Last Friday, I blogged about a blog about… me. I’d gotten drinks with a potential friend a few nights earlier and the next day she friended me on Facebook (“to friend” is a verb now, right? Did I use that correctly?). While engaging in some very important office procrastination social networking, I happened upon her blog. And even though it’s out there, like this blog is, for all the world to see, something about reading it felt sneaky. Like I was getting a deeper glimpse into her psyche than I was supposed to after only one outing. Of course, I forgot about any stalker-esque guilt I might’ve had when I saw that her most recent post was about our BFD (that’s her term, short for Blind Friend Date). She wrote about how she was nervous and hoped I was normal and that the whole thing didn’t feel too job interviewy (I had the same concerns).
So I posted about her post about me. And now it’s getting even more meta as I’m posting about her post about the unnecessary nerves of her first post, which I wrote about in Friday’s post. Follow?
The moral of the story is: I passed! To quote my new potential friend: “Our time was fun, easy and interesting. Nothing like a job interview, or even like a real blind date, where there might be awkward lulls or uncomfortable staring contests across the table. I was sad she does not watch Lost but happy that she was up to snuff with celebrity gossip. I could not share her affinity for Survivor (still!) but we both got excited talking about all things wedding-related (I am engaged, she got married not too long ago).” For the record, Survivor is still really good. This season is one of the best in a while. When it comes to TV, as with friends, I am loyal to the core. I do not give up just because Jeff has yelled “Come on in, guys!” more times than I can count.
Now that I’ve read two of her blog posts, which were—shockingly, I know—about more than just me, I feel like I’m starting to really know this woman. Which brings up an issue I’ve been curious about: Do Facebook and blogs and Twitter and LinkedIn and the like make it easier for us to make new friends, or harder? I see how it might be easier in the sense that, if you’re Facebook friends, you can get to know a potential BFF pretty well before you’ve even met. You might know her favorite books or TV shows. You might’ve seen pictures from her wedding. If she’s a frequent status updater, you might know what she did last summer. Or last night. Suddenly you’ve fast-forwarded through the awkward could-we-be-friends stage and have arrived at the meat of friendship building.
All of that said, I don’t really believe it. Because as my brother once observed, “Everyone knows that everyone else Facebook stalks. But you don’t just admit it!” I may know exactly how many weeks pregnant someone is, but to say “how’s week 27 treating you?” before we’ve met face-to-face seems creepy. So I check out her profile and she reviews mine, but then we meet and pretend to know nothing. And I’m no actor, so it would be a lot easier if I actually knew nothing.
Does technology help us connect with others? Or does it just allow us to have a boatload of superficial relationships—I have 500 facebook friends!—while hindering our ability to connect on deeper levels? I lean toward the former, but here I am blogging, so I’ll register as undecided for now.