Monday, December 07, 2009

Where never-was friendships go to live

That was how I once described Facebook to Scott in one of our mocking IM conversations about the seemingly ubiquitous social networking site. Though, I regularly (though not frequently) Google people from my past (primarily college friends—the subgroup from which I've lost touch with the most people), I have staunchly resisted FB. Through, e-mail, phone calls, IMs, text messages and even annual xmas cards, I am in touch with the people I truly care to be in touch with. Honestly, not to sound smug, but if I've lost touch with you it's your fault.

That's why it's always been odd to me, when people use the "don't you want to know what (insert name here) is up to?" as some kind of FB incentive. To be honest, not at all, which brings me to the point of this blogpost.

Someone I know on a very cursory level (not a colleague, source or boss) from my days as a newspaper reporter, contacted me on LinkedIn. Now why am I on LinkedIn when I am anti-FB? LinkedIn is more professionally targeted. I can see what my friends are up to professionally, like promotions, transfers, in some cases moves, or the most basic thing, learn what their goddamned jobs are in the first place. Like I said, it's supposed to be professional.

And yet, despite LinkedIn's more professional slant, it's still a place where barely-was-relationships can stay on life support. I suppose in this case it's where never-were colleagues can pretend that they might puruse a joint venture in the future?

The person who contacted me is not someone I worked with, but he had been at the Albany Times Union before I got there and was still friends with several of my co-workers, so we saw each socially a few times. I don't harbor any particular ill feelings toward this person. I'd register my feelings as neutral. Once I left I never expected to see him or hear from him again and I was perfectly OK with that.

I am going to leave the "invite" unanswered. I highly doubt he really cares what I'm up to or about teen journalism. I suspect he's collecting contacts. After all, who doesn't take note of how many "friends" or "contacts" a person has on their FB or other social networking page? But even though I look at someone's contact number, I don't want to be a collector of languishing-online-relationships.

1 comment:

Quing said...

But LA Youth has a facebook....