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Tuesday, May 27, 2008


So, I heard that Facebook is a real time suckage and since I always have so much extra time at the end of the day (after the bon-bon eating and the watching of my stories), I thought I would turn over those excess minutes to the good people at that site for the sake of social networking.

What is social networking?

Truly, I don't know why it is so difficult for me to figure out Facebook, but it is literally taking me a painfully long amount of time to add applications and navigate my way around the site. I found a page today that told me that I had over 20 requests waiting for me. I didn't even know this page existed or that anyone was requesting anything. I now can't find that page again. I am really lost.

The logistics I can figure out on my own or by begging Josh for help. These are the questions I have about etiquette:
  • Adding people: how close do you need to be with the person to add them? I have to admit that I've been feeling rather shy about this, which sort of defeats the point of social networking. I found 80 or so people I knew back in high school, but I didn't make a friend request for any of them because I haven't spoken to them since the last reunion (and some I haven't spoken to in 16 years). Obviously, if they were at one point a good friend and will immediately know who I am when I "friend" them, it seems kosher. But what about the people who may or may not remember me? Or bloggers who may not know me even though I read their blog?
  • No response: what happens when you friend someone and they don't respond? I mean, within a week or two since people go away on vacation or get busy and don't log onto Facebook for a bit. When you "friend" someone and they don't feels a little like "you're not my friendster." And yet, is that simply the nature of the beast? That people simply ignore requests for friendship and it means nothing? I am guilty of this as well--an organization friended me and I can't figure out why. I understand doing it when you don't recognize the name or how the person knows you, but what about when the person knows it's you and they...well...they just don't want to be my friend?
  • Requests: which brings us to question three--the pending requests. What do you do when someone sends you a request for you to add an application to your Facebook page? Do you have to keep adding each application? Do you pick and choose? Does it mean anything if you don't upload the new application? Does it mean I hate Mother Earth if I don't have Lil Green Patch? If I hate Mother Earth, will I have fewer friends?
  • The point: once you have everyone "friended"...well...what is the point? Beyond the online Scrabble games? What is the networking part? What happens next?
I'm thinking this too much, aren't I?

This is an open invitation for anyone to friend me if they would like to be my friend. I'm not sure how to link to a Facebook page since my understanding is that the profile can only be accessed once you're friends. So look for me via my email address. If we don't normally email and I don't know your name, write the name of your blog in the message feature on the friend request (or however we know each other). You I don't ignore you and turn this into a massive ego-bruising exercise of you thinking that you are not my friendster.

Forgive me if you ever don't get a response back. By chance, I clicked on something and discovered that Allison challenged me to a game of Scrabble (which I am currently losing, by the way). Everything seems to be lagging behind and I'm not getting notifications of requests. And I can't find the request page again anyway...


Jen said...

I only have four friends on Facebook and three of them are related to me. Plus, my own brother-in-law didn't friend me. My other brother-in-law I threatened with the promise that I would never bake brownies for him again if he did not friend me (I learned from the first time).

I do know that some people just go around trying to add as many people as possible. It's like a hobby. My husband got friended by some 18 year old girl who lived in our town. Neither of us knew who she was. Matt adds everyone who asks him without looking, but we decided that was creepy, so he ditched her.

Io said...

Mwahhaha. Welcome to my other online time sucker!
I think everyone has a different level of comfort with who can be their friend - some people only want close friends, others add everyone they have ever met. I get friend requests from people I have to examine and google before I figure out how I know them.
The issue with some blogger might be not commenting on blog things on their facebook, as IRL friends may not know the same things.
I *totally* want to be your friend though :)

Do *not* add all the applications you get sent. Nobody will be hurt if you don't return their hug or beer or take their quiz...and there are a million applications, many of which suck.

The networking I use is a lot of other things wrapped in one: I use it to see their status updates - I can tell if somebody has had a bad day or wants to go out. You can send invites for events you create. You can sent messages. You can find phone numbers if they list them.

I want to play Scrabble with you!

Susan said...

I don't understand facebook. I do have an account with myspace but that was only to get information on my ex (his phone number) for my daughter's adoption. That is odd about the whole "add me as a friend" but the other person doesn't respond. I am really enjoying NaComLeavMo!!

A.M.S. said...

Look at the top of your facebook page and click on "home" That should let you see any requests. Or look at the bottom of the screen where it says "online friends." Just to the right of that is a button that will take you to requests.

No, you do not have to add applications if you don't want them. :) People who have applications get various sorts of points for sending requests to their friends, but those points aren't dependent on your adding the application.

When you invite friends, you have the opportunity to add a personal message to the invite. If you want to invite someone you think might need a "refresher" use that.

I only have 9 friends, so I haven't encountered a delay in people accepting so I can't help you with that.

We're only two rounds into the aren't losing. I do think the Scrabble app needs to have some sort of notification to let you know you've been challenged and when it's your turn.

Meg said...

I try to keep my online networking in nice neat little boxes with no crossing of the streams. If my coworkers or family members are on my friends list I try to not friend my crazier pals.

