Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Why can't we be friends? Why can't we be friends?

Yesterday, a blogger from my sidebar requested to be my friend on Facebook. Yes, that means my real Facebook profile with my real name, which has the title of my real job and place of employment on it. Blogging identity and real identity, right? And never the twain shall meet?

Well, this blogger who requested my friendship was cheating! He was messing with the system. That was my second reaction. My first was “oh, how nice.” Third came “how did she do that?” Turns out he had found me using Facebook’s friend-finder, because I had left the same email address for both my Facebook and my blog.

Some of the loose ends were easy enough to tie up. I changed my Facebook email straightaway. Done and done. From now on, no one who reads my blog will find me through Facebook.

But the whole ordeal (or experience, or whatever) made me think about a few things, especially if I decide to accept the friendship, which I am inclined to do (but haven’t yet).

I know my Facebook friends, and they are really my friends. I get a lot of friend requests that I turn down from people I know, or people I’ve met. Sorry, you’re not my friend, so that’s it.

So what if one of my friends sees this blogger friend, or some post she writes on my wall, and asks “who is that?” Well, um… well. My friend? Is he?

Because when we get down to it, what is my relationship with the people who read my blog? With people whose blogs I read? Why do I write, for myself or for them? Why do I read, for them or for myself? Do I count any of them my friends?

Well, I read for entertainment. My “care factor” is pretty small.

Let me put it this way: let’s say Random Blogger A that I read is trying to get into architectural school, right? Sure, I want him to get in from basic philanthropic motives. But I also want the one with the best story. And if getting rejected is a better story, I won’t tear my hair out about it.

At the same time, of course, I don’t know which will make the better story beforehand, so it’s easy to root for “my guys.” Go y’all. Hope you get that promotion, hope your mom doesn’t die from cancer. I really do.

But you’re not my friends. You’re just different than that. My friends are people I’ve met, hung out with, conversed with face to face over and over again. You guys are just a bunch of people who are smart and usually cool and sometimes have a modicum of morality to you.

You know how I figured out my answer to this whole question? I thought about whether it would bother me how other bloggers answered it. And it wouldn’t.

Some of you might classify me as a friend. That’d be cool. Some of you might not. That wouldn’t really bother me.

For me, it’s just a matter of definition. My friends are a very specific thing. You all are something else. It’s a cool something else, but it is something else.

I’ve heard some people use the word “freaders.” Fine, I guess. Maybe that works. But for me, friends doesn’t.

So, what about for you? Does it matter to you what I think about this? What do you think? Can we still be friends? I mean, no wait…


Deutlich said...

I understand the concern as I've got a few bloggie friends on my facebook account. But for me, facebook is a lot less intrusive than Myspace. I deleted my work information & personal info and no one I know really leaves me wall comments. And if they do? There's a good chance they've got my blog address anyway.

I mean, I seem to be making actual friends w/a few of those folks as it is, so I'm down. Aside from that, I feel like blogging is like smokin' weed. If you do it, there are rules. Ratting someone out to their employers about certain activity is a strict no-no.

And then on the flip side, if my employer figured out I blogged... I'm not sure how much I'd care. While I don't share most of these thoughts w/my co-workers, they truly are things I say out loud to anyone else that'll listen.

And now I'm rambling. So I shall shut the eff up.

tiff said...

So is Random Blogger a he or a she? I would venture to guess it's no both.

But seriously, I get a little wierded out when it says that [name] is your friend. I feel like it needs quotation marks. "Friend." That's better. Because to me, my friends are real life flesh and blood I can call any time of night and get drunk, I mean drink responsibly with.

Not that I don't love (or is it "love"?) everyone online. They entertain me, I know a lot about their lives they kinda know a lot about mine.

So yea, it's a fine line. Now me, I only joined facebook yesterday, and from one of my "friends" so that we could play Lost trivia. All my friends (maybe it should be contacts, contacts sounds so professional) are bloggers or family. And I won't post on your wall, if you don't want me to. Although you could tell people I was like your jealous ex-lover, cause THAT would be a good story.

A Margarita said...

I have a couple blog friends who are facebook friends, and I guess it all depends on your comfort level. I would only add or find those who I email back and forth with on a consistent basis.

But it is tough. I kind of regret letting some friends know about the blog because I find myself curtailing my actual words, while also taking my freaders into consideration - whether I will lose them because of something controversial that I post.

I guess it comes down to the fact all bloggers started blogging because there were things they wanted to talk about, or they wanted to amuse, or they wanted to practice their writing craft. Ideally, we would just write whatever we wanted, and not check our statcounters but writers are narcissists. On some level, I want people to comment and give me positive feedback.

I think that was a tangent.

Jon said...

I've actually met a few people from blogging that have become actual real-life friends.

And by "real-life friends", of course I mean I stand outside their bedroom windows, lurking in the shadows while they sleep.

Restraining orders or not, I'm pretty sure that's why the Internet was invented.

brandy said...

I often have bloggers find me on facebook and add me. Honestly, I don't mind. I don't have my home phone number and social insurance number on my facebook profile anyway. And besides, the things that fellow bloggers read and know about my daily life are often far more personal than some of the 'friends' (ie. people I went to kindergarten with) know about me. I suppose I could try and separate the two groups, but that seems like a lot of work and I'm lazy.

brandy said...

Okay, and also? My best Scrabulous opponents are all bloggers. I can't get rid of them.

Winter said...

Jon: Stop stalking me.