Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A Conversation With My Facebook Friend

For a long time I resisted joining Facebook.

But the truth of the matter is that if you maintain an online persona, it’s almost required that you join Facebook.

So I did.

My impression after three weeks: It’s a lot like Twitter, only a lot more so. It’s an interesting place and so far my experience there has been fairly benign.

Until tonight.


Via FB Messenger from a “Friend” I don’t actually know who friended me several days ago: 

Friend: Hey!

Me: Um, yes?

Friend: I’ve got [some kind of something something] zoo animal. You still looking for those?

Me: Uh…what?

Friend: [some kind of some shit that makes no sense] zoo animal. What you got to trade?

Me: WTF?

Friend: Zoo World xeng boing frap zomf wazza wazza (ok, that’s not actually what he said, but in my head that’s what it sounded like and what he actually said made pretty much the same exact sense).


At this point I realize that this guy is the guy who keeps trying to sell me Zoo World paraphernalia on my wall. I also suddenly realize that Zoo World is a facebook game, and my new friend is not actually a procurer of exotic animals with a really cool job like John Wayne and Red Buttons in Hatari! 

Me: Dude, I think you might have me confused with somebody else.

Friend: Why?

Me: I don’t play Zoo World or any other online FB game.


Longish pause.


Friend: You don’t?

Me: No

Friend: You want me to unfriend you?

Me: It’s up to you.

Friend: Well you don’t play games and I don’t like talking to you, so why should we be friends?

Me: I’m good either way, friend or unfriend. I just didn’t want you wasting your time thinking I was being a jerk by not buying your zoo animals or whatever

Friend: Unfriend then.

Me: Ok


Longish pause.


Friend: Wait, are you really hot?


  1. To which the correct reply is "Too hot for the likes of you. Buh bye."

    I think the picture says it all. Rawwrrrrrrrr.

  2. The next time someone asks me why I'm not on Facebook, I'm linking to this post.

  3. But, I like my zoo animals. My wife would never let me have a foxbat, or a spotted hyena in the house.

    pasali - a knock-off Passat.

  4. Facebook desperately wants me to friend you - it keeps putting your profile up in the little ad on the top right corner and saying Friend Him! Leaving aside the whole issue of "friend" as a verb, this freaks me out since a) I have no idea how Facebook knows I read this blog, and b)it seems kind of stalkerish to friend someone I haven't actually met.

    griles - a poisonous frog with gold teeth

  5. Nick from the O.C.March 31, 2010 at 9:43 AM

    I was going to make an obscure Orwell reference, but refrained. This post made me chuckle.

    spilite = Special light used by forensic criminologists to analyze expectorated saliva. Commonly seen on that weekly documentary on the inner workings of the Navy and Marine Corps, NCIS.

  6. Try telling Facebook you're single. About once a week I get a friend request from a girl with a hot picture. Trouble is, her "profile" links to some mail-order-bride site in Russia.

  7. @Chris: I'm marked as married and still get those.

    You can block all that game stuff w/o leaving FB.

    ducto = failed trademark for you-know-what/

  8. Yeah. I'm on facebook solely so I can see other friends' photos. And because, as you said, it seems mandatory for online people. I don't play any of the games, though.

    And my mother is on Facebook and uses it to check up on me. Which is much less disturbing at 39 that it would have been at 19. Direct quote: "Oh, I don't need to call you any more because I read your blog every day. I knew you were fine because you popped up on Facebook again."

    Living in the future is weird.

  9. "...and I don’t like talking to you, so why should we be friends?"


  10. Phiala,

    My Grandma and I had a similar conversation recently.

    Also - I say "living in the future is weird/awesome/terrible" ALL THE TIME.

  11. Since I'm not a writer, I don't want a singular Internet presence and use all of the privacy blocks I can find. I block all games and applications others use the first time they show up on my wall so I don't ever have to see them again. I don't accept friend requests from anyone I don't want to, including my in-laws. I've even blocked a few people in advance just so they can't ask me. No one can do a search for me without knowing my fb name so most people have to ask me to friend them since they can't find me to friend me.

