People Who Don’t Understand Facebook

October 30, 2008

I work with a guy who is also a Facebook friend. Actually, a lot of my coworkers are on my Facebook list, and some of them aren’t, and they know why. The ones who are? It’s helped me get to know them a little better without actually having to socialize with them, and vice versa.

Back to my point: Let’s call him Buddy. Buddy joined Facebook about a year ago. I remember him asking me about it and remarking that he found it incredible that people could have, wow, 50 friends on Facebook. “Who even knows that many people?” he asked. I said nothing. I have a lot of Facebook friends, and I know them all.

When he joined, he sent me a friend request, and I accepted, and that was that. Over the last few months, though, I’ve noticed he has a strange habit of befriending attractive young women. It usually goes like this:

  • Buddy is now friends with Julie Jones
  • Julie Jones: ‘Do I know U?’
  • Buddy is now friends with Samantha Brown
  • Samantha Brown: ‘Hey, how do you know me?’

Facebook being Facebook, though, these girls tend to keep him around, because they like having lots of ‘friends.’

Then, a few weeks ago, came Round 2: Buddy started commenting on their photos. These comments would pop up in my news feed, and in all his friends’ news feeds, because that’s what Facebook does.

  • Buddy commented on Samantha Brown’s photo: ‘WOW! Nice!’ You should let me come take your photo!’
  • Buddy commented on Julie Jones’s photo: ‘I’d chew your bubblegum, baby!’

Now, knowing that Buddy is a family man, I started to wonder what he was thinking. And then it dawned on me: He has no idea how the news feed works. He doesn’t understand that Facebook broadcasts everything he does to everyone he knows. So I mentioned it to him tonight at work.

‘Hey, Buddy, you sure you want to be telling young ladies you want to chew their bubblegum?’

He looked at me, his face pale. ‘How do you know about that?’

I explained it to him. He sat there. I left and went back to my own department. A few minutes later, my phone rang. ‘I don’t understand this,’ he said. ‘If I wrote it to her, on her page, how can you read it?’

‘Because that’s what Facebook does,’ I said. ‘It goes out on the news feed.’

‘Oh,’ he mumbled. ‘Like, a community kind of thing.’

‘That’s right,’ I said. ‘I wouldn’t worry about it.’ Then a new thought dawned on me, and I asked him: ‘Say, is your wife on Facebook now?’

‘For about a month,’ he said, and I could hear his voice crumble.

‘Nice knowing you,’ I told him.

There may be a job opening at my office, by the way.

One comment

  1. There is one girl I did this to on Facebook, she was just too attractive to not friend request.
    Seriously, this girl is gorgeous and has like 700! male friends on Facebook, mostly middle aged men.
    And I’m pretty sure that they only requested her as a friend for the same reason as me.
    I mean do the math… like 90% of her friends are male, from different parts of the world.

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