With Facebook there are many shades of involvement - from those that update their status on a daily basis to those who are on it, maybe have 7 friends and don't really update it at all, with many shades of grey in the middle. Me, I sit somewhere in the middle. And as for my friend Kate, well she flat out refuses and I admire her for her resilience because as we know, it can be damn addictive - you find yourself looking through photo albums of people you used to work with 10 years ago, searching for random names you use to go to school with, and generally just wasting time.
However, from a little bit of school yard mum chatting, there appears to be "friend" etiquette issues with Facebook, and I've been caught out a few times. And bare with us Kate, IF you were on Facebook, you'd understand....here's a few...
1. The "Accepting Someones Invite to be Their Friend When They're Not Your Friend" Syndrome. You suddenly realise that you don't want X to be privy to all your personal info, photos, status updates etc as you actually have just met them, barely know them and are unlikely to have much contact in the future. That doesn't define friend in my book.
2. The "Family Member Friends" Syndrome- when you become friends with your second cousin-in-law who you haven't seen in 15 years but whose still tight with your in-laws and suddenly realise they can see your " ...is too hungover to function" status update and gathers little pearls of naughtiness to purge at the next family function. (and no this isn't me, as my family, myself included are too technically challenged to use Facebook widely - I'm not sure if Dad even has an ATM card yet).
3. The "Friend that's not really a Friend" Syndrome - you reconnect with someone you haven't heard of since you had kids, and you have an intense "OMG, it's amazing to catchup" series of e-mails, only to fall into an awkward silence once you've exhausted your catch up topics. There's nothing to keep the "friendship" moving forward. Especially if you live in different countries and have different lives.
4. The "Friend Who Doesn't Reply To Your Friend Invite" Syndrome - you put an invite out there to someone with a carefully worded message to let them know you weren't stalking them or randomly searching names but that you GENUINELY wanted to get in touch with them and there is a deafening silence, when they don't reply. In effect you have put this person in Syndrome No 1 quandry - "if I say yes, then she's going to have access to all my photos, status updates, personal info and I don't know if I want that.".
Are there any other syndromes you've experienced with Facebook - don't get me started on the Facebook Applications as I don't think my friends who I USED to play Scrabbulous with have realised that I have stopped playing in protest to the fact that they either used a dictionary or are sodding walking dictionaries , what's wrong with the good old days when "boats" was a great scrabble work.
So you may realise now why I call my friend Kate, "my clever friend Kate", she's clever enough not to a) waste ridiculous amounts of time on a website and B) write a blog about it.