Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Four-figure Facebook: the ultimate load of crap

  • Four more friends and I hit 1,000-- will there be falling balloons, kazoos, confetti and champagne?

    This is an actual Facebook post from today. I've removed the name, but it's a writer with a book out. 

    OK, my issue is this: TWICE Facebook sent me a stern notice that nobody was accepting my FB friend requests. Then they told me I was friending too many people, and insisted (demanded) I know all the people I friended personally, intimately, face-to-face. They then cut me off from sending any more friend requests for two weeks, ominously warning me that if I didn't toe the line, I might be "out" (no doubt for good). 

    Everyone I sent a request to was, at very least, a friend of a friend, with in many cases over 100 friends in common. But somehow I had still stepped on the big guy's toes.

    I'm on a Facebook tightrope, folks. Once more, I've inadvertently blundered. Unlike others, I can't seem to capture that misty unicorn of social networking, the number 1000 (which I don't really want anyway and will never attain). What am I doing wrong? Are my school records out there or something?

    I have asked many, many people what the hell is going on here, and I get turned backs and a sense that they are embarrassed, if not downright offended. You mean you don't KNOW how this works? Why, as soon as you set up a new FB account, fifty people a day swarm to your page and beg you to friend them. All because they are close, personal friends, face-to-face buddies you meet and have coffee with all the time.

    I guess if THEY come to YOU, it's OK because it's a sort of checkmark on your popularity scale. If you have to go begging and actually ask people, that's another matter entirely.

    It's parroted time and time again that FB is NOT for personal advertising or bragging about your new book. We all understand that, yes, then violate this rule constantly, often coyly, as in "well, I just hate to bring this up, but. . . " or "I hope this doesn't look like shameless self-promotion, but. . . " This is followed by a flood of likes and congratulations, sycophantic gushing over so-and-so's good fortune, masking a bitter, teeth-clenching jealously, a sense of "yes, I'll praise him now because I want to cultivate his contacts, but sooner or later I'm gonna get that bastard."

    The puffery, narcissism and blatant verbal sandwich-board/billboard advertising on FB makes me queasy, but if you even suggest it is actually going on, the result is indignation, even disbelief. I've even been told "I'm speechless" (which, believe me, I wish most of them actually were). We know the real dynamics, sure, but we're not going to admit it. 

    Because, for God's sake, don't you know already? And if not, why not? And if you don't know, isn't THAT why no one wants to be your friend? Isn't THAT why you don't have a golden key to that exclusive club, Four-Figure Facebook, complete with pole dancers and your very own highly-prized, high-maintenance Park Avenue escort/mistress, the same one who got Edward Snowden's rocks off before he retreated to Russia or wherever-the-fuck-he-is?

    I know people in the Four Figure Club who have a thousand, two thousand, even three or four thousand, and a few have even maxed out at the ultimate five thousand upper limit that FB imposes on your very best, exclusive, heart-to-heart, have-coffee-with-every-day "friends". Since FB always prominently displays lists of "people you may know" who are in fact friends of your friends, I thought it was allowed to contact some of them, to invite them to be your friends. Apparently not, or at least not for me. One must attract friends with an invisible force, something you are born with, a giant magnet implanted in your solar plexus.

    Then there are those of us who have nothing but a big hole in our solar plexus, but don't we deserve it? Why aren't we one of the quadruple-digit crowd? Aren't we blue chip, aren't we Facebook Fortune 5000? If not, don't we deserve obscurity in the grubby, sad realms of the terminally unpopular?

    I'm just askin'.


  1. Facebook's a waste of time. Come to Twitter.

  2. I just hate the name. Reminds me of Twit.

  3. Oh, c'mon. Once you get past the name and join the flock, we're all birds of a feather.