Do you ever feel like sometimes Facebook is kind of like that kid who sat next to you in third grade that used to poke you in the back with his very pointy index finger and say, “Hey! Hey! Hey!” whenever he wanted your attention and you really wanted to slap him silly but then you felt sort of guilty because you knew he probably didn’t mean to drive you crazy, he was just trying to be friendly? Or is it just me?

I was a late-comer to Facebook. I mean, blogging I love, Twitter I enjoy, but Facebook…? When it was first explained to me (well, not explained so much as everyone and their mother telling me, “OMG, you just have to get a Facebook!”) my main thought was ‘Do I really even want to reconnect and swap life stories with people I went to Pulaski Heights Elementary school with? ‘Cos I’m thinking, no.’ But the peer pressure got to me and eventually I caved. Besides, it doesn’t really make sense to be a big ol’ social media hog (Note: I could have said ‘big ol’ social media whore’ just then, but I opted for the more elegantly phrased ‘hog’. You’re welcome.) on every other level and then turn my dainty little nose up at Facebook, does it? So before you knew it, there was my smiling mug plastered all over my very own FB page, asking people to be my friend.

And you know what? I happily admit I have had to eat my words about FB! Not only have I found and been found by all kinds of old schoolmates, neighbors, band members and friends but I have completely enjoyed doing it. It has especially been fun (and appeals to the voyeur in me) to look through everyone’s family photos–though it is more than a little disconcerting when you are looking at someone’s picture and thinking, “Dang, they look exactly the same!” and then realize you are looking at a picture of THEIR KID! Who is the same age as your friend was the last time you ever saw them! If I did not know better, I would think I’m old.

But here’s the thing. I had barely gotten my tiny foot in the Facebook door when I started getting all of these strange requests. People started sending me things, like virtual plants for my virtual garden and pretend snowballs for a pretend snowball fight. Also virtual pizzas and scriptures and flower bouquets and guns and jellybeans.  I started getting invitations for all manner of things. I was asked to join lots of artists fan pages. I was asked to complete quizzes like “What kind of car are you?” and “Which Andy Griffith Show character are you?” People wanted me to tell them my birthday and let them list me as one of their Special Friends. I was asked to join about a hundred different worthy causes, like breast cancer research and autism awareness. I got random announcements/invitations like, “My zoo just successfully bred two rare white pygmy ring-tailed lemurs! Come visit!”

It was a little overwhelming. And also? Kinda weird.

I mean, I’ve got a very lively imagination, and Lord knows I have been threatening to finally unleash Tori’s Magical Kingdom That Only Exists Inside Her Head Where She Is Queen of Everything for years. But here was my dilemma– how can I accept a virtual hatchling egg from one friend and refuse a virtual unicorn from from another one? How can I become a fan of one artist and not another? Wouldn’t that hurt people’s virtual feelings? Wouldn’t that make me look like a virtual beyotch? And wouldn’t it take my every waking moment to try to keep up with it all??? I finally decided that I would have to either say YES to every single request, invitation, quiz and snowball, or I’d have to hit that decidedly unfriendly-looking IGNORE button… I opted for the latter.

That’s ok, right?

*holds hand up in the air waiting for your virtual high-five*


*still waiting*

Well, in that case I probably need to send this conciliatory personal message to all of my sweet Facebook Friends:

Please don’t think I am a snot and please don’t get all shouty at me when I ignore your very lovely _______ (fill in the blank.) In fact, please don’t stop sending them, I think they are fun and I truly appreciate the fact that you thought about me. And actually, I’d probably really enjoy receiving a unicorn/pillow fight/Farkle game from you. But the deal is, if I say yes then I will end up with third degree burns on my thighs from spending 12 hours a day on my laptop replying to all of the requests, and also? These dang children are not going to raise themselves and I have already given them more than enough stuff to deal with in therapy later and I don’t want to have to go bail them out of jail some day after they’ve knocked over a liquor store and have to hear all about how they were perfectly normal kids until I developed that Facebook addiction and never came out of my room blah blah blah.

So see, I have no choice but to say no. Or else the terrorists win.

Love, Tori

(How about you guys? Do you pick and choose, or always say Yes, or always say No..?)

