Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Unfriend Day

So Jimmy Kimmel calls for today to be "National Unfriend Day". 

Late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel believes Facebook is cheapening the meaning of friendship.
"NUD is the international day when all Facebook users shall protect the sacred nature of friendship by cutting out any 'friend fat' on their pages occupied by people who are not truly their friends," according to the show's website. 

Read more about that on CNN's link if you want to. I get it. I really do. I am very selective about who I have in my list of people - people who can read and see all about my personal life - and I think that those who have 1000 "friends" have lost the idea of what friendship is all about.

Some believe social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook are harmful, and simply a more efficient way for jerks to stalk and bully and post garbage. Maybe so. But these networks can also be used for good, and I will defend them based on firsthand experience.

I love being in touch with some of the lovely people with whom I attended high school. I moved away to go to college and never returned, so Facebook has been a wonderful way to connect with people who had the same teenage experiences that I did, and who knew firsthand my family and my tiny rural hometown. We had the same teachers, listened to the same music, drank the same Southern Comfort at the same parties together. Now we are productive citizens with jobs and homes and children, and we "get" each other. I love my high school connections.

Local connections are a handy way to invite and post events, and to commiserate about common everyday experiences. Household connections are interesting in that they are sometimes the best way to communicate. Yes - with the people you live with, especially if they happen to be a teenager. I know it sounds crazy, but it's true.

In times of joy and in times of sorrow, Facebook is a way to reach out and share in the emotion. It is the modern equivalent to sending notes and cards, and dialing the telephone. It is not a complete replacement, and there are definitely times when cards and calls are required, but it represents our new culture of the fast and immediate.

Weddings, new houses, new jobs, perfect chocolate cakes, baby photos, graduations, engagements, perfect cups of coffee, travel adventures. 

Road rage, stupid landlords, loss of pets, children that make you nuts, job losses, divorces, dinners that flopped, travel disasters. 

'Times of joy and times of sorrow. My friends are there for me, and I am grateful. 

(Thank you, Facebook, for the interface you provide.)

'with my friends at a high school basketball game in the '80s - as if you couldn't tell the date based on our hair!

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