Do you know how many friends you have? Well I know how many I have — it’s 35 (last week I actually had 36, but one of them went awol). This is pretty good going because, as of January, I didn’t have any at all.
I should point out that these are Facebook friends rather than actual friends. There is some crossover between the two, but I have friends on Facebook who aren’t actually my friends and I have friends who aren’t on Facebook.
Actually, I never saw the point of social networking sites — that was until I decided to do a bit of social networking. Specifically, there were a couple of old school friends who I was keen to track down and Facebook turned out to be the best way of doing it. It worked — we made contact and have reminisced about the 70s in a satisfactory fashion.
Those of you who are familiar with the site will know there is a lot of “updating of status” going on. Next to your photo you can post a line (I believe it’s technically known as a tweet) about what you’re up to. This enables both friends and “friends” to be up to speed on what you are feeling/thinking/eating/drinking. For some reason, many of these Facebook pronouncements end with “lol” (laugh out loud) when they don’t seem to be in the least bit funny. I resisted for a while because I had a bad case of Facebook block. I couldn’t think of a single interesting thing to say about my status, or rather I could, but they weren’t things I wished to broadcast.
Eventually, however, I decided to dip my toes in the water. Next to my profile photo appeared the immortal phrase: “Simon is eating less cheese these days.” This was true. I had made a conscious attempt to cut down on my consumption of dairy products, which, I had a strong suspicion, had contributed to my raised cholesterol level. I thought about updating my updates to encompass my current thoughts on chopped herring, crisps and liquorice allsorts.
If I was a dedicated status updater, I would also be sharing with you the fact that I have been eating matzah with blackcurrant jam; have become fed up with matzah with blackcurrant jam; am on the 329 bus heading towards Wood Green; have bought bin liners from Morrisons; have made contact with aliens; have found a way to learn Sanskrit in a single hour.
But who would be interested in that stuff? (Apart from the aliens and the Sanskrit bit). Even my mum would have trouble mustering up enthusiasm. Possibly a stalker would be interested, but I don’t have one of those at the moment.
So I have therefore decided to stop updating my status unless something really happens to it. For example, if I become engaged to Princess Beatrice or convert to Zen Buddhism, I will write an update to reflect these facts (and possibly post a new photo of Beatrice and I wearing saffron robes).
Until then, I am taking a Facebook vow of silence. I don’t think my friends will feel deprived, particularly the one who only became my friend because he thought I was the Simon Round in Mr Connelly’s biology class at Sheppy High.
Now, of course, he knows that I’m not that Simon. He also knows I’m eating less cheese these days — lol.