Thursday, March 20, 2008

MySpaces and Faces


Would someone, anyone please tell me why it is necessary for me to be "on" Facebook"? Or "MySpace"? Please? As far as I know, MySpace is a clearinghouse for underaged people who want to find similarly inclined underage people to be naughty with. Oh and it might also be for predators who want to teach those kids a thing or two about naughtiness. Ok, to be fair, I have one friend who is clear into her thirties and is not a predator and who uses it to blog. But you know what? I rarely read because in order to do so, I would have to SIGN UP for MySpace. So I don't read it unless I am looking over the shoulder of someone who is.

And I have now been told for FOUR - yes, that's one person short of a whole hand - people that I JUST HAVE TO GET ON FACEBOOK. Three of those four people act like it is my life that is being ruined by my lack of presence on Facebook. The fourth person admits that it is really her life that is suffering because she can't "friend' me on the creature (Facebook) that I consider the third horsemen of the apocalypse. (My Space is the second).

I figure I'll know it's all over when "they" bash my door down, slice me open, and insert the pentium duo MySpaces and Faces chip straight into my neck. This has nearly already happened, by the way. That fourth friend created a Facebook account FOR ME and added me to her swarming "network" of connecto-mania. Can you top that? ON FACEBOOK, against my will. I also hear that there are pictures of me on Facebook in hers and other people accounts and that the pictures are an attempt to CALL ME OUT on the fact that I won't join their horseman.

Guess what? I ain't doin' it. Do you have any idea how much I would NOT enjoy "networking" with and by and through everyone I have ever met? If I want to find that guy I used to have a crush on in seventh grade, I'll look him up. I think I know where his momma lives. Do you have any idea how much I do not want to be "found" by that psycho swinger I briefly dated between Nice Guy 4 and Nice Guy 5? I don't need to be found. If I am lost to you, what's the big deal? I am other kinds of lost that strike me as far more important. Re"connecting" with everyone I swam with on my high school swim team is not the answer for me. OK? Can that please be OK?

Please click comment and defend Facebook if you must. But I am hoping there is at least one person left on the planet who agrees with me on this issue. This is one grid I am determined to stay off.

Oh and if you are reading this and looking at the time it was posted, you pretty much know that I am not sleeping, like, ever. The resulting confusion is reaching biblical plague-like severity. I was on the phone with someone for an hour last night (yes, I just checked the call history in my shiny new iPhone) and I don't really know what we talked about. You reading this, honey? If we exchanged any vital information, please email* it to me. I remember "sock" "housekeeper" "it's kind of painful after 60 miles or so" and "we meet half way." Thanks.

All this is a long way of saying I am going straight to the doctor when I get out of class this afternoon. (I wonder if I will remember what I teach my students today? Never mind. They definitely won't, so I don't guess it matters). Anyway when I get to the doctor I will tell her my sad story and she will tell me how I am working too much and under too much stress and how what I really need is step away from the computer and do what creatures of my mental, physical and emotional disposition ought to be doing, which is physical work. These are modern times, so that means I should be in the gym, wearing my body out instead of my brain. If these were not modern times, I would have made an excellent serf in medieval Europe. I am indestructible. I never wear out. Oh except if you make me sit at a desk all day and read papers written by nineteen year olds who were typing with one hand and MySpacing with the other.

Apocalypse, I tell you. The end is near.

* I know it's absurd to ask you to email me information you already spoke straight into my ear, but please note that I specified "vital' information, such as anything you think I might want to remember. Thank you.


DaisyJo said...

I will be the one person who agrees with you. I don't see the attraction.

LAS said...

Okay, I totally agree with you. Completely. I'm not on Facebook or MySpace and I never will be. I don't understand it. I too am awake when I should be sleeping. I keep waking up at 4:30 to go to the bathroom, and in the like 15 seconds that it takes me to get up and do that - my whole head switches on, work comes flooding in, the panic about deadlines, stress, pressure, I'm tired but I can't sleep, I feel like I haven't slept in days. So, I'm reading blogs. And freaking out in my head. Ugh.

Em said...

I'm not on MySpace or Facebook either and have no plans for either one. I think MySpace is ridiculously silly (can "silly" be any more ridiculous?)and Facebook is getting there quickly.

I'm sorry you're having trouble sleeping. I have that problem sometimes too. It sucks.

