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'.