Thursday, February 28, 2013

Pretty Sure I'm a Lurker

Like many of us I am a fan of the old Facebook. I like how it allows us to easily keep up to date on what our friends and family members are up to. Especially those who live far away which without Facebook we may never talk to or hear from again. Like a kidnap victim, whose kidnappers are asking for way too much money.

With Facebook I can feel like the kidnapee is still part of my life. Assuming the kidnappers allow them access to Facebook. But if they don’t have access don’t worry, I’m pretty sure I’’ll do just fine without getting their constant silly updates about what the kidnappers fed them for dinner and such. Especially when you take into account all the money I’ll be saving by not paying the kidnappers. With all those savings I could finally afford to do things like pay off my student loans or hire several private investigators to do background checks on myself. You know, in case there’s something I don’t know.

Anyways, where was I? Oh yes, Facebook. When I first jumped onto the Facebook train I was pretty good at consistently posting something about myself. Maybe even the occasional picture or two. But as the years have gone by I’ve noticed that while I still spend as much time as ever looking at other people’s statuses and pictures, I hardly ever update my own status or really post much of anything at all. I’ve become a lurker.

I’ve started to feel guilty that for all my Facebook friends, our lines of communications has become one way. Should I feel bad about this or is it OK to be a lurker?

Pat:  I really think you should reconsider the use of the term “lurker” in describing yourself. I almost didn’t open this post because I thought maybe you felt comfortable enough with me and our blaudience to share some secret detail about yourself that I, and likely our readers, really didn’t want to know about (and you can’t UN-learn somethings, buddy!).

That’s just a really creepy term...the kind they reserve for playground peepers and such. Really....please reconsider.

Christian:  OK, how about a voyeur? Is that better?

Pat:  How about “innocent watcher of other peoples’ lives”? That sounds a lot less creepy, yeah?

Hey, I kinda’ feel like all bets are off when you agree to be a member of the Facebook legion. We’re either extroverts who want the world to know about us, or introverts who simply want to know about the world, or some combination of the two. And all of them are okay. Well, actually, being a bit of an extrovert myself, the former is a bit more okay than the latter, but still...

Wanna’ know something funny? I just found out that for the last three weeks all of my posts have been going to only one of my “friends” because I forgot to change a little filter detail. After I suddenly realized why no one had been responding to my posts--whew! I thought everyone had just stopped being interested in me!--it occurred to me why I haven’t heard from that particular “friend”. I suppose that seemed a bit like lurker overkill, yeah?

Christian: That is hilarious. Ha ha! Although I don’t know why. I’ll just trust you since you say it’s funny.

An IWOOPL huh? I guess that is better than lurker.

So should I feel guilty about being an IWOOPL? When I go IWOOPLing around on Facebook and see old friends and lost relatives post their latest news I’m thankful that they are still somewhat in my life. But it then always occurs to me that while they seem to be somewhat in my life I’m not really in theirs because of my IWOOPLing. Is this fair?

Pat: Totally fair...keep on IWOOPLing! I actually like the idea that there are more people reading about me in secret than there are people reading about me...in public? Not sure what I meant there.

I think what I’m trying to say is that part of the allure of Facebook, as I’m sure Zuckerberg well knows, is that you can IWOOPL people you knew, know or will know and kind of imagine what their life is like without having to COMMIT to actually caring about them. Not sure if that’s what I meant either.

You know what really kind of freaks me out? There are some people from WAY back in my life who’ve connected with me on the ‘Book, and it’s not like I thought they were dead, but I kinda’ thought that since I stopped regularly thinking of them many years ago...they kinda’ stopped existing. Like they were partially dead.

 
Thanks, guys. It’s hard being one of Pat’s Facebook friends.

It’s weird when you realize that all of those people from your past are actually still living! And that they have gone on and had lives of their own! Lives that you can read all about as an IWOOPLer on Facebook!

