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Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Things to Like about Twitter: #8 No Commitment

Fake friends. Everybody on facebook has them. Heck, everybody in the world has them. It's been that way pretty much since the beginning of time. Caesar had Brutus. Hamlet had Rosencrantz and Gildenstern (and vice versa). Heck, even Abel thought Cain was his friend.

Cain: "Hey, Abel, come here for a second, would ya?"
Abel: "Sure, buddy, what's up?"
Cain: "Remember how the serpent told mom, 'You won't surely die,' that one time?"
Abel: "Of course."
Cain: "Yeah, I don't think he meant you."

But these days fake friends don't kill you. At worst, they invite you to send e-Karma to other fake friends or join their "Bring Back Dungeons & Dragons" group. At best, they boost your fake friends statistics and give you links to dancing Jonases in leotards. But for those who aren't totally comfortable with fake friendship and all the emotional fabrication it entails, social networking is just big tangled mess of electronic awkward.

First you have the friend requests you don't want to accept but are afraid to refuse. Then you've got the endless streams of invitations to groups, causes, games, and other. And the "decline" options are always worded to make you feel completely devoid of compassion. "Your fake friend wishes to share this wonderfully joyful application with you. Do you care enough to just click a couple of times?" And then your options are, "Yes, I'm a good person," and "Ignore," "Turn a blind eye to their cry for attention, " "How 'bout a rude gesture, instead," or "I loathe you."

And there's pressure. Pressure to comment on the notes, the links, the statuses, the photos. Pressure to engage in the debates. Pressure to "like" stuff when you just can't think of anything to say. Pressure to wish people happy birthday and thank them all for the pressurized wishes.

Well with Twitter, there's no pressure. Tweets are like dust in the wind. You send 'em out, and the people who notice, notice. The people who don't, don't. Maybe they're more like farts in the wind, now that I think about it. I'll address that subject more in a later post, I'm sure . . . minus the flatulence, hopefully.

And friends on Twitter make casual facebook friends look like Diana Barry and Anne Shirley. Somebody follows you on Twitter, you don't have to follow them. You can, but the pressure is gone. What do they notice? They don't need to know what you're doing, they have Ashton and Demi and Shaq to keep them company. You're too good for me? Huh, well, at least Barack Obama can follow me. Yes he can.

So yeah, I like the no commitment. The no requests. The no groups. The no structure. I can have real Twitter friends. I can have fake Twitter friends. I can have fake Twitter friends who are real Twitter stalkers. It doesn't bother me. It's only 140 characters.

1 comment:

  1. I agree so much! I am just now getting into Facebook, but not really. I keep thinking if I have the time I'd like to go in and see what everyone is up to, but I never get there. I can't stand all the chaos & confusion that is Facebook. Twitter is more time friendly for me, too.



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