I belong to Facebook (to play Scrabble!) and MySpace (where I'm currently collecting shows and bands and authors and random people I adore but not real people - to me, at least) and have dabbled with Twitter (I can't bring myself to go to another site just to tell people what I'm doing when I do that on Facebook), and some other random sites about music and books and whatnot (I use them to track things, not to make friends).
But I don't network socially to chat up old friends or try to show off how fabulous I am cause I know a bazillion people and oh looky, everyone likes me. If I never really talked to you in school, or even better, I did but I can't quite figure out why or what we had in common then and especially now, then why would I want to add you to my very small list of "friends"?
It's a rare occasion when I find someone I really and truly liked way back in the day when there were no iPods. Even then, I'm hesitant to extend the hand of friendship and say howdy do and what's going on with you.
Recently I did just that. I asked someone to be my friend. And the person e-mailed me asking me how I was and isn't it odd that we've found each other after so many years (not really, I've signed up to too many networking sites at this point, you just have to figure out who I am based on my first name if my maiden name isn't listed, and believe me, there aren't too many of me around), and how this person couldn't wait to catch up.
Now, I'm perfectly happy adding some people who fall under that "used to be a real, honest and true good friend, even if for a small period of time" category and then never really communicating with them again. Because things happen, and friends drift for whatever reason, but if you made an impression on me for any reason and I really liked you? Then yeah, I'll add you as a friend.
But if you're going to e-mail and ask me questions, and I think I'm just darn tooting interesting, and so I e-mail you back and give you a brief synopsis of my life since the last time we saw each other, which includes a husband and a kid and a job and a bunch of other stuff I won't go into because I'm still not quite sure you'll in fact write me back, then you better write me back, don't you think?
Isn't that just plain common courtesy?
What if I never answered this person's e-mail to begin with? What if I just ignored it and went on my merry way? And I've been known to do this, especially with this one gal I was friends with way back in elementary school who pops up every so often on different social networking sites, figures out the me listed is really me, and e-mails me telling me who she is, if I don't remember, and how she wants to talk to me and so on and so forth. Now she's one I ignore. Because I just find it odd.
But certainly no one would do that to me, right?
I just think these social networking sites are evil ploys to make the socially inept feel even more like a loser.