I find it curious that my work environment can have much in common with my daughter’s high school environment. Namely, our newfound obsession with social networking at work — in this case, facebook.
I find the parallels amusing and, at times, eerily similar — enough so that I get clammy hands even now when I have to ask someone to be my friend. Yikes! Fear of rejection and ridicule rears it’s ugly sixth grade head. And I thought I was done with all that acceptance stuff. Apparently, not so. And when you are asking The Popular Ones to be your friend? OMG. All bets are off. You sit there, nervously waiting, checking your profile to see if you have been accepted.
I’m getting new girl outcast flashbacks all over again.
To be fair, I should note that I have yet to be rejected. My daughter actually sniggered when she saw I only had two friends (and she was one of them). I quote (from my wall): “you have 2 friends?….come on mom.”
And so I cautiously lurked, and when my coworkers learned of my facebook shame in one of our online forums, they quickly sent sympathy invites which boosted me into double digits. Now I can hold my head high, because I have gone from 2 friends to 33 in the last several months. Not only do they include the “tech brain pool” here at Penn State (a group in which I lurk, not necessarily in which I reside), they come from college (as I was a returning adult student, that is a very different shock to the system), my daughter’s friends in high school, coworkers, and even the occasional surprise… like Jeffrey Zeldman. Yeah, that Jeffrey Zeldman. Oh sure, I get the fact that as a high profile person (and one of my personal gods) he has a kazillion “friends.” And that the reality is I am only one step removed from stalker status. Still, I am one of them. How cool was it to check my profile and see “Jeffrey Zeldman and RB Smail are now friends.” Holy crap! Too bad I didn’t manage a screen capture of that. Good thing I got this one:
Man, this is SO better than 6th grade!