Christian: Which I do. But I still feel guilty from the one-way communications on my part. So I decided I needed to come up with a solution to this problem. Instead of posting stuff myself, I thought what I needed to do was just comment on everyone else’s status updates so that they know I’m not partially dead. But that would take a lot of time.

Therefore my first strategy was to “like” everyone's posts. This way they would see that I’m still around and I’m somewhat communicating with them but I wouldn’t have to actually read all of their posts. Perfect!

So I tried it.

It worked great for the most part, but not so much on status updates by people posting things like they broke their leg or their mother just died. Or for people leaving a suicide note as a status update.

FB FRIEND: “This world is too cruel for me so I have decided to end it all. So long forever.”
ME: Like!

I needed a different strategy. One that was easy and still allowed me to not have to read everyone’s posts. I needed a “stock” comment that I could just copy and paste into everyone’s status updates, that would apply to any kind of update, positive or negative.

So I came up with this:

“Interesting.”

It’s perfect! It works for everything whether it be positive or negative. Let’s try it out:

FB FRIEND: “I got the new job!!! I gave my notice and start next week!”
ME: Interesting.

FB FRIEND: “Just found out the wife is pregnant! I’m so excited!!!”
ME: Interesting.

FB FRIEND: “Found out the baby’s not mine. Time for a divorce.”
ME: Interesting.

FB FRIEND: “This world is too cruel for me so I have decided to end it all. So long forever.”
ME: Interesting.

Swish!

I really nailed it. I think this just might solve everything.

And for all you other IWOOPLers, and non-IWOOPLers, out there, if you are wanting to do some IWOOPLing of PCPPP feel free, or even obligated if you will, to like our Facebook page. It can be found here and here, and under here. We like likes! Thanks!

45 comments:

  1. IWOOPL sounds dirtier than voyeur somehow. I'm going to use the "interesting" response in everyday life. Now I won't have to pay attention to anyone!

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    1. Oh man I hadn't thought about using it in every day life. My life just got a whole lot better. Thanks!

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  2. I already like your page. I can go back, unlike it, and like it again though. Instant gratification!

    Also, if people don't want me lurking, then they shouldn't air their dirty laundry publicly. It's not my fault every time my old classmate has a fight with her husband she starts dropping gems about sleeping around and doing drugs. It's like watching my own personal soap opera, except instead of calling AA I'm sitting there with my popcorn saying, "Hey, I know that trainwreck!"

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    1. I've already tried the whole unliking it and then liking it again in attempts to get more likes. I feel like if I was to just able do it fast enough we could gain additional likes. I think I need a faster mouse.

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  3. IWOOPL is definitely worse than lurking. It sounds like a governmental committee or a weird strain of virus. I like you guys already, but like the above posted said, I could happily like and unlike if it would suit you! :P

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    1. IWOOPL does seem like something the department of defense would come up with.

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  4. I am not on "The Book" but I have heard of it. The reason I am not on it is because I have a fairly common name (not "MOV", but my real true name) and so that means that there are 60,000 of me wandering around out there "like"-ing things. It can be confusing because then i would wonder what the real me likes or does not like. I would also wonder if someone is trying to be my friend or found me by mistake thinking I might be from Wisconsin when I am from California.

    As far as the IWOOPL acronym: NO. I thought of something better: Faceburger. It is like you are just taking a little nibble out of everyone's life, but would rather they do not have a bite of your burger. And their burgers are all cold, even though they are bragging about how great they are. That makes them Facebraggers. Unless they are doing the aforementioned suicide note. Then they are Facebummers.

    So have fun Faceburgering all your Fakebook friends! (tongue securely in cheek there, hard to read tone in blog comments sometimes)

    xxo
    MOV
    p.s. you are totally my heroes and if I *did* do Fakebook, you would be my first friends (unless of course you clicked on "ignore")

    ReplyDelete
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    1. There would definitely be no ignoring on our part.

      For some reason when you said Faceburger I immediately thought of the Burgermeister Meisterburger from the Christmas special. Maybe we could go with Burgerface Faceburger as my title? Or maybe not.

