Barefoot Zen?

Barefoot Zen?
Namaste, Y'all...

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Losing Face Weight

I wish the title of this post was a reference to how running the past few weeks had given me the lean face and trim neckline I've been longing for, but alas, the "Face" I'm talking about here is not my own.

A couple of weeks ago, I posted a cool video that puts Facebook in perspective.  As I approached "Friend #1000" (yeah, sure), this video of a guy doing the Dylan "Subterranean Homesick Blues" thing (flipping cue cards with messages on them) reminded me I have nowhere near 1000 friends.  I probably have about a dozen.  And that makes me about the luckiest guy I know.

So, apparently a couple of days ago it was "National Defriending Day" (along with National Grammar Day and National Pound Cake Day), and I decided it was time to go into my Facebook account and quietly say goodbye to people I don't even know, people I've never met, people I know but haven't said word one to since we found each other on FB, etc.

It sounds so heartless, 'defriending' someone.  Yet, I doubt a one of the 150 or so folks will even notice.  And that's fine.  As many have said before, 'friend' and 'defriend' are the wrong monikers for what happens on Facebook.  I'm not sure what the word should be - cyber-acquaintance, perhaps? - but 'friend' is too precious a word to use to describe the clicking of a button.

Facebook is such a strange creation.  It's a town hall and a crack den, a coffee shop and a briar patch.  Everyone has their own personal use for it, from political platform to class reunion, confession booth to nightclub stage.  I guess that is what makes it so alluring, but it also creates a conundrum as to how much of your life you want 'out there'.  Trimming back a faux friends list is at least a step in the proper direction of reigning in a very mindless way of approaching relationships.  I'm working on the rest of it.

Andy Warhol was almost right.  We won't all be famous for 15 minutes, but many of us will have an ongoing thirst for at least a modicum of self-publicity.  As Andy's pal Lou Reed once sang, soon we'll all be 'Growing Up in Public'.


  1. Phew! I had to really quick run to FB to make sure I was still Friended...!

  2. Before my last high school reunion, I was "friended" by the people who were planning it...and then just attending it... It's the way the whole thing got put together and I appreciate that and had a great time going to it. Later, though, I looked at my "friend" list and thought, are all these high school aquaintances really friends? No, they're not. As much as I practice forgiveness for some of the meanies/snobbies and detachment from some of the politically insane, or as much as I simply try to remember some of the smiling others... No, they're not friends. There's a handful who are and those are the keepers. It felt really brutal to "un-friend" but I did it. Guess I can't go to the 40-year reunion, though...they're all bound to have noticed that I've been popping up in their "people you may know" column... Now I have the problem of all my college students "friending" me. These sweet kiddos at GTA are truly wonderful people and I do love them and I like seeing all their funny posts...but they are also, for the most part, UBER-Christians. WAYYYYY beyond "youth-group"... Also, naturally, conservative. Not narrow minded, just sheltered. Their minds seem to open like camelias when presented with facts. But I don't really want to be their provider of certain facts. I'm afraid I'm a political or social commentary kind of poster on Facebook -- like many of my real friends -- and must be more than a shocking read for them. So, for now, I've simply said "I'm a friendly person so I'll "friend" you but if you friend me, just know you are not always going to like what I have to say." I haven't had any complaints yet, but I know they will be coming. Are these kids my FRIENDS? Maybe after they graduate... yes, then. For now, I may be in need of another friend-purge. Still mulling that. Thanks for sharing your blog, Tommy! It's wonderful.