Social network angst….

Facebook is a pretty fucked up place in the universe.  i liken it to attending my own funeral – people from many aspects of my life are present.  Work, childhood, theater, family, the blogosphere.  Oh, and then they start interacting.  Weird, to say the least.  i’ve got a cousin, whom i hadn’t seen in years, who has a slight crush on one of my gentlemen friends.  Ok, so it’s weird and a little kinky, too…

Randomly, over the past weekend, i’ve had “friend requests” from many folks who are either just getting involved in Facebook world, or are just getting around to finding me and sending the request… Killing some time whilst cooking up an industrial size vat of adzuki beans and wild rice, i went to the home page of one of my newly rediscovered old friends.

BF and i have a 30 year history.  When i moved to town to attend the local university in 1980, we met through a mutual friend, and immediately hit it off.  She was a single mother of two young sprogs, in her early 30’s, and i was an 18 year old full of the ‘throw down party girl’ spirit.  But we got along well.  i’d babysit for her kids, then she’d come home and we’d get drunk as skunks together. 

Music was another connection, as we’d play guitars and sing.  And drink.  And be really stupid.  She was just the sweetest woman i’d met, and she seemed to have infinite patience for her young, stupid and wild friend. 

i moved in with my now ex-husband.  She met, and married a younger man, and moved to Colorado.  My husband and i rented her house, since it was a great bargain, and a chance to get out of the student-infested apartments we’d been living in for a year.  Later, we went on to purchase the house.  That was where we brought The Girl home from the hospital a few years later.  Our first home, it had also been her “re-starter” home after her divorce. 

Fast forward another decade, and BF and her husband return to the area.  We both had sons around the same age, and her husband and i coached a softball team, while our male offspring beat balls with aluminum bats for three summers.  Once again, almost two decades after meeting, our families entwined.

Over the past few years, we’d get together for the occasional lunch, catching up on family and other friends.  Professional frustrations were at the forefront the last time we met – for both of us – but all that was trumped with the unexpected death of her father, and a young cousin within days of each other.

That was about a year ago, and i’m now living only about a mile away from her home.  Yesterday, she’d “friended” me on Facebook, and i took a few moments to look at her profile tonight, with the intention to send a note and see if she wanted to get together soon to catch up on the past couple years.

And there it was:  BF is a member of Join the Patriotic, Resilient, Conservative Resistance, and the local TEA Party organization.   All of which are somewhat counter to my personal political wiring diagram at the moment… But the killer?  She  is a fan of Sarah Palin.

i can deal with well-thought, conservative positions, grounded in principle and logic.  Yes.  i believe they exist.  In my heart?  i’m a centrist, with nowhere to go. 

But i really struggle with “stupid”, from any source, and Ms. Palin is the epitome of “dumber than a bag of hammers”, combined with “incompetent and unaware of it”.  As a woman in a leadership position?  She sets us all back to the stone ages, and i have a deep and abiding disgust for the woman…


Will still arrange lunch with my old friend.  But will steer far and wide from any discussions that might bring us toward uncomfortable topics…  She was patient with me, and i owe her no less over a difference of opinion.

25 thoughts on “Social network angst….

  1. ginny – i looked. there are two: “I Judge You By The Groups You Join” and “I judge your character by what Facebook Groups you are a member of”…. keeeee-RIST!

  2. Funny how you can know someone and yet never really know them.

    Facebook is an odd place. I don’t look for anyone new to friend, that is, anyone I’ve known from years ago. Old high school acquaintances? Nope. Oddly, though, most of them are not really the computer/internet types, anyways.

    I don’t judge anyone based on what groups they join, although I do see things that make me arch an eyebrow now and then. I find it interesting, too, to watch someone going through some sort of stage or crisis, based on the amount of time they put in on facebook, dicking around with countless inane and mindless apps.

  3. I’m with ya daisyfae. It’s amazing how much respect I’ve lost for old friends over Palin references or “fan” designations. Same goes for Glenn Beck.

    It’s not necessarily conservative viewpoints I have trouble with, so much as the fact that a few of my old friends apparently can’t think critically for themselves any more, and end up taking their ideas from these lowest-common-denominator asshats.

    P.T. Barnum would be proud.

  4. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to send friends links from because of some stupid shit they’ve posted. It’s almost worse than the email crap I used to get . . .

  5. One day I got bored and I picked a fight on Facebook with a friend who’s a anti-government libertarian who has a government job. He failed to see the irony of his position.

    Friend who’s devoted to Glenn Beck… well, that’s what denial is for.

  6. Facebook isn’t big with Scottish people. It lost its popularity when a search last year through up the names of over 1000 sexual deviants wanted for questioning by the Strathclyde polis.

    It used to be religious cults that we warned our children about, but now it seems that Facebook is the new ‘Charlie Manson’ of the noughties.

    I’ll stick with blogger… at least I’m the only strange fucker I’m likely to find staring back at me.

  7. ‘and Ms. Palin is the epitome of “dumber than a bag of hammers”, combined with “incompetent and unaware of it”.’

    But still she’s pretty cute.

    Ah facebook is stupid, don’t you get enough forced interaction with people you rather wouldn’t at work… or here?