K @ ourboxofrain said...

I have ended up with arguably too many friends -- not because I'm at all popular (or ever have been) but rather because I also wasn't sure how to answer the question of who to befriend. I only accept requests from people I actually know, but between high school, college, post-college work, law school, and current job, I evidently know a lot of people, on one level or another (and when I'm not sure whether I know the person or not, I assume I don't -- I have a pretty good memory). I tend not to send a ton of friend requests, so I definitely take it personally when people ignore me, which has happened more than once (coming back to the whole not popular thing).

In terms of how people use it, I use it to get status updates from people and to send messages when I misplace an email address. I also use it to get videos and learn what's going on professionally with friends who are in the music or comedy business. And I definitely don't add all the apps people send -- my page is too cluttered already.

Oh, to get back to the requests, click on the Home link from your page -- if you look in the right side of the page, you'll see some of the requests and a link to get to the rest.

Flicka said...

Friend me! Friend me!

That being said, you don't ahve to friend anyone you don't want to. Just click no, said Barbara Bush. Same with applications. It took me a while to figure out that I didn't have to add every application that came my way so now I don't add any that I don't LOVE. And I even took some away. And I don't have any fewer friends. It's just a computer page, it doesn't matter that much.

After you friend someone, you can chat online, play the aforementioned Scrabble, play Oregon Trail (my favorite!) or totally ignore Facebook completely. I go through cycles. If you wind up hating it then whatever, get rid of it. Nothing's written in stone. Everyone will still know you love them. Give yourself some grace. :-)

Larisa said...

I don't really know how to use it. Your post made me log in, though and see a whole bunch of requests, etc.

Anonymous said...

Ah, Facebook. It took me a while to get into it, but I do like seeing status updates from friends, and when they've posted pictures. Plus, it's a little like an online address book that people keep (relatively up to date).

I totally worried over whether or not to friend people that I haven't kept in touch with, and have generally decided that I would friend people that I wouldn't need to explain myself to, or people that I used to be really close friends with but somehow lost touch. Otherwise, I'm kind of taking the passive approach and waiting for requests to come to me. I haven't really gotten any requests from people I don't like so I haven't said no very often, but I wouldn't feel bad at all saying no to a request from someone I don't like or don't feel comfortable having access to my information.

Ignore the applications unless they sound interesting to you. For the most part, people really don't care or even know if you've added it.

If I've lost a request or notification, I go to the menu at the top of any Facebook page and click the little down arrow to the right of Inbox, and then click Notifications. That will include all friend requests.

I'll look you up and friend you.

sky girl said...

Geez. I added you as a friend but it didn't give me a chance to send you a message to let you know who I was. If you get a friend request from Shauna, that's me. :)

Geohde said...

I have to admit that I've avoided facebook like the plague. Maybe I'm missing something, (or am horribly antisocial!) but I just don't get why I'd want to 'friend' people who haven't spoken to me in over a decade.




Tara said...

I was surprised when I saw your picture on Facebook, Mel. I always pictured you as a blonde for some reason!! HA!

As for the applications - if you end up adding an application and you don't like it you can always remove it.

Jen is right, some people just add as many people as they can, like a hobby.

I've "ignored" (turned down) MANY people from being a "friend". Sometimes I think that friends of friends who I don't really know, just want to be nosey. And if you ignore someone, they don't get a notice saying you didn't friend them. Nothing happens - the request just goes away quietly.

It took me a while to figure it all out too. After a while you'll get used to it. You're a pretty smart cookie anyways.

AnotherDreamer said...

I have a Facebook page... but I can not for the life of me figure it out either. I mean, I can use Blogger, Myspace, etc... but not Facebook. My friends are all adept at this but, alas, I am not. I am glad that I am not alone on this issue! Ha ha.

Anonymous said...

I admit that Facebook is a little strange. I had a hard time navigating on there as well. Everything seemed so painful...but the more you play around with it, the easier it gets, I guess with anything.

I hardly ever log on to FB...not even entirely sure why I signed up for it, but now that my inlaws are on there, I would feel bad leaving! lol

Searching said...

My cousins and I use it to keep up with each other. MySpace i use for non-work friends and facebook for relatives and friends I can actually remember (my whole little quartet of best friends from k-8th have found me! It's been fun to catch up on everyone).

Usually after the "how are you doing?" msgs and replies there just ain't much else to say. I ignore tons of people and put all the privacy things I can on both sites. I LOVE sharing my pics but since they are half my nephews and nieces I want to protect them, too, so beyond only letting "friends" see them, I delete them after too long.

I have only added a few apps. They get in my way. I like Dogbook though. Have fun!

christina(apronstrings) said...

i like facebook. though, i agree with you, it is weird. and what about the people who always pop up on your profile under "add so and so as a friend" because you may know them. don't they just look so sad.
and the creepy people! aaaahhhh! young'uns like twenty something males. scary.

BethH6703 said...