23 Responses

  1. tammy961

    I am slapping you a virtually HIGH FIVE!! I hit ignore for all of my sweet precious friends also– great blog, friend–

    Love ya

  2. twenty9eleven

    Wow, get off my brain! I’m with you, Tori! The thing is, I have no problem ignoring the “Which Flintstones Character Are You?”, but darned if I don’t feel a twinge of virtual conviction when I ignore “Support Feeding Lepers and Orphans With Big Sad Disney Eyes You Big Fat, Foreign Car Drivin’, More Shoes Than You Need, You-Won’t-Watch-It-If-It’s-Not-In-HighDef, Bluetooth Wearin’ American!”.

    I get over it, though.

  3. LindaB

    Finally someone said what has to be said! And I’m glad YOU said it, Tori, cause if I’d said it, it would be….”CUT IT OUT, PEOPLE! I DON’T HAVE ALL DAY ON THIS DANG FACEBOOK THING!” You were more polite.

    And those animal husbandry experiments in those virtual zoos are starting to irritate me! I got a message yesterday that someone had “bred 7 Radiated Tortoises successfully”. WHAT? That’s just sick! First of all, 7 is not an even number, if you get my drift! And how did they get radiated? In the microwave? Ewwwww! I don’t want to hear about this!

    HEY! There’s an “ignore” button???? Where??

    Okay. Nevermind.

  4. MeaganW

    Amen, my friend! Someone has to say it! Those pesky things are kind of sweet because people actually thought to include you in their limited “20 people or less” list to send these things to. However, I have many more things to occupy my time rather than finding out which Gilmore Girl I am most like: Lorelai or Rory, what my favorite color says about my personality, or what silly Brittany Spears-inspired Pop song most speaks about my life.

    What gets me most is when you see some of these Facebook friends in “real life,” whether it be in church, work, school, or bumping into them in the grocery store and they proceed to share their frustration over how you didn’t share in their “Praise Jesus Party” or their “Mafia War.” And Lord have mercy on us all if we decide against creating your own fictitious “Farm Town” because Heaven knows we all need to get to level 26 so we can help our friends plant pumpkins!

    I’d be lying if I said I did not feel your same twinge of guilt for ignoring the causes because many of them are worthy causes that I do care about. However, I’ve rationed it for myself by coming to the realization that there is no earthly good being accomplished by my posting on Facebook that I support Autism, Keeping Music and God in Schools, or Cancer Research. Being proactive and supporting the actual organizations are a much better method of supporting a cause.

    Oh well, we’ll all get over it! Well said, Tori!

  5. grfdave

    Thank you for saying very elegantly want it appears many of us wanted to say. Can I borrow your tact? I seem to have lost mine for the past 30 years!

  6. Pearl

    Huge high five here! I joined FB so I could keep up with my grown kids without them having to send me specific emails all the time. I have no idea what I have gotten into. I don’t understand exactly how FB works and I don’t have time to figure it all out right now. And everytime I go to take one of those quiz thingies it says I’m authorizing FB to gather up all the information in the world about me and my friends and their friends and on and on infinitum. I’m just a leetle too paranoid for that. So I just read my kids stuff and look at the great pics of my grandkids and let everything else just sit there. It’s the best I can do for now.

  7. CarolynR

    Thing is can I make my comment shorter than your post title?

    You’re pushing against an open door here Tori. I feel as if I’ve killed Bambi’s mother every time I “ignore”, but have I really got the strength to hug a rainforest or the desire to find out which secret fetish I have? – ok, well, I did that one as you pay thousands to find that out in therapy!! So you would get a high-five from me too, except I’ve got about 25 backed up in “requests” along with several superpokes and a snowball (left over from Christmas!)

  8. rachelbaker

    There’s another virtual high-five coming your way from over here.

    It wss so liberating for me when I discovered that my friends do not find RACHEL BAKER IGNORED YOUR INVITATION/GIFT/REQUEST/FLOWER/CHALLENGE plastered all over their wall when I chose to say no. So that little ignore button gets used a lot. Not quite 100% of the time, but 99.9999999%.

    Facebook is about faces – and status updates.

