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Social Fretworking

I belong to a bunch of those social networking sites. You know, like that Spacehook one and Flyface and even that new one you kids are all het up about. Jitter? Skitter? Whatever. I'm not really active on any of them, but it is sometimes amusing to see which ex-boyfriend has gone bald and which high school rival is on her third trip through rehab. I'm not highly searchable on any of these sites, but once in a while someone finds me anyway and gloms on. You know, by friending me or stalking me or whatever it is called depending on which site is doing the branding.

Sometimes this is fun, like hey! Haven't heard from you since high school! Sorry that fomenting total anarchy hasn't seemed to work out for you. Or oh look, once a windbag, always a windbag. Every so often, however, someone friends or stalks or whatevers me and I am very surprised, because we left things on Bad Terms. Now, there are not many people with whom I am on Bad Terms, but they do seem to pop up with astonishing regularity, frequently via these social networking sites. And they never actually communicate with me, they do just enough to let me know they are there. And when it happens I always wonder gosh, is this an Overture? An Olive Branch? An invitation to participate in a cathartic airing of old grievances leading to either forgiveness or mutual recognition of how silly those old grievances are, thereby improving our karma by removing these black marks from our souls? Or is this just one of those internet whores who tag everyone they remotely recognize in an effort to look cool and connected and popular?

Inevitably I fret and worry and ponder and most often eventually do nothing. Opting instead to leave the potential olive branch unsiezed just in case it turns out to be an invitation instead to further heartache and woe. But I always wonder.

How about you? Any skeletons in your closets that have found you again through the internet? What happened?

Comments (19)

Beth, I'm on Classmates.com and CafeMom and that's about it. I try to limit being tracked online as I worry someone could figure out where I live, my routines, etc.

I'm clueless about MySpace, Twitter and social networking places. I don't see how it would benefit me personally.

I find it interesting that people from your past found you, but couldn't bother to shoot you an e-mail. A simply hi, how are you doing is innocent enough without the strings.

I'm on a number of those sites too (although Facebook lost most of it's charm when Scrabulous went away), and I rarely add someone that I don't have some strong positive memories of. I mean, I recognize a lot of the names, but there has to be more to it than that. If they add me first, then ok, maybe I've forgotten a few of the good times. I'm more than happy to read a bare update and leave our relationship where it was. On rare occasions, I've found someone that I truely lost touch with and I'm thrilled to catch up. I haven't really had contact with anyone I left on Bad Terms (and I've likely forgotten what they were, anyway).

I just recently found my high school yearbook and was surprised at the people that signed it and what they wrote. I've discovered I have a terrible memory relating to my past social life.

This is such crazy timing. Just the other day, someone from high school friended me on Facebook and I was like, um, didn't we kind of...like, dislike each other in high school? Did I imagine that?

I finally came to this conclusion: "friends" on Facebook just means "people you recognize." It's more like....a social network, lines from one person to another person, rather than an actual list of friends. Sometimes it's exactly what I want, too: I like being connected enough that I COULD contact the person---but without actually being in touch.

Ha. Recently. Bad times, my friend. Bad times.

One lesson I've learned out of this is to separate real-life people from blog people. You see, the reason I had to shut down my site last week is because a friend found me on Facebook, and my profile had my blog name in it. They read it, loved it, passed it on to others, one of which did not. The End.

Good friend, ended on bad, BAD terms in college found me a few months back. I was shocked.

But the olive branch was extended with a heartfelt apology and we're on good terms again, so, yeah social networking for working that out but boooo for the people who found me from highschool who never really liked me to begin with.

I do searches on those sites because I want to see who got fatter than me. I get smug satisfaction when people who were so hot in high school have as big an ass as I do now (I'm not entirely proud of this, but it is what it is). If someone still looks really good, I get a little down on myself. Again, not proud. I don't subscribe though because I don't want my fat ass to be the cause of someone else's good mood. I don't want someone studying my face for wrinkles and trying to see if the picture is cropped to downplay sagging boobs or a mom front butt. I don't need the judgement. But I have been tempted to join, just to see if anyone would remember me at all or to gawk at old crushes and that sort of thing.

I've very liberal with the "ignore" button on these sites. My thinking is (a) if you were annoying then, you're probably still anoying now and (b) if I haven't talked to you in 10 years and I don't feel bad about it, I don't need to start talking to you now. It may be small minded of me but at least it prevents the internet from annoying me daily.

Facebook has been really really good for me.

I have found cousins that I have lost touch with since my Father's death - which is really nice and some of my partners family (cousins) that he isn't close with but really should be. This has kept the door open with all of them for different family events.

As well the very first person to friend me was a girl who beat me to a pulp in Jr. High (no joke) and she wrote me a LONG letter about how horrible she was to me because I was the nice girl from a "nice" (on the outside) family in a nice house. I knew she was a massive drug addict even in grade 8 and already had one kid so I wrote off her stupidity and eventually forgot about it. It was nice to get an apology and see that she has turned into a productive member of society.