I'm on facebook, but I don't get it either. I signed up mainly to keep up with my cousin who just went off to college. This let's me keep up in her world in a way that is appropriate to her lifestyle. Beyond that, I think I have 5 other friends... BUT, I sent you a friend request! (Cuz, well, I'm addicted to my teeny tiny lil corner of the online community.)

Look for the invite from "Beth H......" with the "?" as the pic.

DD said...

Facebook is the only online app that I have assigned to my real name, which was a little liberating. I use to check it every day, but now I kind of like twitter better (when it's up and running - PIA!).

I use to add all the apps b/c I didn't know better, but not anymore. OR...if I add an app, I do not spam everyone else. I accept the hug, or egg, or whatever.

I accept the friends requests only from those I know. There's a way to block yourself from being found by certain facebook account holders (I did this once I found a nephew and co-worker also had accounts). If I'm in your email address book, you'll be able to find me if you want. Love to see you out there.

niobe said...

If I wanted my identity, occupation and location out there on the internets, I wouldn't have made my blog anonymous. I realize that I'm insanely paranoid, but I'm just not seeing the attraction.

loribeth said...

I've managed to resist the siren call of Facebook so far. I figure I waste enough time on the Internet as it is ; ) & the privacy issues bother me too (not to mention the idea of having people from high school who wouldn't give me the time of day suddenly clamouring to be my "friend."). It took me a long time to get up the nerve to start a blog!

Michell said...

Ok so I'm confused about the whole facebook thing. Is it sort of like myspace? Because I don't really get the draw of that either.

midlife mommy said...

I don't get it either. And I like my anonymity, so it is not very appealing.

calliope said...

facebook is all kins of awesome. However I wish I could have 2 accounts- one for people from my old life & one for the new people. (aka people that know my real name vs people that know my blog)

It takes me AGES To friend someone back because I am just an idiot sometimes. But it is all kinds of fun to get e-mails from people from former incarnations of your life and do the ~4 e-mails of catching up.

ms. c said...

First of all, I am totally off to friend you. Please hold...

Ok, I'm back. I have to say that I am in complete agreement with all your questions regarding Facebook. My strategy was to wait until people found me and added me, that way I knew that they wanted to be my friend (none of this embarassing asking of people to be my friend and then not getting a response.)

As for your other 2 questions: no, I wouldn't add all the applications; and you're right, there is very little to do other than play scrabble, once you get over the "how coll in this that I am talking to Ms. X after 16 years".

My biggest pet peeve about Facebook is that I get an email to tell me that someone has sent me a message. My question: why didn't that person just send me an email in the first place??!!

Rachel said...

I don't have many friends on facebook, mostly just family. I don't really use it but I'll add any one who "friends" me as a friend. That means that all my younger brothers' & cousins' friends add me. I guess it doesn't help that my married name is the same as a girl their age.
Thank you so much for NaComLeavMo, I am "meeting" lots of new people.

Mme. Meow said...

Wow... you are scarily thorough in your disquisition! But thanks for starting NaComThingy: it's really so fun!

Dr. Grumbles said...

It really isn't very intuitive at first.

For applications, people often gets points for inviting friends to add applications. If I added every one I was invited to, I'd have waaayyyy too many. In fact, one of my friends regularly attaches a message that says, "I am just earning points, you don't have to actually add this."

And requests can be found on the "home" page - a link will appear saying "new requests" in the sidebar.

I totally use facebook for stalking - well, not REAL stalking, but I get to see how old friends and classmates are doing in general (new jobs, kids, etc)without having to arrange an awkward lunch or something.

Care said...

I'm clueless on Facebook. Never even visited the site, never had any desire too. Then again, I'm the person who deleted her MySpace and Classmates accounts too. For me, the past is better off staying in the past, and for current friends, I have other ways (blog reading) to stay in touch.

Meghan said...

Pretty much everyone I know has been trying to get me on facebook but I don't know if I can handle another thing to suck all of my time. I just might have to check it out one of these days though.

Jonathan said...

Facebook is indeed a real time suckage, or at least it is in the begining when you are still getting friends requests from people you can barely remember on a daily basis. Eventually that levels off though...

Roy said...

Hey... Green Patch is a rockin' sweet app. Along with (fluff)Friends, and I'm having some pointless fun with Speed Racer (although that one only takes 5 minutes a day and then is useless until tomorrow). Facebook is the crack of the internet, it's better than crack, it's like the crack that crack is addicted to. I have so far refused to become a zombie/ninja/mummy/vampire/whatever. I also refuse to play mobster or join a drug cartel (although those apps do look somewhat amusing in a time-wasting sort of way).

I only add people I know. Which sometimes is old classmates, sometimes family (one of which I really wish I hadn't friended, but don't have the heart to un-friendify), even a couple strangers I befriended on apps. I really love facebook.

Sarah Barah said...

I spend waaay too much time playing Scrabble and Scramble on Facebook. For the most part, I've only friended people that I know IRL and only a select frew of IRL friends know about my bloggy identity.

The rules around friending are fuzzy at best. And I completely agree with everyone else in suggesting that you don't add all the apps that you get notified about.