Friday, January 30, 2009

The Good And Bad Of Social Websites.

Note: I originally started drafting this entry back in November. THAT's how long I've been stewing about this.

My high school alumni organization wants me to join their group on Facebook.

I don't know if I really want to. There's a lot of shit they don't know about me, that I don't want them to know. Like, for instance, that I have a blog in which I mock and berate stupid people while emptying a magazine of obscenities.

Let's just say, I was a MUCH different person in high school.

ETA: First, lemme give you a bit of background about my high school. Among its distinguished alumni are George W. Bush's head speech writer AND his chief fundraiser. They're uberconservative and uberproud of it. Republican to the MARROW. You had to sign something when you applied to go there that said you wouldn't drink or even dance while you were a student - on or off school grounds. We didn't have dances. We had Banquets. You looked forward to the Junior/Senior BANQUET. Yeah.

(Anybody hearing the song "Footloose" in their head right now?)

When I started there, we couldn't wear shorts or even jeans. For a while, (before I got there, thank God) girls had to wear skirts or dresses to school every day. Eventually they lightened up and let the kids wear shorts, when they got a new Headmaster who was from Florida. You'd get detention for not wearing a belt if your pants had belt loops. I'm not kidding. I was on the Pom Pom team (shut up) and we had to wear skirts that covered our knees. Other schools made fun of us.

Sound like one of those creepy polygamist sects, kinda?


I think I'm way more fun than I was then, but I can't deny the existence of the Me I was in 1989, before I'd ever had a drink, or a one-night-stand, or pierced nipples, or became an unwed mother, or experienced many of the things that would shock the shit out of the crowd I hung out with in high school.

I'm sure they all have their own stories, too. I mean, I can't be the only one with a dark side. But I haven't joined the church that a lot of my high school friends go to because I converted to Catholicism when I got married. That really doesn't even have anything to do with it - I was never Presbyterian like most of the families at my school, but that was never really my scene anyway. I never had visions of my kids befriending my friends' kids and living on the same street and seeing them every day and twice on Sunday. It always felt like Inbreeding to me - like where the Children of the Corn came from.

I don't miss high school. I miss my friends, sure, but I feel so fake whenever I run into someone who knew High School Me. My kids go to public school. I buy their clothes at Goodwill. I occasionally tell them to shut up. Some days I hate my life. I take anti-depressant medication. We don't go to church much. I like to be tied up and spanked. I voted for Barack Obama.

Any one of those things would be enough to trigger the Emergency Prayer Chain. But they're ALL me.

Long story short, I created a new Facebook account specifically for this alumni group. And I'm really conflicted about the fact that I felt I had to do that. It's actually caused me a great deal of anxiety this week.

Why do I filter myself from some people? Because it's easier than explaining or defending the choices I've made and the life that I have? Am I sparing them the uncomfortable details, or sparing myself from revealing them? Why can't I just be who I am and not Nerf it down for sake of simplicity? What does it matter what they think of me, especially now? Do I even care if I fit in with these people? I never did then, and I want to even less now.

So here's the funny part. I was challenged to write 25 things about myself. These are probably all things that you already know, so I won't list them, but of course I made it funny because, fuck, I just can't help it. I'm hilarious.

And somebody said "You should have a blog!!"

12 comments:

Stickyfingers said...

Hey, I just DID the 25 things thingy on face book . . . It's all random, make it as innocuous as you choose.

Kashmir Knitter said...

You SHOULD have a blog. ;)

C'tina said...

Face book creeps me out...that incestious factor you mentioned....too many "settings and applications"....

Penny Karma said...

Yeah, I kinda wish I could unring that bell now...

Speed Racer said...

PK,
I have had the great, great honor of becoming your friend over the past few months. In that time, I have come to know you as a complex, intelligent, beautiful, confident, and cool as hell person.

If we're honest with ourselves, there is always a part of us we filter from others. I've got at least 4 distinct "filter settings" that I use regularly. While a part of me is may not be as prevalent in one setting as it is in another, it us still there, even if it is just under the surface.

There are some people who get to see me in several of those settings, and they know that I am still *me* even if I am allowing a different part of my personality to be most prevalent at that moment.

There is more to you that fits into a single profile/setting. There are parts of you that don't come through in this blog, just like there are parts of you that don't come through on your face book pages. So you made a profile that highlights a different part of who you are. Be glad that you are more complex than a single page allows for. It makes you way more fun to hang out with.

Yes, sometimes we filter to make our lives easier - the less some people know, the better. And sometimes we filter to keep others from freaking out. Hell, I can't tell my mom about 90% of the stuff I do at the race track - she freaks out when I talk about diving into a corner at 90MPH. Forget about her watching the in car video of me making a mistake.

Penny Karma said...

Wow, that was really cool of you to say.

Poops said...

Not me. I yam what I yam. I filter nothing. Maybe I should. I don't know.

Now I want to friend the fake you instead of the real one and write all kinds of inappropriate things on your wall and you can pretend to be shocked and we'll laugh about it in private.

Or did you friend yourself and are already doing that on your own? 'Cause that would be even more fun...

Bezzie said...

Yeah I'm a filterer too. Or more like I talk a louder talk than I walk.

But definitely what KK said!

Elspeth said...

You should have a blog - ha ha! I was very very happy to be your friend on Facebook until I decided I hated Facebook and closed my account. And I totally understand what you're saying - not only didn't I want everyone to know what I was "like", up to, etc., but I didn't want to hear the minute details of what some people were doing that I felt I had to friend. So I totally support you in your 2nd account, and tell you you're not alone.

Mezamashii said...

Yeah, I just did that 25 things on facebook thingy too. My parents just got on facebook and it can be a little awkward & inhibitive.

Disco said...

I joined facebook just a couple months ago too. So far I haven't updated my 'details' section. I like to be all things to all people - unfortunately, those people don't necessarily like each other. Puts you kind of in the middle, not wishing to offend.

This online world is so awesome and so full of bullshit at the same time. Please don't tell my mom I said bullshit ;0)

Cindy in Happy Valley said...

Facebook gives me the creepin' eeps, but I'm on it (under a semi-pseudonym) because some faculty are using it for classes (I wish I were kidding).

My HS was none of those things you described, but I'd be just as thrilled if I never saw any of my class again (except for one or two miscreants that I keep in touch with). I like that I've moved on...