When are ‘friends’ not really friends?

I’ve been on Facebook a little over a year, and I think that may be long enough. I don’t know what I expected, so at least I’m not disappointed.

Most of my Facebook “friends” are people I’d never talk to in the ordinary course of things, but Facebook makes it so easy that now I know more about their lives than I would even if we actually talked regularly. I like to see their links and ideas, but I’m tired of scanning the posts about petty frustrations and I’m reluctant to “hide” anyone, even the ones I don’t know. I don’t want to hurt any feelings. I’m willing to, but that’s not my goal.

A few of my “friends” I “confirmed” because I couldn’t think of a good reason to “ignore” them. I barely knew them—sometimes not at all—and I figured we could have an electronic relationship, and it seemed rude to say no. It seems even ruder to “unfriend” someone just because our “friendship” seems pointless and if I had something important to say to you, I’d at least call, except I probably don’t even know your phone number because you’re probably not really my friend, just my “friend.” I don’t mind a little rudeness for a good cause, though, and I am a good cause. So if you and I have an exclusively Facebook relationship, I’m gonna think about that.

I post quotations and links to my site and others, usually videos, but most of it’s on my personal site anyway, so why am I fiddling around on Facebook? I’m curious about social media and I want to sample it while there’s still an electrical grid up and running.

I like seeing what my particular set of “friends” has to say. The ones who comment on politics are all conventional lefties, and I like watching them chew each other’s ankles and gnash their teeth at the same time. I love the keening over “not only is there not gonna be any health-care reform, the government is shilling for the insurance industry and the war budget is the biggest in the history of the world.” I admire our spirit, indomitable no matter what it’s in aid of. We keep trying to believe.

And I love the creativity of the Democratic faithful in explaining and defending the President’s actions and inactions and in deciding exactly how we should wring our hands about what a weasel he turned out to be. That’s the kind of “friends” I’ve got. Most of them I rather like. Some of them I’ve never met, and I have a few “friends” who are also friends. I’m gonna call one now.