Friday, February 7, 2014

People you know very well

(From the Gospel According to Facebook, chapter 946, verse 22:)

Adding Friends/Friend Requests

Adding Friends

A quick way to add your friends is to import your contacts. You can also add friends from their Timelines:
  1. Search for the person you'd like to friend using the search bar at the top of any Facebook page.
  2. Click on their name to go to their Timeline.
  3. Click the Add Friend button next to their name. You might not see this button on some people's Timelines, depending on their privacy settings.
Once this person accepts your request, they'll show up in your Facebook friends list.
Note: If you've been temporarily blocked from adding new friends, you'll need to wait until the block is finished. Learn more.
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You should send friend requests to people you have a real-life connection to, like your friends, family, coworkers or classmates.
If you're interested in receiving updates from people you find interesting, but don't know personally (ex: journalists, celebrities, political figures), try following them instead of sending them friend requests.

(Emphasis mine.)

OK, so this is the official word.

Then why do I know so many people who have literally THOUSANDS of Facebook friends?

If I ask anyone about this, they quickly look away and change the subject. Myself, I've received stern warnings  about "friending" people I don't "have a real-life connection to", and have even been threatened I'll be cut off Facebook forever if I even think of approaching someone in my field whom I merely admire. The shaming and even mildly threatening tone of these warnings is really something else. 

So how do these people make over a thousand (or two, or three, up to FIVE thousand) close, personal friends without being cut off like I almost was?

Inquiring minds want to know.

But no one, NOT ONE person, not even Google will tell me what is going on here. I've tried and tried, but apparently it doesn't happen.  Did each of those, say, 3000 people receive a friend request from someone they have a real-life connection with? A close friend or at least a colleague? I've never met that many people in my entire life. Not only that, carefully friending people one by one would be a mighty slow process, unless you're so gol-dern popular that friend requests just come flooding in every day.

The message seems to be: OK, Margaret, once again, you have no friends because nobody likes you. If they liked you, thousands of friends would be magnetically attracted to you with no effort on your part at all. In fact, the entire world would decide in unison that it liked you. But no, Margaret. It's not like that. Not for you.

You DON'T have 3000 or 4000 Facebook "friends" and you never will. Even if you approach someone you DO know well, and for some reason they don't respond right away (i. e. they almost never check their Facebook page), it will appear on a list that will some day flash in your face: all those requests you sent that were "refused". This is seen as a security issue and leads to stern warnings that you are about to be thrown out of Facebook.

The real reason being, not that you have TOO MANY friends, but that you have NOT ENOUGH friends and aren't cool enough, not knowing enough to stay on-board. It's the bloody schoolyard all over again.

So most people just sit there while wave upon wave of closepersonalfriend requests billow in daily. That doesn't happen to me.

I am also on LinkedIn, and joined in an attempt to find a person I needed to talk to. This time, surprisingly, I wasn't punished, but I don't know WHY I wasn't. I get "link requests", or whatever they are called, at least every week, if not every day. In most cases I have never even heard of these people, and I have no idea where and how they found my name.

I've tried this myself, and it never works. I get another stern finger-shaking warning. To "link" with someone, you have to know them well and have their email address. That's the rule. In other words, to be in touch with them, you already have to be in touch with them. It's a security thing, see.

Is this hypocrisy, or what? Why am I the ONLY person I have ever known who even talks about all this? If I had someone's email, I would never bother to "link" with them because I AM ALREADY LINKED WITH THEM! It's kind of like Facebook, you see, a hopeless Catch-22 that nobody else ever mentions because they are comfortably "in", and don't want to do anything to threaten that position (i. e. consort with someone who is hopelessly "out").

I had the thought, once, upon seeing someone on my page with something like 3,120 "friends", that there must be a whole lotta cheatin' going on. Bribes, maybe? The person never strikes me as a celebrity, in fact many of them look like ordinary schlubs. Like me. So there must be a way around the stern, quasi-legal warnings about "security", the implication that you might only have "one more chance" to make good before you are drummed out of the club forever.

I am a hopeless dinosaur, I know it, and any attempt to join in will be seen as a pathetic effort to be "cool" when it is patently obvious I don't belong here and never will. The harder I try, the more pathetic I look.

And that's just the way it is.