I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was twelve. Jesus, does anyone?

Everybody on here has something to say about Facebook whether it’s positive or derogatory. It’s been a bone of contention with me ever since my wife lured me onto it a few years ago. I am a very isolated person. I’m not this way because I’m a socially devoid uber-nerd with no way of expressing myself. Believe it or not I choose to not have many friends. Friend is a term people use far to loosely these days. It takes quite a resume for me to consider a person a friend. My guideline is typically a simple one. Anyone can be a fair-weather friend when things are going well. If you’ve been with me through the bad times you’re either bad luck or a good friend. People think that if you’ve had a single conversation with an individual that you’re instantaneously considered a friend.

I was making the usual “social media” rounds the other day when I made my usual stop on Facebook. The geniuses behind the scenes there feel that because I listed Thomas A. Edison Technical and Vocational High School Class of ’93 as my high school that I should be “friends” with everyone and anyone who graduated that year. Seriously? Are you kidding me? Let’s be real here. I was no angel in high school nor was I the most popular. Check that, I was sorta popular but with people other than the popular people.

Does that make sense?

For four years I rolled with a clique of people that I considered friends. For privacy’s sake I won’t name names but more than likely if you come sauntering over to this post from Facebook you know who you are. In high school you vow to be friends forever because for many, at that point in time, high school life is your life. Unfortunately life determines your friends and I unfortunately lost contact with many, if not all, of the chaps I used to hang out with on a daily basis. This is where I sing the praises of Facebook (for at least a sentence or two). The last couple of years has allowed me to reunite with a bunch of the old guys. It’s cool to see how they’ve aged and developed as individuals. While things can never be as they once were I thank Facebook for being the tool that made finding them possible. That’s all Facebook is. A tool. Status updates, witty comments, shared links and picture posts don’t make people friends.

I sat there and went over the 80 something people I have on my list. The majority are family. While there are a handfulA small portion are clients. The few that remain are what I do or have considered friends at some point in life. Friends – real friends – will always find you at some point in your life one way or another. Technology these days just makes it easier to track them down now. We managed to keep in touch with our buddies somehow prior to the Internet so why should you be tethered to it now?

To my massive graduating class at good ole Thomas Edison, if I hung out with you then then you’re probably on my list. If we didn’t then why in the hell would I want to have you as a “friend” now? Because we share a commonality in the place we graduated? I give Facebook credit for allowing you to group your associates now. Next time you’re there see how many people you can actually put into a legitimate friends group. You might be shocked at the result.

Thank you and have a pleasant tomorrow!


10 responses

  1. I don’t get on Facebook very much, but I think the same thing when I get friend requests from some people. I also just had my 10-year high school reunion over the summer, which was equally as weird.

    November 10, 2010 at 7:49 am

    • Hmm… 2013 will be my 20 year high school reunion. Geez. Good thing the world is gonna end in 2012 otherwise I’d be feeling quite old. ;p

      November 10, 2010 at 9:09 am

  2. Facebook is my playground. I enjoy “attempting” to make people laugh there. One thing that did surprise me was how I feel closer to some people now on facebook than we were in gradeschool, and i think, why didn’t i ever talk to this person back then? i’m glad this tool–and you’re right, it is just a tool–has helped me see how cool some people were, if only I’d not been too shy to talk to them back in the day.

    November 8, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    • I don’t think I was shy back in the days but I was definitely an acquired taste. I think the kids used to call it “weird” but nowadays it’s called eccentric. 😀

      November 8, 2010 at 12:09 pm

      • ah. i think in my town/day it wasn’t called shy so much as “dork.” i wear that name proudly! 🙂

        November 8, 2010 at 12:24 pm

  3. Amy

    I’m not really into Facebook that much, but I do appreciate it for allowing me to keep in touch with friends that live far away. I also did reconnect with a few people I hadn’t seen in years that have now turned into real friends.

    I think that people get out of FB what they need. Some people need to have thousands of “friends” to feel validated. Some only need to have a few close friends to be happy.

    LOVE Stand By Me, by the way!

    November 8, 2010 at 11:01 am

    • Gotta love those friend collectors, eh? Seriously though, I’m not a pure Facebook hater. It’s the self-absorbed people on Facebook that kill me.

      … and yes, Stand By Me is one of those rare paradoxes of being both a great book and movie translation.

      November 8, 2010 at 11:10 am

  4. I agree with a lot of what you say, Ian…I have nearly 200 “friends” on Facebook, but that doesn’t mean I’ll be sending all of them invitations to my wedding!

    High school was not much fun for me, but I do use Facebook to keep in touch with my college buddies from the early ’80’s…we have had several reunions over the last ten years…it was fun!

    Facebook also allows me to keep in touch with my extended family in the States (I haven’t been there in 18 years, and haven’t seen most of my relatives since my brother’s wedding in 1993). It’s also helping me to get to know my cousins’ kids, most of whom I’ve never actually met…neat bunch!

    I use Facebook to promote both my blog and our bookstore.

    I think of Facebook as a tool…nothing more…


    November 8, 2010 at 10:34 am

    • There’s no escaping social media. I’ve come to grips with that reality. It’s just good to see that there are some people who know how to use their internet tools properly. It really truly frightens me that there are complaints from people over the fact that facebook only allows 5000 friends. *shivers*

      November 8, 2010 at 10:47 am

    • Um, Ian and I expect a wedding invite!

      Okay, okay…I’m just kidding…

      November 9, 2010 at 1:17 pm

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