Facebook, small worlds and all that: sight unseen I'll trade you my relatives for yours

A while ago I set up a (non-blog-related) FB page to keep track of family pictures. I was hoping to keep up on weddings, babies, birthdays, etc., quietly and painlessly. I also hoped that I'd get to see family pictures without having to download attachments. Sounds sensible, right? Hah.

First friend requests:

sister's ex-husband and several of his more dubious relatives.
Next friend request: a cousin of Himself's, who seems to have forgotten that when her mother died, she sued us for the return of the wedding present her mother had given us. What, you thought you were the only one with wacko relatives?

Third friend request: a former MD at a Noted Financial Services firm, now defunct, who is starting a new firm and who has quite obviously forgotten that I stomped on his foot FOR A VERY GOOD REASON when we were seated next to one another at a business development breakfast.

Finally, some requests from cherished younger relatives - yes! the ones who post cute baby pictures! - and an unsolicited lecture from another about the appropriateness vel non of intergenerational FB connections. Who asked her? Out of curiosity I snuck onto her page, it was perfectly innocuous, and some of her friends were the very kids who had friended me.

Then Himself saw the baby pix and the offers for free cigars and early notice of wine sales, and decided to set up his own  page. I advised him to fill in as little personal info as possible.

However, as a proud graduate of a certain Small Eastern Liberal Arts School, Himself could not resist mentioning that key fact. Did I mention that this took place at that time of year when the diligent children of a certain type of parent (grr, grr) are working on college applications? He received over 8,000 friend requests the first day. The page crashed. Before the crash, he actually looked at requests from applicants and messages about their sterling qualities, messages in languages neither of us recognized, messages from guidance counselors, friend requests from parents of applicants, and daily solicitations from a man he avoids assiduously at reunions, the College's Director of Development. He hasn't tried to get back into the page since.

Meanwhile, in an excess of good feeling, I accepted a friend request from the wife of the son of a favorite (now deceased) relative. Not.a.good.idea. This lady apparently lives on Facebook and is the reason for the invention of the word "overshare." She joins things. She likes things. She believes in things. Naturally I will defend to the death her First Amendment right to be an idiot, it's just that she's so busy that I often don't bother to scroll to the end of her activititoss woohere I could see something I might really want to see. And I can't get rid of her! Facebook supposely lets you rank the kinds of stories you want to see, but  it has decided all by itself that her "likes" and "supports" and "thoughts of the day" are of greater importance than new babies. I've even reported her posts as Spam, to avail. FB seems to have a different view of the end of the world than I do.
I'm teetering on the verge of un-friending her, if I can't find a way just to block her posts. If she were a real-life nuisance, I could at least screen my calls. Update: just checked to make sure my "un-friending" has taken effect, and learned she likes Magic Mike. The pictures that adorn this gem tell me that Magic Mike is a male stripper. Where is the End of the World when you need it? Repent! Repent!


  1. This is hilarious!
    I think you need to log out of facebook permanently, this isn't going to end well!

  2. Hi, Dani, thanks! I gave up and blocked the FB addict, judging by what she's sent me, she thinks I'm in dire need of Redemption anyway. The others - well, you could say they're funny, or you could say they're a sign of a wasted life. I'll probably drop FB after a while, looks like that's what the Cool Kids are doing anyway. Kind of elderly to be a Cool Kid, but whatever.

    1. You will always be a cool kid even at 100, and what is this elderly nonsense?
      I gave up FB a few years ago, I'm from a very small town and it seemed all of the people I left the small town to Get Away From friended me immediately. Scared me half to death!
      I was going to start a DaniBP FB page for my blog but seriously how much internet stuff do I have the patience to keep track of?
      I'm off to the Finger Lakes and hope to whine and dine, WFF style! Will fill you in on our return!

    2. that's so funny, Dani, my parents made sure my sister and I went to high school in a very small town, I hated it. The funny thing is, for all I go back and forth on Long Island, for all I travel, I have never run into anyone from that town. I did get a "reunion list" a few years ago, and 2 things surprised me: (1) I'm the only one living in New York City, and (2) some of the kids I once thought were cool are still living in that town, which is not a cool thing to be doing. Well, I did learn to dress authentic prep. Have fun in wine country, I think Skaneateles is a sweet town.

  3. Wff:

    As always, you make me laugh out loud! I regret some FB "acceptances" - I originally joined to track teenagers, but now I am subject to people planting "gardens" and telling me that the end is near. I am okay If the end is near if it means they will go away...

  4. Hi, WMM, thanks! this cousin-x-times-removed-by-marriage keeps finding "eggs." I've about decided unfriending her is the way to go.

  5. This is so funny! I just can't (won't!) do the FB thing. It's simply a way for nutjobs to pry into your life and it then becomes an onerous task to keep up with it all. It freaks me out to even think about giving people that much insight into my life.

  6. H, Sulky Kitten, my "page," such as it is, gives next to no info about me, just name and DOB (minus year). It's the vacuous and pointless comments of others that I find objectionable, and of course the delusions of the deranged many that I and my (few) Friends would be interested in things like their latest prospectus, rehearsal, personal product, breakfast drink....

  7. Oh Fred, this is exactly why I am not on Facebook and why I never put any of my personal info out there. I don't have time for the crazies I went to high school with eh era rally haven't moved on, or my disturbed cousin (no, you aren't the only one with, um, there's no way around it, family you wish you hadn't met) or my dentist's best friend or something. Good luck up getting those cute by my pictures....seems they are often accompanied by detailed descriptions of all the baby's actions for the last 10 min - what the baby ate, what the baby burped or pooped, how the baby wiggled his little finger.... I have a cousin who sends a monthly email link to her 100 or so closest friends & relations of about 90+ pictures of everything her kids did. I've started deleting them! I don't have time! I try to kee my baby updates to my -immediate- fam

  8. Speaking of babies, he touched the iPad screen and that was the end of that comment! Was trying to say I have a fear of being that person who everyone dreads bc there is so much baby/kid/personal sharing, so I keep the updates brief :). Unlike this comment, oh dear

  9. Hi, mommydearest and babydearest, I am smiling as I read your comments because when I defriended the lady with nothing to do, it seems to have turned off the FB suggestions of "people or groups you might like," which is good because for the last 2 weeks if you came to my page you would have been greeted by the smirking face of John Edwards.


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