I hate myspace. And facebook and all the other “let’s pretend we’re friends” web sites. Now don’t get me wrong, that’s partly what a blog tries to do: create a community of like minded people, but the social networking sites create a false sense of familiarity. Recently, there has been a bit of turmoil in my wife’s job. Between the economy and the self-created drama and overreactions of the powers that be there is an incredible amount of stress on the employees. I had been denigrating facebook while one of my wife’s co-workers defended it as a great tool to reconnect with old friends. Unfortunately their boss decided to “friend” all of them and started playing martyr games in their postings – blech!
Now I don’t care if my boss reads this, but I’m not buddies with him. Sure, we could have a beer or two together, but when he or I move on from our current jobs – unless there happens to be some major explosion or an unforeseen love-fest that I’m not seeing in the works – there won’t be much reason to keep in touch. I doubt he would post to my facebook page, but that’s just one more reason to not have one. He doesn’t need to know my twitter status at every second of the day. And this works because I don’t have any of those profiles set up. But what if, like my wife’s co-workers, I had a notworking profile? And what if my Alice in Wonderland’s Mad Hatter of a boss wanted to “friend” me and post statuses on my page and twitter me? Well, you can’t just say to that kind of boss, sorry we’re not really friends. Her co-workers have to suck it up and let the boss post on the web page. And to take it to the next level, what if I had adopted a child, kept the lines of communications open with phone calls, emails and photos, and then the birth parents wanted to “friend” me? And what if it was just like your boss trying to be your friend, would you keep logging into that account? This did happen to one of her co-workers. And guess what? This will continue to happen on these types of sites. There is still such a thing as a line, a boundary. Where you or I draw that line for ourselves determines where people think the line really is. I am both candid and private. I believe that there is only one or two photos of me on the net and my friends don’t have to ask to be my friends.