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  5. I was reading that Facebook is making people more depressed, because you sit and read about other people's lives after they've been polished for public consumption on the 'Book, and reflect on your own, less polished and perfect life. But if you're reading about people's broken relationships and suicidal tendencies, surely that should make you feel better about your own life, right? Right??

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    1. For awhile there I was only updating my status to say that I had won the lottery*. Is this what you mean by polished for public consumption? I only posted it 7 or 8 different times.

      * I've never won the lottery.

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  6. I'm pretty sure the word you're looking for isn't lurker, it's stalker.

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    1. Stalker seems more professional and committed than lurker. I'm not quite at that level yet.

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  7. Curse you, Robyn, you stole my witty comment! :)
    I think it is pretty awesome that all your posts were only going to one friend. Here's a girly-equivalent of your "interesting" comment: "HUGS!" Works for everything, no?

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    1. HUGS! is awesome. Do you think that could work for guys too?

      Facebook Friend who is wife of co-worker: "I'm wearing my new bikini and loving it!"
      Me: "HUGS!"

      Maybe it doesn't work as well for guys.

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  8. Interesting!!! Seriously I love that response and am so using that (will give you full credit!!), lol!! Thanks so much for linking this up with us and is perfect just the way it is :) :)

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    1. Thanks! And thanks for the link up opportunity. It was a great topic for bloggers.

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  9. Interesting. BTW, I don't think being called a lurker is creepy at all.

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  10. You could say you're not a lurker, but instead a considerate facebooker. I far prefer people to lurk vs say things like "Had McDonalds today. Yum." It's called social media pollution

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    1. Oooh, I like that term social media pollution. There is so much of it around Al Gore should make a documentary about it.

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  11. Look he was only mostly dead. There is a big difference between mostly dead and all dead.

    Anyone who can put a Princess Bride reference into a Facebook analogy should have more friends that read their posts!

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  12. I'm pretty one-sided with my Facebooking as well. I've been commenting "I saw this." I'm not sure it's going over well.

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    1. Facebook Friend:"My car slid off the road this morning and I was stuck out in the cold for 4 hours"

      Me: "I saw this"

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    2. Exactly.

      Also, "Hubby surprised me with roses and we had a romantic dinner at home."

      "I saw this."

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  13. Late to the party so everybody stole my witty comments. I'm a late liker. Love the Princess Bride reference. Interesting.
    :)

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    1. Thanks. The Princess Bride always brings everyone together.

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  14. Since I don't use my real identity to blog, I created a separate FB profile for blogger me. That's actually the one I use most. The other one I use to stalk real life friends & family, I use more for those annoying games I've gotten hooked on.

    Then, of course, there are the two fictitious FB friends I created to send me materials and parts for those games. Can't forget them.

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    1. So it sounds like you have an army of Facebook identities. I feel like a whole new world has just been opened up to me. Thanks!

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  15. Darnit! Why am I so late to hop in here. I wanted Robyn's comment too. Will be IWOOPLing it up, and by the way, I will always "just trust you since you say it’s funny", no matter what you guys say (even though it always really is funny).

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    1. Thank you for your trust in us. No matter how misguided it is, we still appreciate it.

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  16. I love it! The Facebook totally needs an 'interesting' button.
    PS. I love the scene from 'The Princess Bride,' with the 'mostly dead' Westly.

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  17. Damn! I am such a lurker that I too scrolled through the comments to see if anyone went BAM - Interesting. Of COURSE Robyn did. Lurker away now. Where I'll be you'll never know. Ellen

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    1. When it comes to commenting Robyn is always one step ahead of us.

      P.S. We encourage lurking around here.

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  18. I didn't read this post but interesting.

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    1. Perfect! Because to be honest, it doesn't really matter to us whether or not you read the post just as long as you find it interesting.

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  19. LIKE!

    ha.

    I rarely post on FB. What the hell do I have to say that I haven't already posted on my blog?! They want to know more? They can read my blog and be counted! COME ON!

    Pearl

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    1. Excellent point. Who do they think they are? The King of England?

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