Tuesday, August 30, 2011

My beef with FB friends

Tonight, as I was leaving volleyball training, I pass a guy who I'm friends with on the FB.

"Hello," says he.

"Hi," reply I, walking passed him.

"Oh, did you buy those shoes?" inquires him, nonchalantly.

I stop in my tracks to consider the meaning of this. Then I remember my message I'd put on the Book of Faces: Left work intending to stop at Russell & Bromley to buy that pair of brown loafers I had been coveting before going to volleyball training. But I definitely need another day to mentally prepare myself to pay THAT much for some shoes.

This is not the first time this has happened to me, people commenting to me in person about something I've written on the Facebook but not leaving a comment to the post. I recently spoke to someone who claimed to love reading my "crazy posts" but was a person least likely to write a comment back. And I find this utterly bizarre. It's like some odd voyeuristic behaviour that, if occurring outside social media, would have people arrested. It makes me feel that instead of bringing people together, the FB and other social media allows us to creepily peep on each other.

Actually, I'm being unduly harsh cos that peeping Tom behaviour doesn't really bother me so much. I will freely admit to taking in the events of other people's lives and not always giving feedback. But mostly I do. Especially if you're interesting. If you're interesting, I will defo comment. I've got a pal, DK, who talks crazy shit on the FB most of the time and he kills me and everyone he knows. He regularly has a double-digit number of comments to his postings (though, that being said, around half are his replies to what people say to him).

Though I believe in feeding back, it's sometimes clear that my two cents have absolutely no value. I'm thinking of one friend in particular, who posted a question asking who his friends believed to be the greatest DJ. I answered with a question back that he never bothered to answer. Bad form.

And that's my real beef: people not using the information that others share to really (i.e., instantaneously) engage with each other. I see this information sharing — my information sharing in my FB posts and on this darling little blog — as a service. And your feedback is currency, wages for my work. And as I see it, some of you are seriously short changing me. Y'all better pay me my money!

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Sunday, August 07, 2011

My dream, or People know I am a shit person

So last night I had a dream, which I will tell you about! Boy says there's nothing less interesting than hearing other people retell their dreams. I think wots less interesting than that is new parents talking about how amazing their babies are. I mean, THEY ARE BABIES! They do fuck all.

I recognise that's just me.

Actually, that's a good segue into the dream: I was caring for the baby of a couple with which I am acquainted. In real life, I'm pretty sure this couple hates me. Well, for one, the dude defriended me on the FB some time ago. And I was only FB friends with him. I'm really not that gutted (actually, never ever was gutted) about it cos he was kinda boring. I mean, he never changed his profile pic, one of a person doing a pretty nice sporting action, which was clearly not him. That makes him dead suspect to me. And she got on my tits!

Anyway, throughout the entire weekend I cared for the baby, I called the kid "Killian" though that is not his name - it's nowhere near his real-life given name even. To be fair, Killian is a much cooler name than the kid's real name, though. I reckon the kid is four months old, but I fed him a diet exclusively of salty peanut butter crackers. You know, the ones that come in packs of six that you get out of American vending machines. I'm also pretty sure I left him alone several times, once for an pretty extended amount of time where he conked his head. I never changed his nappy. Yep, I was a pretty shit person.

Could this be why this couple hates me? Could they somehow (don't ask me how: I only come up with the theories, not explain them) look past the dreamscape and look directly into my soul and tell that I'm such a shit person that I would harm their little Killian (he will always be Killian to me now) and give him jailbound-worthy care for a weekend? Is this why I was defriended?

But at the same time, if they knew I was such a shit person, why did they let me care for the baby? Clearly, these people are bad parents.

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Tuesday, August 02, 2011

My current dilemma, maaaan

Basically, every North American I encounter these days makes me wonder: "Do you play softball?" (I am apparently not the only one like this). Yeh, yeh: you think I'm racist cos I assume that all NAers are good at ball. Yeh, so wot? Sue me. In my experience, I have found the greater the propensity for naturally lacing the word "man" in conversation (as in "No way maaaaan, that was soooo out."), the higher the likelihood that the person is shit-hot at softball. So the USer that I met at the Scottish Book Trust, only likely to say "maaaan" in an ironic way: an OK and improving baller.

Now the new kid I recruited - Mr Maaaan, mayor of Maaaaaan Town: confidently balling. All his convo is about balling: batting, fielding, baseball ("Maaaan, the Pirates fucking suck maaan."). So how exactly did I meet Mr Maaaan? Well, there's the dilemma.

Basically, I met Mr Maaaan when he and his child came to visit our school in the spring. After spending some time waffling about whether or not I should ask him to play our little reindeer game, I approached him and he happily agreed to take part. This is really the first time I've allowed someone who is not another teacher to see me in not Ms Teacher mode. Basically, Mr Maaaan has seen me exclusively in my rude, profane, bolshy Me mode, not the lovely Ms Teacher side I like to cultivate to parents.

But now he's asked me to be a friend on the FB. And I'm waffling over this friendship request like no other, as some of you yahoos can attest to. (I've got issues!) I don't wanna out and out ignore him, cos like I said he's an a'ight guy. But it's about the boundaries, innit, and the inappropriate crossing thereof. Isn't it just inappropriate for a parent of one of my kids to want to be my friend on the FB?

On the other hand, this isn't really his fault. In fact, this whole thing could have been prevented if I had thought a little bit more about my actions. I mean, what the fuck did I think was going to happen when I asked him to play softball on my team? That we would somehow stay in these little bubbles where I would always be Ms Teacher and he would always be Mr Maaaan and our real adult personalities of Me and Maaaan would never emerge? I asked him to engage in a social context with me and now I'm freaking out that he actually wants to do it. I'm thinking hard and getting wrinkles cos I think he's crossed a line, but in reality, wasn't it me the one who did?

Actually, I don't think I really have a problem being his friend. This little rant has been about trust and wondering if I can I trust Mr Maaaan with all my personal shit on the FB? Yeh, I've already given him a precursor to my FB self when we play, with all my cursing and inappropriate stories - so wots the difference? The difference is all that stuff I've verbally shared on the field is temporal, having only a fleeting life in one's memory.

Ok, think about it like this: when he goes home to Mrs Maaaan and she asks if anything good happened, he might say, "Ah maaaan, Ms Teacher was telling me this hilarious story about these people shagging loudly on her holiday in France!" And she would say, "What happened maaaan?" And he would reply, "Yeh maaaan, I can't really remember it all." Cos that's what face-to-face interactions are like: filled mainly with silly, inconsequential moments that somehow establish a feeling of friendliness amongst people. But pictures of my drunky bear antics on the FB, however, are permanent. And can be reviewed on the regular. With snorts and chortles.

And can I trust Mr Maaaan, or even Mrs Maaaan, not to share my shit with other parents and other folks? And what if he shows it to his kid? "Hey Lil Maaaan, look at Ms Teacher getting fucked up in this pic! Maaan, that's awesome!" Cos ultimately, even when parents are friendly to you and share a laugh with you, they are still your quasi-employers. Their bottom line is to protect their little one. Our friendship, as fun as it could be, could be thrown out the water if Mr and Mrs Maaaan are totally different when they are in Mr Dad Maaaan and Mrs Mum Maaaan mode.

Of course, I'm the one who's letting this play on my mind, on and on. Mr Maaaan thought all of two seconds about this, only thinking about how to find the 'Request friend' button on the FB . How do I know? Cos he's a man and so you know there was no girly dilemma chat in his head with his actions. I so need to maaaan up.

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