Social networking sites give people a sense of belonging and not being alone in the world. Yet this belonging is a facade and in real life (the one not mediated by a computer) is deteriorating human interactions. People are losing the ability to carry on a conversation despite the fact that they have more access to information about their "friends" than they've ever had before.

Smokey the Bear taking a piss“Hey, I do what I can. I'm only one bear.”Okay yes, it is true I was never very proficient at talking with people in general, but I was always able to at least fake it just a little bit. Lately, I find that my attempts to allay my social anxieties with humor and meaningless hypothetical questions are being snuffed out faster then an errant campfire being peed on by Smokey the Bear.

First of all let's get one thing straight: just because you have been "friended" on Facebook or MySpace doesn't mean I know what is going on in your life. I know it's shocking but I don't sit around for hours on end every night reading up on everyone's life, ESPECIALLY if I actually see you every day. If I haven't spoken to you in months/years then yes, maybe I will check the digital projection of yourself every once in a while just to satisfy my nosey curiosity without actually having to talk to you. I mean let's face it (no pun intended) there may have been a reason why we haven't spoken in years/decades and now you only want me in your life for your mind-numbing Facebook pirate game; maybe we weren't the best of friends in the first place. That is the only reason why I friended you anyway after decades/eons—that or because I wanted to see the off-limit pictures of how old/ugly/fat you got since high school. Damn, you used to be so cute too.

To all my current "real (and I use the term loosely) friends" please please please stop saying "nothing" when I see you and ask you what's new or what you've been up to lately. Yes fine, you posted it on MySpace, but that doesn't mean I know it, read it, heard about it or don't want YOU to talk during lunch. Don't come over to my house either and sit there in silence. I just spent hours cleaning the place AND cooking for you so you better bring more then "nothing" to the conversation table!

Three girls humping a statue of a lion
We're three sluts! Hear us roar!
These days it seems that anything that has been officially posted on a social networking site is off limits for conversation period, unless of course I'm sitting in front of a laptop. Will that help? If I bring my laptop to lunch will you actually respond to me if I type the question into a little comment box under your photo? I mean it isn't exactly self-explanatory to me why you and some people I don't know are dry humping that statue in that vacation photo. Surely you must have more to say about it than "me and a statue." Let's just start the conversation with why when you see a statue your first thought is, "I bet I could mount that!" I think that would make for some highly entertaining mealtime conversation and provide some insight into you as a person as well.

Just because you posted it already on a social networking site doesn't mean it's OLD news. Fucking a statue is news no matter how long ago you did it or how many sites you posted the picture on and also warrants at least a little explanation, don't you think? These days I read books and then turn around and pay twenty dollars to see the movie that comes out only a month after the book was released. So don't feel shy about repeating something you wrote half a sentence about online.

Seriously, you grind on statues you only JUST met? Why are you being so coy with me? I thought we were friends?

To my "everyday friends" (you know, the ones I actually see every day and thus it would be silly NOT to be friends with them online too. I mean I am apparently friends with someone that I passed in the hall once and possibly made eye contact with over ten years ago, not to mention all the total strangers who are just playing the same time-killing game as me), the next time I am telling a story if you respond to me with, "Yeah I know, I read it/saw it on Facebook/MySpace," I will STAB YOU IN YOUR EYE WITH A RUSTY KNIFE!! Just sit there politely and listen to my damn story and you might actually hear something beyond the one sentence status update I typed in the three seconds I was on the computer. That one sentence I broadcasted to over 100 near-total strangers wasn't the ENTIRE story, you can be sure. You are my "friend" and I have the digital proof to prove it but that doesn't mean I am above committing a capital crime if you respond to me with that sentence again. Consider yourself warned.

In addition to all those hundreds of people who claim to be my friend either virtually or in reality, don't ever utter the words "just Google it" to me again, lest you be in line for the aforementioned stabbing as well. You know me/knew me/have met me once in your life and thus you should damn well know that I deflect awkward social interactions with zany hypothetical questions that the two of us can burn two hours of conversation with in order to not stare at each other in silence.

"Just Google it" is the modern day equivalent of, "I have no original thoughts and opinions and I am really just a waste of real space." So unless you want me to think that about you then just shut the hell up and think for a second when I ask you, "If light is a wave then what would be the speed of light if it went in a straight line and didn't travel in a wave?" The answer to any question MOST CERTAINLY IS NOT "just Google it," unless the question is "Do you want me to stab you repeatedly?!!" (Ironically enough, Google doesn't have an answer for that entry yet.) The whole point of this exercise is to actually talk about the question and laugh at the zany things we come up with when we both know neither one of us have a freaking clue what the answer to the hypothetical question is. It gives us the opportunity to playfully argue and banter about something totally irrelevant, which is so much better then focusing on the fact that apparently no one ever told you that chewing with your mouth open is disgusting.

Google search box

So, all of that said, anyone want to have lunch? I'll meet you in the cafeteria. I'll be the one NOT updating my Twitter from my phone.