Monthly Archives: May 2010

Facebook: creating the life you want people to think you’re living.

Chloe is a Facebook addict.
Inspired by Sara’s post.

I joined Facebook back in early 2005; my first instinct was to snark on the site because the only people on there were my former high school classmates, and I wasn’t ready to “care” about what was going on in their lives. Then more of my friends started joining, and people I hadn’t seen in 13 years started contacting me. Soon it was the place to make plans, and keep in touch with my friends. I was even more excited when the UK hoped on the bandwagon because it meant I no longer had to write individual emails to my friends, all I had to do was update my status and write “how are you?” on their wall. Voila, a way to “maintain” a friendship.

I was also won over by the addition of applications and quizzes. Let’s face it, I think it’s important that people know I’m most like Elizabeth Bennett, and that if I were an ice cream flavor then I would be mint chocolate chip. One Facebook friend complained that these quizzes were about procrastination and a waste of time. It’s possible that those are some peoples’ motivations, but I think it all boils down to narcissism.

At this point, Facebook has become about showing the world who we think we are. We’re selling ourselves trying to prove to our “friends” that our lives are pretty damn good. Example: I know people who are constantly telling their SO via facebook that they love them. In reality, the relationship isn’t so good. Another example: a friend, wanting to show what a good step-daughter she is, posted a Mother’s Day message to her step-mom(who doesn’t have a Facebook)This resulted in a number of “likes” and showing of approval from various friends. Why not actually call the step-mom, the person it would actually mean something to? Well, the direct call doesn’t show the world that you are amazing for caring about someone you really don’t have to.

Maybe that’s unfair, maybe people do care, but I do think we’re getting pretty lazy when it comes to showing affection/interacting with people outside of Facebook. What happened to actually emailing/writing friends to fill them in? What about calling them? A few weeks ago I had a friend message me via FB instead of calling me to tell me she couldn’t make it to our lunch. Just a few years ago she would’ve called, left a voice mail and I would have known sooner rather than later that my plans had changed. Maybe I’m one of the few that doesn’t have instant access to FB, but honestly, a call seems more personal. It seems like your actually participating in a friendship.

Maybe it’s time we back away from the computer, call up one of our friends and see if they want to meet for coffee. Maybe we actually make the effort instead of letting FB do the work for us. Maybe it’s time we get back to the “real world.”


The truth about you…

Carrie is talking shit about you!

After months of a creative drought, I’ve finally started writing (poetry) again. I find myself writing about people I’ve had issues with, my (and sometimes others’) perceptions of them. There are also times when I find myself twisting interactions and events, so that it is essentially fiction.

When I was in my second creative writing workshop we didn’t have much control over what we wrote about, or at least that’s how I saw it at the time.  During that semester I wrote a lot about one of my relatives. I used to worry about what she would think if they were ever published. Two poems have been published, and as far as I know, she’s never read them. I’ve never told her that she has two poems about her, mostly because I don’t know how she’d respond to them.  However, she (+ a few others) are  a rarity because I usually tell people I’ve written something about them, or a piece about the time we had some sort of adventure. I think the difference with those people is that I’m trying to sort of freeze this moment where they were something that they aren’t anymore; where we were something completely different. Even if the events in the poem didn’t happen exactly they way I wrote them there’s some truth to it.  Ok, so most of the people who know I’m writing/have written about are writers–they get that things are emphasized or distorted. My friend Jenny A. didn’t freak out when I wrote about her hectic and emotional few months during the time we lived together. After I sent her the poem, I told her that I sort of constructed more of a story around her. She responded with “I get it, it’s art.”

One of my creative writing professors once said, “people have to realize that if they are in your life, they are fair game to be written about.”  I don’t think this is a concept that most people grasp.  Most people aren’t ready to see how you view them, even if it is one element of them magnified to the nth degree. I think there’s a good amount of people who would jump up and say “that’s not how things really are.” Fair enough. My friend “Morticia,” quotes Henry & June to me whenever I tell her that I’m worried about how a person might respond to something I’ve written about them.
It’s a distortion. Henry, Look at me! Look! You can’t see me or anyone as they are! I wanted Dostoyevsky  –June Miller

Sometimes I think about telling those who don’t know. Everything is constructed so they can understand my truth, but I worry that will get lost somewhere, so I say nothing. I think for the most part that’s the best.

I used to believe that if someone wrote about me, I’d want to know. Now, I’m not so sure. It would depend on the someone. I’m curious though, who does want to know if they’ve been written about?