Looking for a typist on International Women’s Day…Dad? Scarybear?

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The randomness of Facebook friending

My Fellow Inebriates,

It may surprise you to know that there are a lot of bears on Facebook. Here’s the breakdown of my FB friend list:

The bears are usually the teddy variety, with a few wild bears here and there. Most don’t do much on FB; their humans have opened an account for them and seemingly been satisfied to leave it at that. Several are very active, and lots of them send me pics of themselves drinking, which I like. But for the most part FB friends come and go as in a slow-motion Twitter account. I don’t pay attention to the total number, but I do notice when a bear-friend’s account gets zucked, as happened to Boo Bear a couple of years ago. (He came back within a day, still wearing his coolest shades.)

I get tagged in photos like this.

I live in perpetual terror of being zucked. Facebook policy forbids bears from having accounts, and The Facebook Effect author David Kirkpatrick repeatedly ascribes much of Facebook’s success to its insistence on verifiably authentic member names. But with 500M+ members, FB can only police its ursine underbelly so well. And honestly, some bears contribute more to social networking than some humans. Like Boo.

My parents’ FB friend lists are comparatively boring. Here’s my mum’s breakdown, for example:

You won’t find Corporal James Shittington or Archie Candypants. Almost everyone is a human and an actual personal acquaintance. Her deviant complement is about half of mine, and would be lower if we didn’t count the ultra-religious right as part of that pie slice.

And this one from a monkey friend…

The actual numbers, too, are lower. Unlike yours truly, my parents don’t get random friend requests from entities such as “Bill’s Toaster Oven” and “Shite Sheep.” Nor would they click “Accept,” which I do. So they have about a tenth the friends I do, but arguably their friendships are somewhat more meaningful.

For instance, when a friend drops from my friend list, the reason is usually random:

  • Facebook did another animal purge.
  • The friend, who’d had an impulse to create a teddy bear page under the impression it was a totally original idea, immediately started getting legions of teddybear friend requests and realized that not only is the idea not original; this whole teddybear-Facebook thing is huge. They got weirded out renamed the page, then dropped any bear-friends.
  • The friend correctly decided I was an idiot and unfriended me.

My parents’ lists are therefore a bit more stable. Their friends don’t ordinarily get purged. They don’t rename themselves unless they get married or divorced. But occasionally they do decide my parents are idiots and hit the “unfriend” button.

This happened to my dad when one of his “friends” posted a gay-bashing status. When my dad challenged it, he was promptly unfriended for his intolerance.

As for my mum, she gets dumped here and there simply because she hardly ever checks in. Friends spring-clean their lists, ask themselves when they last talked, and she gets jettisoned. She could avoid this by posting a cat picture once a week, which sort of sums up the FB experience.

For some people, Facebook is a way of connecting with people they wouldn’t otherwise contact—a way of maintaining dormant relationships. For others, Facebook is a reflection of active relationships—if they’re friends with you on FB, chances are they also call you, email you, walk in the park with you. Which sounds exhausting.


My Fellow Inebriates,

You’d think I’d be hard to catch, being very small and usually concealed say, under the toilet for a post-cocktail nap, but the other day I got tagged by Unhappy Mommy. Yes!

Elevenses…Pooh reaches for some honey lager.

For wild bears the word “tagged” conjures up a lot more than blogging conviviality. My friend Scary, who claims to have been caught in a leghold trap prior to his Toys R Us sojourn and purchase, would get very ornery at being tagged, but I kind of like it.

Unhappy Mommy gave me the following rules: I have to answer one of her 11 questions and then pose 11 of my own to 11 other bloggers.

Of all the times-table problems, 11×11 has always been a bitch for me. I can remember all of them, people, but for some reason I trip on 11×11. And 11×12. And of course 11×13, etc. I think it’s because the 11 times tables set you up for ease of calculation: 11, 22, 33, blah blah blah. And then, HOLY FREAKING SHIT, what the hell does 11×11 amount to? I guess I have some elevenish baggage.

Unhappy Mommy asked a lot of questions that really demand they be answered by a person of more depth. But you get what you get with LB, so I’m answering this one:

What is your favorite part of your day?

Absolutely, the best part of the day is Happy Hour, although it’s more of a notion in our household than an actual recurring ritual. For the obvious reasons I don’t care much for mornings, although I’ve had some good ones—this one for instance:

And now for my questions:

  1. Did you have a lovable animal when you were little, and was there a point when you decided it was childish? What was the trigger?
  2. Do you believe in astrology? Why or why not?
  3. Do you think there’s a divide between physiological addiction and physical addiction, and where do you think alcoholism falls?
  4. Is there any topic that you consider absolutely out of bounds as far as humor goes?
  5. How much attention do you pay to politics?
  6. Are you hopeful about our planet? Why or why not?
  7. If you are a parent, how is your parenting different from your parents’? Is this deliberate? Why or why not?
  8. What is the most memorable book or movie for you?
  9. How many “presences,” for lack of a better word, do you have on the web? Are they true to who you are in real life, or do you maintain some distance between your web representation and your private reality?
  10. What’s the closest you’ve ever been to death?
  11. Do you prefer your martini with gin or vodka?

And now for my 11 blogging peers. If I could compel you to answer all 11 questions I would, because you’re fascinating writers and I’d love to know your answers. But the 11×11 rules say pick just one. (Feel free to break the rules.)

On My Square 

Snide Reply 

Zen in the City 

Kitchen Slattern 

The Waiting 

Oh God, My Wife Is German 

Ashley Jillian

Damp Squid

The Dogs of Beer

Becoming Cliché 

Rinse and/or Repeat