me the most I just what you described: friending someone and then never hearing from them again. No comments, no status update even, hell sometimes no picture. It’s kinda creepy.

    I’m glad to be part of your facebook world as well as your blog world. So, thanks fornletting me in.

  10. ahhhh I had a old friend friend me on facebook too….We are the same exact age by the way, go Class of 85. He wound up being an extreme conservative, I am a liberal. He started fights with everyone who agreed with me. I had to block him eventually

    I also unfriended my sister who is way too nosy, so there!

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