I also found my best friend from grades 6/7 through her little sister and had lunch with her last week. Best time ever. Loved it.

As well 6 friends that I lost touch with and I went out for lunch a few months ago and are planning on another one shortly.

We also use it to keep our Mom group functioning instead of emailing all the time - pretty handy really.

That and I like the fact that the boring normal girl who would likely go do something equally boring (ME!) ended up being kinda cute and darn tootin successful and having a great home, partner and family. No wrinkles either - always good.... hahahaha.


Funny! My husband and I got into a big debate about this the other night!

I accept friend requests on Facebook from anyone whom I know. I have had people from HS who requested to be my friend but we never talked to each other/hung out in HS. I went to a big school. Because I don't really send friend requests out, unless I happen upon a person I'd really like to get back in touch with, I can't explain the apparent compulsion to be "friends" with anyone I recognize.

I agree that I don't like to ignore people in case a friend request is a potential olive branch. My husband does. I don't think it matters that much.

I think ignore is a good button as well. I was asked to be friends by my ex-fiance (eeek!!!) why on EARTH would be want to be my friend when I dumped him 9 weeks away from the impending wedding?!! It's madness I tell you. I begged friends to not accept it as he would see photos of me and my family and makes my stomach do little flips of ickiness just thinking about it. Some slipped him in and I HATE thinking that he can snoop, But I do love facebook so I accept that it comes with this element as well.

that's the thing about these sites. you can use it for what you want, and ignore the people you don't.

Recently, an old college friend found me. She brought back a ton of memories I had totally forgotten about until we started talking and I saw some old photos. That is what too much drinking will do to your college memories.

I love FB for the games you can play and silliness you can have with out of state friends. It's nice to keep in touch other than just long phone calls and emails.

I desperately want to delete both my facebook and my myspace, not only because of the Bad Terms people but the No Terms people.

I'm just so sick of being able to so easily keep up with the lives of people I would have most likely forgotten to give a second thought to.

Yet I think that the minute I delete them, I'll be so, so horribly passe and out of the loop and DOOM and whatever.

My ex-boyfriend from college checked out my profile a number of times on reunion.com (I have the upgraded membership thing that tracks visits; not all visits on the site are reported to the users), so I sent him a message letting him know that he could email me if he wanted to. I'd long since gotten over the break-up, and he sent me an email with an apology for how things ended. He's married to the woman he dumped me for, and they seem pretty happy, so it's all good. So, when I got his 'friend' request on SpaceNook, I went ahead and accepted it. If it had been out of the blue, though, I might not have been so comfortable with it.

An exboyfriend. Had it ended badly it would have been much easier to deal with the outreach. But it didn't, and now my heart hurts a little. Even 38 years later.

I don't get MySpace at all-but I am all over Facebook. I am endlessly fascinated to find out what people are up to all these years. It's like a reunion that I don't have to go to, but I still get all the good info. I wish more people were on it that I've lost touch with. I enjoy reconnecting with people that I've lost touch with, even for a quick update. Plus, I found out that my HS boyfriend married a girl I went to camp with and a guy I went to another camp with married a girl from my youth group-I have no idea how they all found each other but it's kind of cool to know that. And, I've found a few other exes-it's nice to be on good terms with them actually. DH thinks I am nuts. He is not into it at all and thinks it's weird. It's not like I am out trolling for friends amongst strangers-I just reconnect with those I already know. I have found that most HS people are much nicer and more mellow now so it's fun to hear about their kids and get together with them when I am visiting my hometown. LinkedIn is OK, but Facebook is far more intriguing/time sucking.

Every time I look for, say, an old girlfriend, I just keep finding information about restraining orders and/or witness protection. So, no.

But I'm on Twitter, using an assumed name, and it's big fun.

I do Facebook, and I love it because I've reconnected with old friends. My best friend from jr. high found me and it made my year, really. I adored her and she was just the sweetest thing - I mean, I still remember the MIX TAPE she made for me! Now that we've moved it's an easy way to keep in touch with our good friends, and I've even been brave enough to message college friends who I live near NOW to suggest playdates, etc. AND - after months and months of dithering, one night I finally friend requested my ex-boyfriend - yeah, the guy I heartlessly dumped for my husband! (So I guess the dumping was worth it, in the long run, right?)

I haven't really found out any DIRT, though. Dang it. There is one friend that I studiously keep OUT because of old drama with my best friend, though.

My very first friend request when I joined Facebook was from the biggest bully in Grade 8. He was horrid to me that whole year, just one of the all-round nastiest people I've ever encountered. So of course I refused. Looking at his profile, I was pretty sure this was not an olive branch but rather an attempt to look far more popular than he could ever be in real life...

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