I want an iphone.

Dagny said...

I completely agree.

I did make a myspace a few years ago, but I dont' use it. And I have also been told by more people that I can seriously count that I NEED TO GET ON FACEBOOK.

I need to?? Really?? Because I thought all the people that I know and want to know already know where to find me.

Hate networking.

Avitable said...

I'm on Facebook, and it has some benefits, but I mainly use it to play Scrabble with people.

Mr. Bingley said...

No facebook or myspace for me, either. If I was 15 and completely unable to function on my own I might think about it and count on my parents telling me to (properly) get stuffed. But at 44 it would be pretty pathetic if I 'needed' one of those sites. I have a blog and I've met some very cool people via it, but there are much better facets of life beyond the keyboard.

Woodrow said...

I am ashamed to admit it but I am on both. Now the excuses.

A girlfriend insisted I needed to be on myspace a couple years back so I set one up. It's a pretty pointless thing. The only reason I've kept it is because there are two blogs I like to read on it.

The facebook one had a similar beginning. I never log into it anymore. Every now and then I get an email that says somebody "super-poked" me. I'm not sure what that means, but I like the sound of it.

Jennifer Griffin-Wiesner said...

I tried Facebook. Twice. First to check out all the hype. Killed it cuz I was getting sucked in. Tried again with a pledge of moderation. That was a joke. Killed it again.

Sizzle said...

I got suckered into joining facebook. It's annoying, honestly. Why are people always poking me? And when I do log on, there are like 100 updates that I could give a crap about. I like the Scrabulous thing but I can't really figure out how to invite people to play the game with me. So yeah, I'm lame and by default, Facebook is lame.

My Space is only good for music in my opinion. I can sample tunes before I buy them, keep updated in one place about tours of my favorites and I can make my profile private (it is) so that a bunch of asshats without shirts can't message me telling me I am a MILF.

country roads said...

I'm on both...myspace for bands and finding people I haven't seen for awhile (mostly because I'm bored) and facebook because of SCRABBLE (even though I suck)

country roads said...

but I really do hate them both.

P said...

I got my shit off of Friendster and MySpace some time ago because I hated people being all UP IN MY GRILL. I have no plans to get on Facebook either. As someone who does everything humanly possible to hide from people in my past, social networking sites are pretty much my worst nightmare. All I need is my nemesis from P.S. 87 writing on my wall - or whatever it is that Facebook people do.

Anonymous said...

I've had both of them and I totally agree with you. I dumped my Facebook last fall and thought I would go through some sort of withdrawals and yet...nothing. I love being free of it! Unfortunately I still have a MySpace profile that just sits there collecting dust. I'd get rid of it but every time I try to, someone from my past gets in touch with me and I am so thrilled that I leave it there in case anyone else does the same.

But yeah, I never log in. They are both pointless to me.

Finn said...

I'm on Facebook, and you are missing nothing. OK you're missing getting hit on by 19-year-old boys who type things like "how r u?" in their lame attempts to seduce you.

I'm so completely bored by it I may just announce my death on it and see if anyone notices.

Mr. Fabulous said...

Facebook is cool. I am not into as much as I used to be, but some of the games are fun and I get to keep in touch with my peeps.

That's right. I'm 46 years old and I still say "peeps".

Julie said...

I'm also on MySpace for that friend of ours in her 30s who blogs there. That's my only reason. I do nothing else on there except read her. And it drives me nutty.

Somehow I ended up with 28 friends. Yeah, people I used to work with and/or go to school with found me. Just ask me how much I hate that.

Anonymous said...

What is the FIRST horseman of the apocalypse?

I'm on neither. And someone set up a myspace account for me and I had them killed.

I'm such a NICE girl.

cajunvegan said...

I must confess that I have both. I got a MySpace using my pseudonym to spy on my younger sister and to read a few blogs. I reconnected with a cousin using my real name via Facebook. I love Scrabulous, but I hate being poked.

I can go for days without checking either one.

Moral: you don't need either one if you have an iPhone.

Annie said...

I am so with you on this. However, I must confess I am on Facebook, but only because my sister was going to Africa for the Peace Corps and she wanted it as a place the family could all meet and get updates, now she isn't going and I never go there to see how many people have tried to buy me, or how many have poked me. Actually I find it very annoying.I hate it.

Willowtree said...

