Saturday, January 17, 2009

Facebook

On the first day of 2009 I decided it was about time I got on facebook. I did this so as to keep from feeling like I was falling behind on the trends, and because I was jealous of all of Rob's friends.

Oddly "To Compete With Spouse" is not one of the check boxes in the profile under "looking for:" and so I left that blank.

In short, I'm a facebook virgin. I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do with it or what the facebook manners are. Forgive me in advance.

There are a couple odd things, though, that it has made me realize.

For instance, I can't bring myself to say I'm "Interested in:" "Men" in my profile. I'm not. I'm just interested in the one. Call the NATH hotline; I figured out a partial cure to homosexuality! But does that mean I'm in the facebook closet? Even though everyone I know knows I'm gay?

Relationship status? There's no option for "married but in legal limbo or forcibly divorced". I picked married, and claimed my man. That's pretty gay.

Political views? In one line? My longwindedness and cafeteria liberalism cannot abide by that. I left it blank.

Religion? Again, it takes pages of blog posts for me to feel like I've even summed it up. I left it blank at first for that reason, and now I want to change it to agnostic so as to not be in two facebook closets, but does that then send out a notification that I've suddenly switched to agnostic? I don't want my agnostic street cred questioned by our non-religious leaders at our next non-church service.

Personal info? Is it custom to put all that in? Does, say, a coworker care to know that I like Sigur Ros, and No Country For Old Men? I guess I've had fun looking at friends' interests and so I'll get around to it.

And "friends"? I'm so bad with names and I've got people who've sent me requests that I'm not sure I know. Am I making some sort of horrible social insult by not adding them without more info? I can't even see their faces clearly in their pictures.

Then there's the whole being forced to talk about yourself in 3rd person when posting updates. I find it kind of disorienting.

Lastly, there's the world collision thing. I'm guarded with parts of our identity here, for threats I've received. But we have had no threats for a long while, other than those that come at every gay-headed family by vote. So yeah, it's probably time to let the two worlds of my blog and the rest mingle. As it's a one-way mingling though, I'm not dropping my alter ego, out of caution and habit.

It's not like we're near anonymous in the world at large, anyway. I squeeze an editorial into a paper or end up with a soundbite on the TV with my full name right under it at least once a season. Several of you have even been to the gay bat cave that is our home.

Besides, I have no choice; fellow mohos have found me.

The only horrible thing, though, is that they found Rob too! I will never have more friends than him if you keep adding him along with me!

20 comments:

Silus Grok said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Silus Grok said...

Okay. So here's a mostly serious set of suggestions…

Looking for: Unless you're into swinging or want to use facebook for business networking, there's no reason to fill this one out. You're in the same boat as everyone else.

Interested in: I left mine blank, too. I'm comfortable being gay and don't need to inject it into every facet of my life; it's already there. If you were hoping to use Facebook to date, then maybe. But Facebook would be shite for dating. I just mention being gay in my INFO tab blurb.

Relationship status: You're married.

Political views: "Cafeteria Liberalism" sound like a perfect thing to put in there. Mine says "Pragmatic". But it could just as easily say "Radical Centrist". :)

Religion: You could always borrow from the dating world and say "Complicated" … or up the pretention and say "Nuanced".

Personal Info: Yeah … what you said. It's not useful for finding people, but it is fun to read what your friends have put. Get to it when you can.

Friending: I have a strict "I must know you" policy with a slightly less strict "in real life" addendum. When connecting with people long-since out of my life, I do my best to forget old wounds and to see what 20 years of separation has wrought. I don't expect people to confirm friendships right away and I have no problem sending folks a "do I know you?" message. Also, if you decide to unfriend someone, do it. There's no message that says "Cog hates your guts".

Utah Cog is… not enjoying the grammatic gymnastics of writing about himself in the third person. Of course, no one is. But constraints breed creativity. Embrace the constraints.

Privacy: Facebook (finally) rolled out highly granular privacy controls. Check them out in SETTINGS.

Fellow mohos have found me: if you come across my Facebook page, say "hola", cuz I have no idea who you are in real life. At least, I don't think I do.

:)

Silus Grok said...

Oh … and on the games and apps and all that shiz. There are a few that are worth a damn — if only for a couple weeks. I say in my personal blurb that I reserve the right to ignore every invite that comes my way, and I don't mind one iota when folks do the same to me. Facebook shouldn't feel like an obligation. At its best, it's a passive way to keep up with and find old friends and vice versa.

Java said...

I am not comfortable with Facebook. I have an account but don't use my real name. Mostly I don't want to share that much about myself online, at least not in facebook. The blog is different. I can express who I really am, and don't have to try to fit in those predetermined categories.

Edgy said...

I, at least, am pleased that you accepted my friend request. (As a good and clever web bot, that's why I signed with my blogonym.)

