Thursday, December 18, 2008

Trimming the Fat? Careful Where You Snip

Now we all know what Facebook is by now - a single point on the graph map of the internet where millions of people, with millions of friends while away hours of their day looking at statuses, relationship drama or the pics one of their so-called friends posted of them from the party the other night when they were drunk, stripped down to their underwear, defecating in wine glasses and straddling the lamp stand.

It's no doubt that www.facebook.com has become so popular that people are wondering why they're not making keyboards with just the w, ., f, a, c, e, b, o, k and m keys since navigating to that website is all that the computer's uses have been widdled down to over the past year. No need for quad core processors, 1gb graphics cards and X-fi speakers, give me a keyboard with 10 keys, a browser, a mouse and a pocket full of "I don't care about outside" and i'm set for all of my daily functions.

Now the main purpose of facebook was to keep in touch with people you already know - share pics, see what's going on in each other's lives and generally stay in the know with people in your network. But (I know you shouldn't start a sentence with but, but) as surely as zombies love brains, boys (and some men) love the p-word that i'm not allowed to say, and facebook is proving to be a sure means of bloaks potentially grabbing some of that thing that makes the world go round.

Chances are, that a male in a network of friends, some of whom might be female might have the luck of being the town whore like that guy from Nastaja's Calabria 2007 video or the town Haunch back like that guy from that animated film that I never saw. One way or another, they're going to get bored of the same old same old (whether it be "ease of access" or successive, unrelenting and hardcore rejection) and they're going to venture outside of their little group and start hunting sheep from another shepherd's flock; in other words, they add random pretty little things that they know nothing about, and the said pretty little things innocently accept the lustful friend request. You know the friend request is lustful because there's usually a bulge a little below the waist of the "+1 Friend" icon.

So now that your "target" has accepted the request it's time to put your game face on and play the waiting game. You log in to the site and pretend to be tending to your business while waiting for your "target" to come online. When she does, the conversation bit can begin. I don't need to go into the ass-crack of this process since i'm sure most of you know how it goes. The end result can be one of two things:

1. The convo went well and you eagerly await her next appearance online
2. The convo went horribly and you eagerly await her next appearance online to redeem yourself

No matter which, you leave your target on your friends list hoping and waiting for the day that you finally get some of that sweet stuff. Unfortunately for some, the day never comes.

As time passes and this process of trial and blue balls repeats, your friends list becomes a mixed bag of people that you know to a T, and others that you won't be able to identify in a crowd unless they have their profile picture taped to the part of their head where their face should be.

Get me wrong, not, strangers can end up on your friends list by other means such as mistaken identity (especially if you're one those tards that hid your profile info from search) or by pure peer pressure when a friend of a friend adds you. On that last point - why do they do that? Where does that compulsion to add you, a perfect stranger to them, come from? They always leave me with the difficult choice of unwillingly accepting, or rejecting and running the risk of having that person go back to the person I actually know and tell them that I'm a long streak of piss because I don't accept requests from "people". Knowing some of my friends, they might actually turn on me because I didn't accept their friend as a friend. Ridiculous, I know.

At any rate, at one time or another, there comes a point in every facebook-er's career when he must clean up that friends list and weed out the scraps. That time came for me today.

I realized that it's all dinner and strippers when you have to add people but when the deletion time rolls around, I deliberate on touching that "x" button more than deliberating whether or not to wear pants to leave the house on a morning. Deleting these "extended" friends tends to put a strain on friendships.

First off was the "failed attempts" group. Deleting them was easy for very obvious reasons. Next was the "mistaken identity" section, then came the "spoke to a few times, never really hit it off" set, then the "friend of a friend" section. The friend of a friend section was difficult because of the aforementioned complications of word getting around to my actual acquaintances. In some instances I said bollocks to that and hit the "x" harder than a white boy at a rave. In other cases, they remained there, the warts on my friends list's buttox. My success with "other ventures" remains hinged on their existence on my list.

The next category is a VERY touch and go one. One wrong deletion and it could mean some friendships that would end faster than a fight with a monkey. The category in statement is the *long inhale* "We went to school together, we weren't that close at school but you added me on facebook but we haven't really talked since then and now I have to delete you" group.

These are the people that you met already, be it through a friend or a glance and they added you on this crackbook or you, them. Since you added them you haven't really spoken to them or been very interested in their well being or recent activities even though they've probably been in every party you've been to over the past several months. You just don't really care about these people that much to have their life stories cluttering your activity feed. Come on, you have more interesting people's business to mind ;)

I really have to be careful when trimming the fat in this layer because I could be passing the shears next to a very vital organ and not know it. If you happen to be in this quandary, do as I do: label them as hot rocks and let them be. They're just occupying space, not spitting in your tea and passing it off as cream. Sooner or later, they might delete you and save you the headache.

I'm saying this because I once deleted someone from this category and in about three days time, they added me back with the personal message "Why did you delete me?" then there was this conversation as awkward and jerky as a virgin's first time. This convo lasted seven painful minutes, and I hope never to relive them ever again.

At the end of it all, my friends list is clean. Not spotless, but sanitised. Before it was as sludgy and black as the Beetham swamps, but at least now it has that dingy brown colour your water has when it now comes back. A much better state, I must admit.

So what was the purpose of this note? Well I'd say it was just something to bide my time until my next engagement, but I suppose it can be a lesson to you - yet another excuse for your conscience to kick in before you do something trivial. Use it as a yard stick fro cleaning out the old friends list of yours, ridding it of the vermin of unknown people (yes I called people vermin) and in the process having less chunks in your straw when sucking up all the juicy gossip on your activity feed.
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