Saturday, October 25, 2008

Facebook friends != real friends

So I decided to have a Facebook party. I used Facebook to create an “event” and invite my digital chums. ...

After a week the responses stopped coming in and were ready to be tabulated. Fifteen people said they were attending, and 60 said maybe. A few hundred said not, and the rest just ignored the invitation altogether. I figured that about 20 people would show up. That sounded pretty good to me. Twenty potential new friends. ...

I would learn, when I asked some people who didn’t show up the next day, that “definitely attending” on Facebook means “maybe” and “maybe attending” means “likely not.” So I probably shouldn’t have taken it personally. ...

By now it was nearing midnight. My head was clouded by drink, and it was finally starting to sink in: no one else was coming. ...

Seven hundred friends, and I was drinking alone.
--Hal Neidzviecki, NYT Magazine, on the difference between Facebook and real life

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