Set It And Forget It
I THINK OF MYSELF AS A FRIENDLY SORT OF PERSON. I rarely ignore people or kick puppies. I’m only rude to people who richly deserve it, and then I do it in such a way that they don’t notice it – everyone else around will see it, but not the object of my affliction.
The reason I bring it up at all is that on Facebook, which I find to be a nifty way of connecting with friends and family who are scattered about like acorns in October, I am regularly presented with a Rogue’s Gallery of pictures of people that Facebook thinks I might like to become friends with. Their list sometimes numbers in the hundreds. I don’t know that many people in real life, so I don’t see why I would want to have that many friends in the Ether.
When I am presented with one of these lineups of possible friends I will check it out – to a degree. One detail that I do like about Facebook’s presentation is that it tells me how many “mutual friends” that I share with the people being offered up to me. Sometimes the number of mutual friends is 20 or more. If I already share that many friends with them then, chances are, I have not become their friend by conscious choice. We all have people in our lives whom we know, but wish we didn’t. These people come in under the heading of “Nodding Acquaintances” or “Someone at Work.” But they are not and never will be “Friends.” Friends you invite to dinner. These people you wouldn’t invite to the last seat in the lifeboat.
Lately I have noticed sprinkled in among the people suggested to me as possible new Electronic BFFs are people with whom I share no mutual friends – none, zero, nada, squat, zilch and doodly. These people come in under the heading, “Complete Strangers.”
What is it about them that makes Mr. Zuckerberg think that we might hit it off and merit admission to my list of Friends? Taking just one look at some of their profile pictures makes me want to take my electrons and run the other way. These are some spooky looking people. I’m not saying that I might not have the same impact on their monitors, but I don’t think that I look like a failed experiment. Thanks, Zuckerberg, but no thanks. I’m doing just fine as it is.
One other thing I have noticed about these suggested Friends and our shared Facebook Pals. I have begun to see strewn through the roster are a number of folks with whom I share only one friend. This intrigued me.
When I clicked on these Solo Sharers I discovered something quite interesting. In approximately 95% of the cases the one Friend that we share is either the current Mayor of Terre Haute (That’s French for, “You need more friends.”) who is running for re-election, or, and this is a big OR – Ron Popeil, the Undisputed King of the Infomercial.
“Set it and Forget it!”
Yes, I am a Facebook Friend with Ron Popeil. Over the years I have found him to an interesting personality and consummate Showman.
I know that this is going to be a tricky thing to say without pointing the finger at myself, but – Ron has some pretty strange Friends out there in Facebookland. So does the Mayor, but Ron leads the pack by quite a margin. I’m not saying that his Friends, who want to be my Friend, are bad people, not at all, but that much silicone just ain’t natural.
Let’s leave it at that.
I currently have about 280 Facebook Friends. There are some people who have thousands of Friends. I’m surprised that I ever gathered more than a dozen. But I’m not Ron Popeil.
Love ya Ron! Mr. Mayor – we need to talk.