Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Be my friend... please... pleeeeeze...

I have been trying to get my grand daughter to email me a photo for about a year now, and each time I ask her to, she says "Oh sorry, I forgot. I'll do it tonight."

It has only dawned on me in the last couple of weeks that nobody between the age of 5 and 35 uses email any more unless they absolutely have to because of work. Maybe you already know this, but it came as a revelation to me that young people would rather share a personal message and photos with as many strangers as possible, rather than just the one for whom it was intended. This must severely cramp their style when it comes to openness and honesty, otherwise they would find themselves losing the multitude of 'friends' that subscribe to their social networking site, and that would be absolutely unacceptable. I now sort of understand how a group of teenage girls can sit around, all talking at once to nobody in particular, because that is what they do online all the time anyway. The most frequent expression overheard is usually "OhMyGod!!!" (OMG).

My daughter (aged 38) asked me to join FaceBook a couple of years ago, and I asked why? She answered, "So that we can talk and I can send you pictures". I said that she could do that anyway using a tried and tested system called 'email', but that didn't seem to make sense to her, so I joined. About 3 days later, an Australian sado-masochist (complete with photo wearing a black-leather gimp-mask) who described himself as Amish and happened to have the same name as me, asked if he could be my 'friend'. Not wishing to seem prejudiced, I accepted him as my one and only 'friend', and started a polite conversation by asking him what being an Australian Amish involved, as I understood them as shunning all forms of modernity and riding around in horse-carts in Southern America - not posting pictures of themselves wearing gimp-masks on FaceBook. He replied by saying that of course he was not Amish, he just said he was. I could see that this friendship was going nowhere, so I deleted him from my list of friends, leaving myself friendless. Not even my daughter had responded to my request for her to be my friend, and it was her idea in the first place.

Now, judging from the frequency with which I post up blogs like this one, you might reasonably assume that I enjoy talking to myself, but this really isn't the case, so I deleted myself from FaceBook. At least I thought I did, but it seems that - like the Hotel California - you can check out, but you can never leave. Somewhere out there, there is a little, lonely version of me, awaiting a long overdue status upgrade.

Since my grand daughter would rather bite off her own fingers than invite me to be one of her friends on FaceBook, I think the only way that I am going to get that picture is to wait for her to come round with her laptop and email it to myself. How sad is that?

14 comments:

  1. Tom - I feel for you.
    It seems ironic that I am trying to trace my family tree and I am completely fascinated by my ancestors. I have recently found the census from 1911 and on it my great grandfathers occupation is artist/painter, so you can imagine that I would love to find out about him. I have no photos or anything so I feel like Sherlock Holmes.
    I have a bizarre aversion to facebook ( I have not succumbed) , yet will happily blog away for anyone to read.

    Hope you grandaughter gets around to sending you that picture. My daughter would be exactly the same, think it's just teenagers.

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  2. Aha! My cynical ploy to solicit sympathy has worked, Suzanne! (I was trying to solicit a laugh too) Good luck with the genealogy - my attempts to look up family history have amounted to nothing, I can't even find myself on record, let alone grand parents. As my father's family used to own a brewery in the East-End, you would have thought I would have found some mention. Maybe I'm not looking hard enough.

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  3. Should've asked us, Tom; we'd be your friends! We're not crazies!

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  4. I joined facebook, like most parents, to see my kids photos. It seems it's the only way to access them ~ if you can't beat 'em, join 'em kind of thing?
    But I have managed to connect with a few friends from my old ex-pat days. We all returned to our native lands with promises of staying in touch (which of course we didn't do), but slowly the old Bangkok-Scrabble-Gang is coming together on Facebook. Kind of nice. It has it's uses.

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  5. Deleting yourself from Facebook is not easy. I have taken out all details about myself, photos etc, but the page is still there. My oldest son recently suggested using unbelievably foul language whilst saying what rubbish Facebook is. They might then delete you themselves.

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  6. This is a gr8 post! lol rofl :)
    Facebook freaks the hell out of me. I've done the same thing as Cro (and good suggestion too).

    Regarding your first paragraph, yesterday I looked over my teenage daughter's shoulder at her drunken party photos posted on FB. I made some kind of(old person's)noise and she yelled at me: "Don't I have any privacy around here, Mum?"

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  7. I joined Facebook in an attempt to find my fathers family. Even though I wasn't sure they knew my name, I thought since my name was unusual a link may be found.

    I now use it to keep up with neices and nephews and for updates on my daughters hair color which she changes with alarming frequency. Now my kids don't live at home, I find our more about their goings on from facebook than phone calls home.

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  8. I've heard it's now called 'Creepbook'!

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  9. Good idea, re getting barred, Cro. That is a gem, Sarah T - the idea of requesting privacy whilst posting intimate details of herself to the rest of the world!

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  10. I cannot tell if a Chinese wise-man has latched onto me, but he does have a point. People must have learnt a hell of a lot from me over the years.

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  11. I held out on joining the FB crowd until I had a weak moment a few weeks ago. It must have been the full moon. Send me a request. I'll be your friend.

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  12. Be my friend, Willow - will that do?

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