I tried making friends without Facebook

The other day I was thinking about the “good old days.”  You know … the ones before Facebook.

I tried to recall what I did to “make friends.”  It seemed to be really easy for me, but I wondered:  Maybe I’ve lost that touch since most of my friend-making now involved a “mouse click.”

I set out to see what would happen if I tried to make friends with people who I really didn’t know, but were included in the 317 Friends I list on Facebook.  My best guess is that 15 or so are folks I would call “a friend” 12+ years ago … before Facebook launched.

So I found the phone number and I called the first guy who I’ve never had a personal conversation with, but is on my list of “Close Facebook Friends.”

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“Hi FBF (Facebook Friend – I’m not using his real name).

“This is Richard Huss … we’re friends on Facebook.  I’m sure you’ve read my posts even though I don’t recall getting any ‘Likes’ from you.

“I thought it would be fun to actually talk to each other … you know, face-to-face … kinda like non-digital, real friends used to do once-and-a-while.”

My FBF doesn’t respond which causes an embarrassing pause.

“This IS so-and-so … isn’t it?”

“Yes, it is.”

Oh boy … I’ve broken the ice and this could be my first BFF-FBF (Best Friend Forever-Facebook Friend).  I feel goose bumps popping up on my arms.

“Who did you say this is?”

“Richard Huss, from Facebook.  You’re one of my Close Facebook Friends.”

“Hmm … do you have a photo posted?  I’m having trouble placing you.”

“Well … we can solve that.  I live here in Mount Dora and I see on your page that you live here, too.  I thought maybe we could get together and chat … face-to-face … not a chat room chat.  You know … have a beer, some wine, or coffee if you don’t drink.”

There’s a longer pause.  I’m sweating a bit now.  My goose bumps are history.

My almost BFF-FBF takes a breath and says, “Let me check your Facebook page.  What’s your cell number?”

I give him my number and he says, “I’ll call you back.”  Then breaks the connection.

Wow … a non-digital rejection.  That really hurt. This friend making seems tougher than I remember.

Maybe I should drop his status to “Acquaintance.”

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In a bit of a funk, I go find my wife.  “Hi hon … wanna go get a drink and chat with each other?

We’re out the door before you can say “Martini.”

I think … I don’t recall getting any “Likes” from her either.  But then, that would be kinda weird if she started doing that.

We talked like good friends … and, it was a “heluva Martini.”

Just sayin’ …

21 thoughts on “I tried making friends without Facebook

  1. Excellent Richard! It is amazing how Facebook makes it easy to be friends with people you’re not really friends with. I appreciate what you do. Always a fresh and interesting perspective… and some laughs!
    Especially after a nice Martini.

    • Thanks for reading and commenting, Debi! Yep … post FB gives whole new meaning to the term “friends.” In some ways it’s fun and entertaining … but it makes us question how our language doesn’t fit with the digital age … language always lags behind social change … and, thank God the basic old fashioned Martini is still a “go to cocktail.” Don’t froo-froo that puppy!

    • Hey TL … Thanks for reading and all your support. Cliff Notes were my crutches for getting thru mu undergrad years … Though, stupid me … I didn’t discover them until my 2nd year in college. Hmmm … that was about the time I discovered Martinis … coincidence? Hardly.

    • Hi Rachel … thanks for taking time during your bodacious trip out west to read and comment on my blog. Nope … don’t “unfriend” … seems a bit drastic even if it’s only digital. I like the “acquaintance” category … kinda like purgatory for the Catholics … a holding station.

      BTW … a bit of Huss advice … never eat in a roadside cafe with the phrase “Road Kill” in it’s sign … or menu! Hope all’s well with you guys …

    • Hi Steve … I knew I could count on you … Now, if you just weren’t 1700+ miles away … Thanks for reading Real Friend … e-hugs to you!

    • Hey Rick … thanks for reading and commenting … I appreciate your support. I had fun with this one … you know the feeling when you’re pretty sure folks will laff with you when you write.

    • Hi Nancy … thanks for reading and commenting … Easy to get confused after I’ve had one “Mari” … oops, Martini … see what I mean? Hugs to you and Michael …

  2. This is really really good stuff, Richard. Thought-provoking, sure–your pieces usually are; funny–ditto. But this is like a tiny humorous sociological study. Made me think about examining both my friends list and my real-life social skills. What if I’m only likeable in writing? Who are my friends? Where are they and do they know me?

    Sorry–not absurd! But excellent. Even if your absurdity diminished, I would still consider you a friend. By the way, where do you live? Thought I might drop in.

    • Hey Jeanne … “Drop in?” You mean just come by and “drop in?” Fortunately my only listed address is my PO Box and that would be a bit crowded for us!

      Thanks for reading and commenting … friends are tough to make and tougher to keep … FB makes it easy but then we start questioning and then we get all confused and then we get depressed and then we go grab someone, anyone who’ll have a Martini with us and that person is our friend … for the moment. And that works.

  3. Thanks, Richard, this one really made me laugh…right on target. Amazing how seriously absurd FB relationships can be. I am not a very good FB friend, but I love your blog and try not to miss it even here in Oregon. Tell Mari the cartoons are perfect and have a martini for me.

    • Hey GL … Glad to hear from you … hot enough for you out there? I appreciate your reading and commenting … I do follow your FB posts, so our FB Friendship must still be working! Just wish there were a fence we could lean over and actually talk with each other. Hope your Oregon visit helps rejuvenate you … Thanks again for all your support.
      Abrazos …

  4. Reading this again and thinking of my cousin’s husband who has over a thousand FB “friends.” My guess his he wouldn’t recognize a hundred of them face-to-face!

    And yes, let us know that you and Mari are okay!

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