    I don’t twitter because I figure its pointless if you don’t have a mobile phone with internet capability … am I right?!

  9. MostlySunny

    Uhhhh…what’s Face Book? Twitter?

    I’m still at “No thanks.” Don’t need one more thing..

  10. Chubs

    I click on ignore. NO offense to all of my FB friends out there. But I do not have the time to join all of these causes. I am on FB to talk to friends and keep up to date on their lives.

  11. ruthiebear

    Tori, I, too, have to ignore most of the requests I get on FB. I enjoy the social aspects, but just do not have enough time in the day to do and get all of the extra applications. The only one I got sucked into (by my daughter) was a PetPupz. Now I have to go feed and play with it every day or it will not survive. At least I do not have to take care of other bodily functions with it.
    My enjoyment of FB comes from keeping up with friends and artists I enjoy.

  12. auburn60

    YES! Maybe now I’ll do what I’ve been thinking about doing–cancel my FB account. I realized that I have nothing interesting to say about my daily status. I have been found by people I have been avoiding for 15 years. (AWK-WARD) It was fun at first to find people I haven’t seen in 30 years, but after an initial exchange of info. there wasn’t much to say. I have to wade through pages of farm requests to get to my profile. Through some little quiz I found out that I am a sarcastic Southern Belle. (That was news to someone I’m sure.) My children post unflattering pictures of me. They also tell me that FB was ‘more fun’ before all us ‘old people’ got on it.
    Remind me again why I started this?

  13. themema

    I am totally with you on this one. Some people need to get a life. But then, some of my friends who know I post on gaithercommunity and bbybloomr would say the same thing. But they are just WRONG.

  14. louloulisa

    I definitely pick and choose. I mean man! The hubby does have to eat once in while. I can’t live on facebook tending gardens and planting trees on farms and harvesting corn. AND where do some of these people come from? I mean I’m not even a celebrity or anything like you Tori and I have all these people requesting to be my friend and I have no clue who they are. I do enjoy keeping up with my real friends on there though. AND I love your blog. You are just too funny! Even in Subway at midnight with 3 pairs of glasses on your head! LOL

  15. carsmith

    Tori, As soon as I read your comments about face book I held both hands in the air sending you a virtual high-five from the Hot Water City. My arms started getting tired and I finally put them down to send this message. How can a Mother turn down an invitation from her 45 yr old son to be his friend on facebook. Ok, I agreed and then didn’t know what to do next. Messages kept arriving and folks were asking why I hadn’t posted a picture. Guess folks think I’m a snob because I just checked and have requests for a tropical vacation, pillow fight, charm, blessing, praise party, bumper sticker, disney character and a poker invitation (who in the world sent me this). I haven’t clicked ignore or accept. I’m thinking if I stay quietly in my corner of the world they will think I didn’t see anything, so no feelings are hurt.

    I do enjoy seeing pictures of family and friends but haven’t posted any of the gazillion pictures of my family. Let everyone think we still look like teenagers.
    You hit the nail on the spot with this one. I’d much rather spend my time reading your blog than facebook.

    P.S. Our Florida friends will be arriving Sat. You know that means getting together with your loved ones and our closest friends. Wish you were here. We had fun last weekend at your sister-in-laws 50th party.

  16. Phyllis R

    Oh thank heavens I am not alone…right now as I type this I have a request to join someones MAFIA family…the thought! LOL I haven’t hit the ignore button yet because she is a precious friend…one of these days I will muster up the courage to hit that evil looking button that you just know is going to make that person hate you if you hit it. But, until then I will just look at it when I log on and have that twinge of guilt knowing I want to ignore it. LOL Guess what I am saying is it must be a process I am going to have to work through? LOL

  17. GRITSinNC

    Facebook is not for me. I signed up one time but I didn’t like it from Day One, especially after I read a news article that they collect and sell personal informaton, so I left pretty quick. MySpace was enough for me at the time anyhow…and I was only there to try to keep up with grandchildren and when I found Christian artists had pages, I figured it couldn’t be too bad, and it was pretty good for a while…didn’t have a problem with any vulgarity or anything, but then all those silly things similar to what you’re talking about on Facebook started flooding in. I ignored everything but personal messages but I did get to feeling pretty guilty when I ignored ones sent by friends. Oh well. I seldom even go there anymore. If I need to share pictures, I use Photobucket.

