Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Facebook Friend Conundrum!

The other day at a party I met two of my Facebook friends – one I haven’t met in a while; the other, I haven’t met in years. However, thanks to Facebook we were all fairly tuned into each other’s lives. I knew my musician friend was now an avid photographer, and the other friend had been busy because his mother was in hospital. Yes, status updates on Facebook can yield plenty of info!
That’s the wonderful thing about social networking sites – being able to keep in touch even if someone is miles away or we are too busy to meet even though we are in the same town. With photo uploads and status messages one gets to see friends holidaying or having fun and know whether they are pissed off with life or happy.
The flip side…you end up having a lot of ‘friends’ who you don’t actually know! Yes, there are many who are selective about who they accept but others accept at random. I, for instance, click to see the ‘mutual friend’ list and the decide whether to accept. So far, I’ve never got anyone of the creepy variety but…the painful variety…oh yes!
There is one, I presume jobless, ‘friend’ who is either answering a quiz every five minutes or uploading videos or playing a game or commenting on everyone’s status or giving a thumbs up to their photo albums…net result…my home page is flooded with info on how he won this, said that, lost that, is like Greta Garbo or there’s a list of his favourite movies, film stars, pizzas, dog breeds…whatever! Oh, yawn! Now I’m wondering…why oh why did I accept this rather garrulous online soul? Is he as talkative and informative in real life? Eeps!
Talking to my musician friend at the party, who also happens to be a ‘mutual friend’ of the above-mentioned voluble ‘pal’, we exchanged notes and discovered how out of depth we are! He too had accepted because the guy had many ‘mutual friends’. Now while my friend thought the online talker was into one profession, I thought he was into another…so much for knowing people online!
Moral of the story…be selective about your pals unless you want to be flooded with a stream of useless, and frankly, very boring, information!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Mrs Know All

As she sat with her legs crossed, she observed the room and quickly sized up everyone. Most of the women in the room worked; she didn’t. And, she most definitely wasn’t interested in conversations about work life. She had nothing to contribute and she wasn’t going to sit there as a silent spectator. Fragments of the conversation hung in the air like dust motes – it was time to intervene.
So she interrupted the flow in typical fashion. She was very good at that – ruthlessly slicing a discussion that didn’t include her. “I think,” she began and from thereon, like a skilled and brash driver, she steered the attention towards herself. Now she was in her element, in full flow as she expounded on her opinions on everything – from cooking to fitness (didn’t matter that she was 20 kilos overweight; theoretically, she knew much more about the topic than anyone else!), from bringing up children to her very strong view on politics, from religion to how to keep the bathroom clean. The soliloquy went on…and on…and on. The glazed eyes of listeners were not a deterrent; she never noticed! Attempts to interrupt the torrent of non-stop, non-interesting, nonsensical jabber were adroitly deflected; her loud voice could drown out everything.
Finally, lunch was served, and being a foodie, she was the first at the table. The gathering heaved a sigh of relief as she busied herself with putting her fork to her mouth. At least till lunch was over, after which she would give her unasked for expert opinion on the food, peace reigned!