I agree with you wholeheartedly! I had a Myspace account once becasue it was the only way I could see pictures of my nephew and nieces.

But in the end, even that wasn't enough to make me go there. As you say, everyone seems so young! At least they finally allowed me to delete my account (there was no way to delete it for about a year!).

ellie said...

I am totally on your side. I don't get it. I have a my space account (or is it facebook -- I can't even keep track) because I work at a college and I was told that it would be great for me to be on and communicate with our students. they really want to talk to a 37-year-old if they don't have to.

Ki said...

I not only think it's stupid-- I think it borders on malicious. Time-suckers with less reward than television. Only on facebook and myspace can you be actively bored.

Sllluuuuuurp! There goes another evening!

LizB said...

I won't defend MySpace or Facebook, as they are both stupid in my opinion. However, I DO have a MySpace that serves two purpose. With my MySpace, I can keep an eye on what my kids are doing, since they both did create myspaces. I can also keep an eye on my students, because so many of them are just dumb enough to upload inappropriate pictures of themselves and attract sexual predators. I don't advertise the fact that I have one, but many of my students find me. I sometimes post their homework assignments as MS bulletins. :x

maryse said...

myspace and facebook are non-entities in my life. i'm too old anyway and it's weird enough to me that i blog.

also, if you had a television, you might be able to sleep. nothing puts me to sleep like the local 11 o'clock news.

Kate P said...

Ohhh yeah. . . one of my professors made this a discussion question for our final week, believe it or not. Most of my classmates had discussion posts with subject lines like, "Not in MyClassroom!" I have a hard time believing people in academia (serious ones anyway) think that these sites are contributing to "learning communities." Social? Questionable, but--educational? There are better vehicles for that.

I'm with you--no desire whatsoever. (Hope the doctor can do you some good. I'm keeping you in my prayers.)

Maggie said...

Ooh, Mr. Fabulous! I too was born before 1980 and am on Facebook! How exciting.

Okay, so the social networking. Once upon a time I joined everything I was invited to, because it was unclear which one was going to actually take off and become the next means of communication, like replacing e-mail and blogging and actual speech.

So now, I am still on LinkedIn because it seems to be the professionally proper thing to do, but I only look at it once every 3-6 months. I killed the Orkut account because it was all Brazilian teenagers claiming they were related to me. I killed Friendster because I always hated it, and everyone that mattered from there was also my friend on Facebook.

Yes, Facebook. God I love it. Before I joined it, I didn't understand the appeal. But for some reason FB has become the chosen network of my profession (journalists), and also of the college kids I'm in contact with for my alum activities. Before I knew it I had hundreds of contacts -- and all of them people I actually know and care about.

For some reason FB has avoided the fate of other sites, so far, of strangers trying to connect with you. Most of the communications I have on there are totally pleasant and welcome. What I love most about it is the way it facilitates getting back in touch with those long lost friends. That dorm mate you fell out of touch with when you moved across country? Maybe you don't have her phone number or address anymore. Or maybe you do, but you think it would be weird to call because maybe she doesn't want to talk to you anymore, because now you're a stranger.

But look, there she is in the Smith network! So you add her to your friends, and she accepts. And it's a little bit closer to being back in touch. Now, even if you don't actually talk to each other, you each know a little bit more about each other's current life, and you're not such strangers anymore. But maybe she does send a message, and she's happy to see you! Suddenly you're back in touch with an old friend, with minimal risk of awkwardness or embarrassment.

The other thing it's great for is second-generation social updates. Once upon a time, we all lived in small towns or went to church together, and everyone knew each other. Mary's dad died, Susan got engaged? You heard about it through the grapevine, and could reach out with condolences or congratulations. Nowadays, we're all so far flung -- I once didn't find out that a college friend had DIED until months later.

Faceboook is a great way to stay up to date on the milestones in your extended community. I know this guy who I see only like twice a year. He just got engaged. Pre-Facebook,
I might not have known, but now, having seen his status update, I will congratulate him the next time I see him.

Of course, some people just use it to play Scrabble, and other people think it's a huge time-suck. I prefer to think of it as a modern-day town square, darning the holes in our social fabric.

(As for MySpace, bands use it to build free promotional websites if they don't have the HTML skillz. If you're into local music, it's worth keeping an account active -- as much as I'd love to kill that one as well...)