Voted Most Popular Virtual Friend

December 24, 2008 at 10:10 am Leave a comment

When I was a kid I didn’t have many friends for a multitude of reasons-from having zero sports skills, which forced the teacher in my fifth grade class to assign me to a groaning softball team, to being so manic the school shrink wanted my mom to sign me up for a trial of an experimental drug for what was then called “Hyperkinetic Reaction,” to having the kind of family that was dysfunctional before the term existed, to the sentence invoked by my parents and punishable by shunning, for the crime of being Jewish in a non-Jewish neighborhood.

Which explains why I not only say “yes” to every friend request on Facebook, but go trolling for friends as if my survival depends on the days’ catch.

Facebook is presumably a more collegial version of Linked In or Plaxo, (that last which I mistook as a networking site for fellow hypochondriacs and a less annoying version of Twitter, which sounds like something you want to swat until it lies flat and lifeless on your kitchen counter.

But Facebook is as old fashioned as fruitcake and just as useless. Except to me and hundreds of thousands of other attention-starved childhood losers who really do want to know that right now Jim is changing his son’s diaper, or Kimberly is stranded at JFK because of an ice storm.

I started with friends-real friends-people I know and would actually pick up the phone to talk to. Then I moved on to acquaintances-those I met once or twice somewhere at some convention or something. Then things really began to deteriorate. I would not only accept anyone who was thrown my way by friends of friends, but I actively searched for people who I may have heard of, or who were friends of friends of friends-or even complete strangers who had nice pictures and decent-sounding names.

Once I broke my Facebook cherry, I quickly deteriorated into slutdom. Someone asked-no matter how dorky or fat or dumb or hillbilly- and I confirmed them.

One day, it was there. A friend request from Tom Petty. Not Tom L. Petty from Chattanooga who works for the Tennessee Valley Authority, but the Tom Petty. I thought he really wanted to be friends with me because he read my profile and thought I was cool. Tom Petty picked me for his softball team! My shaking hand grabbed the mouse and left-clicked “confirm”. “Dave-I’m friends with Tom Petty!” I screamed into the next room.

“God, are you naive,” he said. “Tom didn’t ask you. His 17-year-old web nerd did.”

Wow. What a heartsink. But not enough to keep confirming total strangers and pathetically searching for “friends.”

One day, this hyperkinetic Jew with no spacial acuity, no hand-eye coordination, congenital clumsiness, and positional dyslexia (a fancy term for being too dumb to figure out left from right,) will be the first one picked for the intrepid Facebook team. Put me in, social networking coach, I’m ready to play, today.

Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

I Feel Like Crap Today, Thanks for Asking! This Sucks Don’t Change the Channel

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Roberta Gale

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