    Now I’ve done something I swore I wouldn’t do…I got on Twitter. This old lady has no business on Twitter, but there I am. After all, I had to keep up with the GVB and a certain Mrs. Taff since we’re still waiting for Mr. Taff to participate in forums.

    My real downfall is the Gaither Community. I’m addicted and think I’ve moved in there…nothing is getting done around here.

    Why will this blog not remember me when I carefully check “remember me”? ;o) Where is DELIVERED? It seems to have something against the two of us. LOL

  18. gracelynn

    Believe me Tori, no one expects you to accept everything they send. You can’t. I have to ignore requests all the time. If they get offended, then there is nothing I can do about it. Even when I send something, I don’t expect everyone to jump up and down and scream YES and accept it. Come on. LOL I got on Facebook mainly to communicate with certain friends but since my notebook won’t get on the Internet at the present (and probably won’t until at least June 27th) I cannot chat with those friends. But unlike some of the addicts, I am not going through withdrawel LOL.

    Phyllis someone asked me to join that too and I ignored it. That is NOT something I want to do. And louloulisa, I have the same problem. I have no clue who half the people are that request friendship but if I don’t know them, they aren’t accepted.

  19. Rutland95

    My sweet “say it like it needs to be said” virtual friend, Tori! My sentiments exactly. As for me…I confirm anyone that requests to be my friend, because I hate to be mean, but as far as all the other “stuff”…I NEVER get involved in the “mafia wars”, “virtual farms”, or quizzes. I’m like you…if I did, I’d have third degree thigh burns as well! TOO FUNNY!!!

    Love your perspective!

    Blessings – Melanie

  20. Barbara M. Lloyd

    I had to ignore, as I was soon buried alive under 90-some bouquets of flowers, boxes of candy, assorted fish, beauty contest something-or-others, etc., etc. One time, in the very beginning, I said “yes” and the next thing I knew I was in the middle of a maze and it was the same as if I were in there blindfolded. I tried FaceBook but it just wasn’t for me….unless I simply hung out on my wall or someone else’s wall.

    Then I received an invitation to join Twitter. I appreciated the invitation very much…but just the word made me know that I would be all a twitter trying to figure out what to do.

    As for time, just keeping up with this blog and then the Gaither Board plus e-mails puts me on the computer too many hours of the day. I figure, you gotta pick and choose….carefully. Love you, Mrs. Taff.

  21. GRITSinNC

    I know this topic is done and no will will probably see this but, just in case, I just found this and thought it was a somewhat entertaining “essay” on the subject and some of you might enjoy it.

  22. belinda

    I love facebook, it is addictive and you can spend a lot of time on there. It is so much fun to catch up with people you have not seen or heard from in a long time and fun to keep up with those that you do get to see all the time. I actually check it more than my email now days.

    I do ignore a lot of the requests. Just can’t keep up with them. there are some that I will do, but for the most part, I ignore them. If I had more time, I might do more of them, but right now, it is all I can do to keep up with my job and check email occassionally and fb.

  23. Cynders

    Tori…being the type of person I am, and having to be very cautious about what I do on my computers because of my business, I actually READ the fine print on those terms and conditions that we have to “accept” in order to get involved in those games, virtual gardens, experiments with radioactive mutant gorilaffonkeys, and other disturbingly odd applications on facebook. When I read the part that makes it clear that any and all information we have posted on and provided to facebook in the creation and maintenace of our accounts will be available to the third party who has developted those applications, and that their agreement allows them to share our information with anyone they wish — I said NO WAY!!!

    So…I am sorry…but pretty much from day one when I set up my account on facebook, I refused to accept invitations to become a zombie, throw food at people, play poker, get into a pillow fight, experiment on mutant animals, etc….

    I rarely join groups, rarely participate in quizes, never play the games, and actually….go days and weeks without even bothering to log on the site.

    I don’t have time for it for starters, but after a day full of working on computer programming, I have very little interest in spending the rest of my day on a site fielding those requests.

    So…it’s a HIGH FIVE from me too!!!

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