Saturday, March 15, 2008

WTF Facebook?

So... Facebook. The social networking site. I joined it a few months ago so I could view memorial messages for a teacher I had in high school who died unexpectedly. I haven't been back since.

And then today, I finally, finally caught up with my friend Annie. (Hi Annie!) We literally played phone tag for months. Anyway, we finally talked for three hours tonight, and it was great. She mentioned something about facebook, and a little while ago I signed on again for the hell of it. Now, Annie has ALWAYS surrounded herself with interesting, intelligent people, and her facebook Friend List is no exception.

Looking at that list is FASCINATING. The in-your-face punk girl from high school who Manic Panicked her hair once a week? Her profile picture shows her looking completely normal and decidedly suburban, holding a bouncing baby wearing an actual baby bonnet. Girl from AP English class who wanted to be a doctor? On a medical staff network for a prominent hospital in Houston, Texas. Guy we all lost touch with after he became kind of an ass, couldn't stop talking about how much money he made, then developed a serious drinking problem ? Looks really good actually: all short metrosexual hair, ultra bright teeth and hot bottle blond girlfriend draped all over him.

For a second it makes you want to get back in touch, but then... what do I really have to say? Facebook almost feels like an interactive high school yearbook: tiny pictures, memories you don't really want to, well, remember. "Never forget all the fun we had in AP English. Have a great summer! BFF!"

But the weird thing was the list of people who want to Friend me. Some are, like, actual friends. Like Gwen and College Roommate Jo, who by the way is wearing a pair of kickass cowboy boots in her profile photo. I almost want to ask her to bring them with her from London when she visits next month, so I can borrow them.

But then there are a handful of people who want to Friend me, like my sister's brother-in-law, who are all using photos for their profiles that I shot of them. Now, I like Bill a lot. I'm happy to be his Facebook friend, and I'm flattered he liked a photo of himself that I shot of him at my sister's wedding so much that he pulled it off the CD I burned for him after the big day for his profile picture. It's not a problem, but getting a bunch of Facebook requests from people who are using photos I shot is... a little uncanny.

It was a Twillight Zone moment, like the first time I went to my chiropractor's office, and all the photos on the bulletin board in the waiting room were photos I shot for the newspaper. The staff clipped out pictures of their patients, which isn't uncommon. My orthodontist office used to do the same thing. The weird thing was... they were *all* pictures I shot. Every single one. The receptionist caught me staring warily at the bulletin board, and I had be like, "Um, what do all those pictures have in common to YOU?"

I also had a Friend request from someone I met at Michelle's (Client Bride-Turned-Friend-And-Regular-Commenter) wedding, and - here's where it's hard to be me- I was hurt that his profile picture WASN'T mine. He was dating a nice girl at Michelle's wedding, and he bought a bunch of reprints of himself and his girlfriend to give to their families as Christmas presents. He was all, "I think I'm going to propose; we so want to have you be our photographer!" and.. They're married! And they didn't call me! Boo!* But they want to be Facebook friends? How did they even find me? Who does a Facebook search on the name of a wedding photographer they don't want to hire AFTER their wedding?

Facebook is a strange, strange thing.

*(I'm kidding.)


cindy w said...

I agree that Facebook is a really weird thing. I accidentally came across the younger brother of the girl who was my best friend in kindergarten. Random. I haven't found any weird high school connections - I suppose that's the perk of my high school, most of the guys were rednecks who wouldn't know how to use a computer to save their lives, and the girls all got married and changed their last names before they turned 21.

But I totally just "friend'ed" you after seeing that you were on there. :-) (Even though I hate the word friend used as a verb. It hurts me, it really does.)

Lo Lo said...

I'm friending you as we speak! And, as Michelle's sister, you're guaranteed to be the photographer at my wedding after seeing how beautiful my sister's pictures were. (In like 10 years when I actually get married, fingers crossed.)

SO screw whoever didn't hire you ;)

Chunky Photojournalist Barbie said...

Aw, you're sweet, Lauren. I'm really not upset that they didn't call. I'm quite busy as it is. Frankly, I'm just a little weirded out that they searched for my name. Like, why?

It's all good, though.

lauren said...

I just friended you, too. I am a self-confessed Facebook addict. Oh, the shame.