    I set up my son's account for him so he could contact a girl he had a thing for, and his gmail account (most of his online accounts, in fact), which means I could go in to see and do whatever I choose to them (he forgets that-heh heh), but youngsters' daily lives just aren't all that interesting to me so I don't do any snooping.

    I am fb friends with my 20-something children, some of their friends, and a niece, but most of them made the request because I be cool. Some of my friends' 20-something children asked through their parents to friend me; I still don't know why but I was fine with it. I won't let any of their parents who are not already among my friends be my fb friend anymore than they will! (<;

    I don't read the younger folks' walls very often because most of them are boringly vacuous. When a couple of youngsters said something derisive about their parents being on fb, I reminded them that incessant posts like, "Dude! Let's get really f*****d up this weekend!" are not very interesting to their elders so I didn't think they had to worry much about the older generation spending much time tracking them.

    FB keeps changing things and each time they do, it requires going back and spending the time to set each and every application's and section's privacy preferences again, which gets pretty detailed. And any time one accepts a new application or uses one, it requires going into privacy preferences to change it from the default of everyone can see it.

    Also, social sites are all using beacons now to signal each other where we are and what we are doing; I turn those off too, and opt-out of advertising cookie tracking, plus block them with my own programs. It makes using these sites less convenient and I'm sure they are still sneakily getting me somewhere, but it makes my paranoid old-hippie mind feel better anyway.

  12. Dudette, that's too much work.

    Your hippie self needs to chill, if the reefer is making you paranoid, set.it.down.

    Just sayin'

  13. LMAO! This made my day.

  14. Why the heck are you friending people you don't know? I'm trying to cull my friends list!

  15. You obviously don't understand the basic concept of "friending," Megan.

    He who dies with the most wins.

  16. I thought it was 'he who dies with the most tools'... well, could be the same thing, I guess.

    There's only one person in my friends list that I haven't actually met yet, but her I know through the original friend who I've known for 20+ years, now. Does being a fan count as 'friending'?

    loogi - something hawked up

  17. @CJandErik:

    I like my paranoia, thank you very much. I just wouldn't be me without it.

    Not opening oneself to any and all exploitive and intrusive interests on the web, not to mention vengeful nut-jobs, is intelligent. I learned that from a friend who can find Anyone online, traced all the way to their house. She proved it years ago when someone hiding behind fake info on eBay ripped her off. She found him. Her tracking talents only improved after that.

    Because I gave up "the reefer" (who ever Really called it reefer, except for narcs) many many years ago in exchange for middleclass, white bread momdom, I have the energy, focus, and drive to do a little extra work.

  18. Leaving aside the whole issue of "friend" as a verb

    @David -- this bothered me too, but I checked the dictionary and "friend" is a verb:

    Main Entry: friend
    Function: transitive verb
    Date: 13th century

    : to act as the friend of : befriend

    I'm less fond of the various iterations of Facebook: Facebooker; Facebookian, Facebooked, etc.

    I've hidden all those stupid games notifications and don't let the games I play post notifications.

    "mancymp": A member of parliament who's dressed to the nines.

  19. @Bill -

    Thanks for providing the reference!

    I'm not terribly bothered by the notion of "friend" as a verb from a grammatical point of view (and for those who are, I highly recommend "The Lexicographer's Dilemma" by Jack Lynch on the evolution of "proper" English). It just sounds heart-stoppingly inelegant, and that always saddens me a bit.

    Your mileage may vary.

    spers - them thangs what make yer horse go forward

  20. Laughing til my sides ache is not really the best thing to do on my lunch break - it makes my coworkers worry. So I'll just link them to the blog.

    Also, I sent you a friend request on Facebook. I tend to follow my favorite bloggers there since they're generally cool people as well as nifty writers, and I'm sure you're just as sharp-witted regardless of the medium.

    By submitting said request, I solemnly swear that I will not invite you to play any Facebook games.


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