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Feb 13, 2009

It's on the Internets

Today was my fourth day on the job. I am still painfully enthusiastic, way too friendly, and am generally really annoying. This afternoon, I was called into a meeting about a project that I am only peripherally involved with but know the details of well. Present were four other women, ranging from mid-30s to around 50 years old, all PhDs and all completely brilliant. As we discussed different aspects of the project, I took notes furiously, nodded in agreement with everything anyone said, and tried not to be in the way. Then something happened that made me giggle uncontrollably.

One of the project's aims is to study the social networks of high school kids. As you can easily guess, facebook was mentioned. Except:

We can contact the students on the computer because they all have email through the schools for FacePage.

(chokes on tea)

Is that what it's called? My kid calls it Facebook.

Oh, that's it. I don't get it, though. What is it?

It's a web page that lets people know who your friends are. Except my son thinks it's a conspiracy to spy on them.

He's probably right. Have you heard that the word "friend" is actually a verb now? You "friend" someone or they "friend" you. What is that about?

(snorts with barely contained hysterics)

I think that's the networking. These kids ask each other to be friends and then look and see who else people are friends with so they can be friends with them too.

(speaking in a small, trembling voice for fear of laughing out loud and getting fired)
Maybe I can help? I have a facebook account...

Yes! Perhaps you can give us a tutorial?

Can we look at my kid's page? He's always on there and I'm not allowed to see.

Maybe we could all sign up and be friends with each other!


Upon showing them the wonders of facebook, they had a slew of new ideas, including setting up groups and events and all kinds of things to encourage networking that we could track. I tried to explain that facebook exists for the sole purpose of, shall we say, "friend whoring", and that people, especially kids, are amazingly indiscriminate when it comes to who they "friend". The bosses disregarded this advice, as they were sure no one would be friends with someone they didn't know, like, and trust. Again, I tried to explain the difference between a friend and a Facebook "friend", but I was overruled by those wiser than I. They all signed up for accounts and began to write up the procedure in their fancy-pants grants and papers. I'll have to fix their language later. They'll never get published - or friended - if they call it FacePage.

7 Readers rock!:

Alykat said...

Seriously! What is this FacePage thing? My grandmother saw a friend of mine from high school that I've lost touch with and called me to ask if I had a FacePage so that Kim could get in touch with me! I was like, "Wait... what?"

Sarah said...

Facepage?!?! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Awesome.

Xavier Emmanuelle said...

Ahahahaha!! That's too funny.

Anonymous said...

Ha! My college roommate works in publishing and apparently had a similar conversation with a supervisor eager to promote some preteen novel "the new way."

Oh, grown-ups!

Katie said...

In response to your twitter: med school prom was much lamer this year so don't be too sad you missed it. I would rather have stayed home and played with a baby! :)

Amy & Jay said...

Every once in a while I find myself laughing out loud at something I'm reading on my computer (my dad would call it: 'your machine'). This post qualifies as laugh out loud!

Thanks for the smile.

Tiff said...

HA! This makes me think of the other day I was talking to "someone of the older generation" and they mixed "My Space" and "Facebook" as they were trying to explain it. HA! It was great. Loved your story.
And seriously, I say again, you could totally be one of those stay at home people who writes a blog and makes a ton of money doing it.