My family says I have no friends. They say I am cantankerous and antisocial. I think I have too many friends. I don’t need any more. It’s too hard to keep up with the ones I already have. Unless they are on Facebook or Twitter.
Facebook and Twitter are perfect for me. I can keep track of my friends without ever talking to them. And when they update me on their status, it’s only a couple of sentences or, in the case of Twitter, less than 140 characters. And I don’t have to respond. Or I can just quickly hit the “like” button to acknowledge that I’m paying attention. I can also be friends with people who don’t really know we’re friends. Like Serena Williams,. We’ve been Facebook friends for a while. I hope she’s holding some good seats for me for the U.S. Open. I’d really like to sit in the family box next to Venus.
Facebook also enables me to be better about remembering my friends’ and family’s birthdays. Now I don’t have to actually call my Mom or send flowers on her birthday. I can just post something nice on her wall, like “Happy Birthday, hope you have a great day”. And Facebook makes me think that hundreds of people actually remember my birthday, even the kids from day camp when I was eight years old or the kids from grammar school that I never invited to any of my birthday parties. This makes me feel a little guilty. Maybe I should have a big bowling party for all my Facebook friends who remember my birthday but haven’t been invited to any of my parties.
I also joined Google+, which is like Facebook but allows you to organize your friends into “circles”. So you can have an inner circle of friends who you share only your most intimate secrets with and a broader circle of friends who you ask to give to your favorite charities, or save a dog, or play FarmVille. You can also organize your high school friends into subgroups (cliques). For example, I could have a circle of just former girlfriends, and another (much larger) circle of girls who wouldn’t give me the time of day, and another circle (still larger) of guys who wanted to beat me up, and still another of guys who still want to beat me up.