July 14th, 2009

Social Networking, So Much

Before the Rose-coloured blog, before the Facebook obsession and the fear of MySpace, before socializing went virtual, there was the Bureau of People We Know. Well, there was insofar as a thing that had no form or substance but simply got talked about a lot (mainly by me) can be said to have existed. In fact, even before that, there was the chorus of the children’s song The More We Get Together, which encouraged you to think of my friends as your friends.

That was really the basis of the BPWK, as I have always wanted to meet my friends’ friends, especially around the time I graduated undergrad, and my little circle exploded into different cities and careers and circles, doing all kinds of fascinating things far away where I couldn’t see them. So whatever city someone ended up in, I’d name them head of that city’s office of the BPWK, their only duty really being to hang out with me when I came to town, maybe introduce me to their other friends, and perhaps hang out with some other friends of mine if they found themselves in the same city.

This was not social networking in the Penelope Trunk sense, where you look for useful people, befriend them and then hope they’ll do things for you. My central goal was for no one to ever be bored or lonely in a strange city and to meet as many cool people as possible (and in those senses, I am personally living the dream, at least).

And for the same reason (well, more the meeting cool people part), I am very fond of blogs and Facebook. I often meet someone once at a party, have a charming conversation, and wonder how I’ll be able to have another charming conversation with that person without seeming a) like I’m hitting on him/her, b) a potential stalker, and c) socially lame. Facebook offered the answer, a way to get to know a *little* about people who seem cool, and to interact a *bit*, to the point where you might be able to “take it live” and have coffee in a real actual place.

And that makes me very happy. It also makes me happy that I can invite these new friends to parties and readings and be invited to theirs, that they can see my other friends and what we’re all up to, and maybe the Bureau of People We Know will enlarge even further.

Social networking websites are not a substitution for personal interaction; they are a method of interacting, albeit in a minor, low-committment way. Which can be a conduit to lots of other things, or just a long-term happy acquaintanceship. Both are good things.

So yay Facebook, yay blog! I never joined MySpace because I thought you needed to have a band, and I never joined Twitter because I thought you needed to have a cellphone… Obviously, I know they’ll let you *on* either platform without guitars or a flipphone, but I figured there’s be no point; I’m not who it’s for. Then a shadowy man told me I could synch my Facebook updates with Twitter, if only I were on Twitter. \

So now I’m on Twitter. Such is my love of FB that the hours in the day when, erm, technical difficulties make updating impossible are sad for me. So now, FB tweeting all the time.

And the bonus, of course, is that I’ll get to see who is on Twitter. Besides Wren and Fred and Mel, of course, who are my friends across all platforms, aside from being original members of the BPWK.

Not sick of me yet? Let’s be Twitter friends! Or you can just scroll way down on the right side of this blog and see my none-too-fascinating tweets.

Sweet Alexis / is eating fingernails for breakfast
RR

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So Much Love by Rebecca Rosenblum

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