Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Meet My Facebook Friends

Last week, I gave you a brief lesson on the Internet fad called Facebook, primarily for the benefit of my fellow Old People, who, like me, grew up in the age before computers, and frankly, are having a difficult time adjusting to the World in which we currently find ourselves.

Now that we all basically understand how Facebook works (like an old telephone “party line” that everybody in the world can listen in on, except with words and pictures instead of talking), I will follow through on my promise to introduce you this week to a few of my Facebook Friends. (Facebook Friends are what we call those acquaintance with whom we’ve mutually agreed that its okay to listen in on each others “party line” conversations.)

My Facebook Friends can be divided into a very few categories:

First -- and my favorites -- are my old classmates from the Lexington High School Class of 1972, give or take a few years. I’ve reconnected with a number of these old school chums who I haven’t seen since… well, since 1972!!! Every time I am “friended” my another member of the LHS Class of ‘72, I swell up with a sense of inner-pride, knowing that yet another one of us actually learned to read and write, despite numerous predictions to the contrary.

The next group – and probably the largest – is my relatives. They don’t get much choice. They HAVE to be your friends. And since I had a grandmother with eleven brothers and sisters, and a grandpa with fourteen, I’ve got relatives falling out of trees. When I started signing up my relatives as Facebook Friends, the Facebook Overload Alarm sounded.

Then there are the people I work with, or formerly worked with, along with business clients, customers and vendors. These are the contacts which could actually be useful from a profit standpoint. I only have about two of these.

Social friends are another big category. In reality, I have about a kazillion social friends… except for the part about actually remembering their names. Since you need to know someone’s name to become their Facebook Friend, I only have about two of these, too.

Next category: Real Estate acquaintances. I seem to know a lot of people who sell real estate, and they all seem eager to be my friends. I think they’re expecting me to be homeless any day now.

Jim Smiths. I have a couple of actual friends named Jim Smith – which it turns out is the most common name in America, therefore I have about 50 Facebook Friends named Jim Smith, none of whom are the ones I actually know.

And the last major category: People I don’t really know… but I do now, because they’re my Facebook Friends. I have loads of these… even some from foreign countries, which should not be a surprise, because I also seem to know a few members of the Liberian royal family, and they all want to give me money via email.

So that’s a rundown of my Facebook Friends (which I will now start abbreviating as FBFs.) Now, what do I do with ‘em, you may be wondering. That’s where it gets interesting. Every so often – maybe once an hour, maybe once a month – you write a “status update”, telling your friends what you’re doing right now, or just got finished doing, or maybe are fixin’ to do.

Frankly, this has always seemed like a bad idea to me. I might not want the entire free world to know what I’m doing right now. So, instead, I fill in that blank with whatever nonsense happens to pop into my mind: “I fear gerbils”, or “You ain’t nuthin’ but a hound-dog, crying all the time”, or “Time for Tootsie Rolls”, or “Where does bellybutton lint come from?”

Most of my “status updates” leave my FBFs wondering.

Others, however, take their “status updates” very seriously.
Here are some actual “status updates” from my actual FBFs over the past few days. (The names have been changed to protect the indecent.)

Very often, a FBF will list as his or her status that he/she is “about to go for a jog.” Many times, this report comes early in the morning… even before 7am. Whenever I see that, I immediately delete those people as FBFs. We don’t belong in the same club.

Similarly, other FBFs feel the need to broadcast it every time they mow the lawn, paint the house, organize the garage, clean the gutters, haul off the garbage, or change the oil. Delete, delete, delete, delete, delete! It’s people like that who give people like me a bad name.

A recent update informed my that an old classmate of mine, Elmer Snodgrass is “going to the Piggly Wiggly.” If I were going to list that as the main event of my day, I would instead say “Rod-Boy has no life.”

A former co-worker posted that Peggy Sue Overstreet “is stuck in traffic on I-26”. I thought to myself, there’s probably a traffic tie-up due to a wreck caused by somebody trying to play with their Facebook while they’re driving.

Shannon Marie Blonderhair “is heading to Atlanta for the weekend”, another report said. Good luck on having any stuff left at your house when you get back, since you just broadcast to the world that there’s no one at your house on Saturday night!!!

Johnny Ray Rednickerson “can’t wait for State Fair”.

Bubba Lewie Loudmoutherson “is getting ready to watch America’s Got Talent. I hope the magician wins.”

Henry Clay Withersmith “just had pork chops, macaroni and cheese, and collards for lunch.”

Emma Lou Goodness “is listening to the rain.”

Gary Lee Hankerchiefton “is studying for a test I have to take for work”.

Sarah Lee Bakerpie “wants her kids to learn to clean up their rooms”.

On and on and on it goes…. Intimate glimpses into the day-to-day lives of my friends, acquaintances, relatives and some people I don’t know who actually might live on other planets. It’s Facebook. It’s all the rage these days.

As for me, I think I’ll not bore my friends (or embarrass my relatives) with the details of my day. I’ll probably just continue to report on my daily life as it exists in my mind.

Rod-Boy “is trying to finish his weekly column so he’ll have time to mow the lawn, paint the house, organize the garage, clean the gutters, haul off the garbage, and change the oil before the rain comes.”

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