And I promise not to add Rob to my list of friends until corporeality has been truly confirmed.

With the other pointers, I'm in agreement with Silus. For example, on my profile, I haven't specified a gender I'm interested in; instead, I've merely noted that I'm interested in networking. And it's been loads o' fun reconnecting with old friends.

I mostly have a strict friending policy. Of course, that hasn't stopped me from friending my favorites from So You Think You Can Dance.

Edgy's favorite part of Facebook is the third-person status update. He finds it amusing to see what people put in there. And he chuckles at those who start in the third person but end in the first person.

Evan said...

I never thought this day would come! You are finally catching up with society ;)

kevin said...

Facebook, to me, is pretty much only good for organizing. It's fun to find old friends that I haven't seen in years, but we only stay in touch for a month, at most, through facebook.

However, organizing events such as rallies, parties, service projects, etc., makes facebook worth it. Instantly, you can invite hundreds of people to participate in one event, and while it is less personal than an email, it somehow doesn't matter. It's fun to see instantly who is going and who isn't going to a party or other event beforehand, so I can make my decision accordingly (am I really that shallow?).

Michael said...

Welcome. Facebook is addicting. I am thinking of giving it up for LENT! Anyway, I am sure you will find your place in the facebook community soon enough.

Abelard Enigma said...

I wanna be your facebook friend too - but I guess I'm facebook challenged, cause I can't seem to find you :(

Sarah said...

Abe: hint, try looking through the friends of one of your moho friends to find him.

[kɹeɪ̯ɡ̊] said...

I was kind of surprised to see you on the facebook. Though I'm impressed that you've managed to amass 70 friends already. Only 36 more to beat Rob!

Also, I think it's pretty awesome that you like Kill Bill. That's one of my favourite movies too.

Hidden said...

NOOOOOOOOOO!!!! Scot! WHY?!?!

Not you too! My anti-F***book friends are now ONE LESS!!! They are dropping like flies. Soon I will stand alone against the darkness...

Come back, Scot! Come back!

Sarah said...

Hidden:

Come, join us on the dark side! :)

chosha said...

Facebook is more fun than I thought it was going to be, though I spend way too much time now on a vampire game I found.

Scot said...

Thanks Silus for all the suggestions.

"Unless you're into swinging"

I was going to make a joke of "like at a park?" but then realized that too had a double meaning... crazy world.

""Cafeteria Liberalism" sound like a perfect thing to put in there."

Trouble is that Cafeteria Liberal is also Cafeteria Conservative; as a democratic delegate I best leave it blank :-).

"Fellow mohos have found me: if you come across my Facebook page, say "hola", cuz I have no idea who you are in real life. At least, I don't think I do."

If your actual name is Silus Grok, I don't think we've met in the physical :-), but will look around.

Scot said...

"I am not comfortable with Facebook. I have an account but don't use my real name. "

Doesn't that violate the terms of use? ;-)

Maybe I've a false sense of security here then. Do I? I put the privacy settings to "friends only" and figured it's all people who know where to find me anyway (or those who I know enough of to not worry).

Edgy: "(As a good and clever web bot, that's why I signed with my blogonym.)"

I can't see how elaborate your code can get.

Evan: "You are finally catching up with society ;)"

Now watch though; everyone will be off to something new soon.

Kevin: Yeah, that's what I've been most interested in, particularly with all the GLBT events going on.

Hi there Michael.

"I am thinking of giving it up for LENT!"

You could make giving up facebook for lent a facebook event. :-)

Abe: "I wanna be your facebook friend too - but I guess I'm facebook challenged, cause I can't seem to find you :("

You found me :-).

That's the thing I was wondering about with this post. It was more than a year ago when I blogged about our names and I'm sure some have been surprised.

Craig: "Also, I think it's pretty awesome that you like Kill Bill. That's one of my favourite movies too."

We'll have to do a Kill Bill Marathon some day. I'm a sucker for the mix of action, revenge, and parental motivations :-).

Hidden: "Come back, Scot! Come back!"

It's not so bad, Hidden. You get used to the facebook circuitry implants after a while.

Chosha: "though I spend way too much time now on a vampire game I found."

I haven't even looked at facebook games; best not orbit any more free time singularities than I already do, especially if they may turn me into the living dead.

Scot said...

Oh and if you send or sent me a friend request from this blog, be sure to give your alias.

Edgy said...

Dearest Scot and Silus,

I have now sent a friend suggestion to you two so that you too may be FB friends.

With warmest regards,

Web Bot Edgy

Silus Grok said...

Oh Edgy … you warm the cockles of my pseudonymous heart!

[kɹeɪ̯ɡ̊] said...

We'll have to do a Kill Bill Marathon some day.

That would be awesome. Just let me know when!