Sunday, December 12, 2010

With Friends Like These

"You unfriended me."

"No I didn't."

"You did. We were Facebook friends and now we're not."

We're still friends. We were always friends. Facebook friends aren't friends. They are connections. They are the people you can spam when you have no real friends to whine at.

When you start a rant about how you hate Obama, or how much you love Bo Pelini, or how you don't understand why people eat raw fish, do you notice the real humans around you who clear their throats and change the subject? Those are your real friends. They care about you enough to help you not be a jackass.

You do not have 1,485 friends.

When you and your Facebook friends all change your Facebook profile face into your favorite Munster's character to show support for Ajerbistan refugees, the real refugees are still real refugees.

You wouldn't send postcards to your real friends announcing what you found behind the pig pen in your game of FarmVille. But your Facebook friends will give you a virtual egg in return. They'll watch with envy as you become the mayor of Grounds Zero Coffee Shop. They accept all your real estate chat because that buys them the right to send you their band announcements.

Facebook has ruined high school reunions. No longer do we want to go home to see exactly how our classmates turned out, exactly what they're doing these days, exactly what startlingly offensive opinions they express, and how fat they got. Facebook keeps us updated by the hour, and reminds us why we left town in the first place.

I deleted you from my Facebook page when you posted five rants in a row of spitty, angry, narrow-minded stuff you'd never say out loud. You took up two full pages on my iPhone. I didn't "unfriend" you. I stopped listening to you.

I'm still your friend.

Facebook friends send you [squeezes!] when you post that you are "feeling sad" at 2am. They give you a thumbs up! when you are "ready to face Monday!" Thumbs up! when you are defiant about pretty much anything. Thumbs up! when you want to recall the mayor, even though you haven't thought for fifteen seconds who you might like to replace him.

Thumbs up! is the only response available on Facebook. Facebook friends are 100% thumbs up. No thumbs down. No middle finger.

Facebook listens when you feel alone. It supports every notion that blips out of your fingers. It always likes! you.

. . . wait a minute . . .friends like that aren't bad to have.

"That's weird—it must have been some kind of computer glitch. Don't worry about it. I re-friended you."