  8. rob – it’s usually the folks from high school, the ones i’ve not stayed in touch with, who are addicted to Glenn Beck, Fox News and that sort of thing… i try not to judge, but find myself doing it – more harshly for the people i don’t intereact with in ‘real life’.

    e4 – exactly. the inability to demonstrate critical thinking skills — either from the left or right or the middle — is the common aggravation point. not that i’m the world’s best investigative reporter, i still attempt to form my own opinions…

    tysdaddy – i’m that person, too. makes me feel like such a ‘princess poopy pants’ to send them a little ground truth, but i can’t let it go unchallenged. a friend had a link to a horrid glenn beck video, about the ‘cars dot gov’ website taking control of your computer — it was INSANE, so i had to post the link to snopes… made my head explode…

    renalfailure – oh, there’s irony there. living in the belly of the beast is a hard place to be… one can’t throw too many rocks, because they bounce off the walls of the beasty stomach and will hit you in the head!

    jimmy – facebook has lost a bit of interest for me. i weigh my words, can’t say ‘fuck’ (my favorite word) because a cousin is married to a minister and i really like her and don’t want to hurt her sensibilities… so it’s just farting around. i put more of ‘me’ on the blog. strange how that works…

    alex – forced interaction? yeah. that’d be work. i like my blog-peeps. and i’ve always got my finger on the ‘delete comment’ button if need be! have only used it once, which is pretty good for almost two years of this silliness…

    unbearable banishment – that’s just it. she’s STILL important in my life. and i will accept her as is… the “warning” through facebook was a good flag – to keep me away from topics that are likely to get frustrating for both of us. she’s a good human. and since i preach the gospel of ‘tolerance’ on nearly a daily basis? i need to follow my own teachings. but i’m guessing she and i won’t be doing body shots off each other at the end of the meal…

  9. i refuse to join any social networking sites, mainly cuz i’m not a big fan of humanity and also cuz the interweb gives every asshole and his dog a place to spout irresponsible bullshit (me included), i refer to facebook as facefuk and someday will post on the lounge about my escapdes on my friends account, i realize these things have there uses but i’d rather surf porn. that said isn’t the phrase “well thought out conservative postions grounded in principle and logic” an oxymoron these days? i believe they exist too, i also believe one hasn’t been floated in over 100 years or so. Be like he Dutch and agree to disagree then ask if she wants to skin up.

  10. kono – i’ve lost interest in facebook as anything more than a glimpse of ‘whazzup’ with people i know, and a source of amusing links… occasionally fun to swap quips with people…

    stephanie – it does. nice for the initial, superficial ‘re-connect’, but after awhile it’s just a reminder as to why you didn’t stay in touch with these people in the first place…

  11. uncle keith – i’ve seen just as much “lack of critical thinking – spewage of party line” from friends on the left-hand side of the spectrum. it annoys me just as much…. and i’m pretty sure you’d nail Governor Palin, given half a chance. She’s got a nice ass…

  12. hi daisyfae, i hope you can find some common ground in spite of the political difference of opinion. i’d be interested to see how this relationship pans out… palin “We deserve what we accept!”. i’m up for ball gaggin’ her but c’mon, in my opinion, she’s just not that good looking!

  13. These days I only use Facebook to connect with you and my sister. And occasionally some of my other blog-peeps. I am thankful that no one else has come out of the closet to claim to know me. Not even the other sister I know is on Facebook.

  14. I don’t have facebook. If I want the whole world to know what I’m up to; if i want to waste my whole day/week/month doing nothing; if I want to be re-united with people I got separated from with good reasons (and vice-versa);

    Then there’s plenty more creative ways of doing it.

    As for stupidity, I will resist linking it to Facebook so as not to offend you in my first ever comment, but I am pretty sure it is the only thing that humanity will never get rid off. In fact, I think we might be even investing in it.

    I think it’s called Twitter.

  15. lynn – yeah, in general, i can’t fuck stupid. just a massive buzzkill for me! my friend and i will be fine… once i’m done with this damn show, i’ll track her down.

    silverstar – it makes it easy to stay connected, and kinda track ‘whazzup’ with folks, but that’s about it!

    jinjir minjir – welcome to The Park! thanks for stopping by! it’s fun for me to ‘tweak and comment’ with folks that i might not normally have a chance to do some verbal banter with, but yeah, it has become a haven for ‘really stupid’. i’m slowly pruning the list down to people i enjoy…

  16. I very rarely ask for friend requests, but I also don’t turn them down. If you ask to be my friend, then you get my point of view. Because of where I work, lots of folks view me as a public figure.

    I look at Facebook as an opportunity for those closed-minded folks to see that not everyone is in lock-step with them.
    Yet, I hardly ever post anything there that could be considered controversial. When I do post something I hope – in all that noise of Mafia Wars and Farm Town and quizzes that reveal what it means about me because I have brown eyes – a differing point of view might have an impact.

    As for a three-way with Palin, ditch her and bring in Tina Fey. That way you won’t need the ball gag, unless you’re just into that.

  17. HAHA! The ball gag bit made me spew coffee this morning. She IS nice to look at, so you’ve probably come up with exactly the right way to deal with her.
    And you hit the nail square on the head with this, too – “but after awhile it’s just a reminder as to why you didn’t stay in touch with these people in the first place…”
    Gad, I got so excited when I saw my 4th grade boyfriend. Turns out he’s just as stupid as ever. Didn’t take me nearly as long to figure it out this time, however. 🙂
    xxoo to you DF, for being your usual insightful self.

  18. squirrel queen – typically, i don’t go out seeking new contacts in facebook. and i’ve gotten selective about who i add (i’m slowly purging a few that aren’t strong connections). one of the things i DO enjoy is the clever link, to an article, a video, something that does expand my ‘input’ function… those folks? i’ll hang onto. the farmtown/quiz/games folks? ummm… maybe not. Oh, and Tina Fey vs Sarah Palin? That’s a no brainer!

    beth – the ‘good’ connections have so far outweighed the bad. some of the folks i’ve rediscovered are going to be with me for the long haul… as for the dumb 4th grade boyfriend? i tripped over my 7th grade crush, and we had a delicious long weekend together, and will likely see each other again! he turned out to be a bit of all right!

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