My Argument With Quin About Facebook

Quin and I both have Facebook accounts under our real names. (I know, it may come as a shock to some of our readers that Quin Finnegan and Rufus McCain are noms de plume.) I was telling him on the phone the other day that if he would check my Facebook status updates I wouldn’t have to waste time chit chatting with him on the phone about trifling matters.

The thing is: I love Facebook. In particular, I love posting status updates and I love reading others’ status updates. Quin hates Facebook and in two months he only updated his status once with the clever but unenlightening statement: “Quin [except of course it was his real name, Brian] is facing the book.”

So, after our telephone conversation, he logged on and viewed my status update, which read: “Rufus [except of course it was my real name, Jonathan] is taking Joan of Arc [except of course it was her real name, Dylan] on a nap ride.”

The following argument ensued in the form of comments on my status update:


Actually, I’m not going to comment on [Joan of Arc]’s nap ride, which sounds quite nice, but on this whole Facebook thing, which is something of a crap shoot. Emphasis on crap.

I don’t get it. One thing I’ve noticed is that a lot more advertising has creeped in since I first signed up. It may not be my Clearwire connection that’s slow, but my facebook page.

And it seems like there’s a lot of crummy little timewasters going around – some passed on by friends, which can be kind of fun (Q: Which Sondheim musical are you? A: Pacific Overtures!), but a lot of them just seem to be floating through. Probably helping somebody make a few bucks, as some that I’ve seen are just the beginning of a scam.

I spend 10 minutes just trying to bring my Books thingum up to date – what a waste of time. What do I fail to understand about facebook? It’s better than MySpace, I guess, but other than that? I’m going back to reading a real book now. Yeesh, I’m a grumpy old man.


No, no, no! You don’t get it — you got that right. Yes, there are a bunch of stupid little time wasters on Facebook. But that’s not what it’s all about. It’s about having this running ticker-tape of micro-blog entries that provide glimpses into the lives of friends from a weird bunch of overlapping spheres of your life. It’s not about anything productive like you seem to be striving for, but of forming a connective tissue with friends. That’s the addictive part of it for me.


  1. Ha, ha.

  2. says

    Not productive at all. Total waste of time, mostly. But if a person is willing to be deeply inconsistent — sometimes rudely ignoring people’s billionth request to Smile or Fling a Thong or whatever, and other times throwing ones’ lonely, or procrastinating self into the thing with wild, dada-ist abandon, it is fun.

    And I also, with Rufus, cherish the ticker-tape status reports of far-flung friends, some of which are comfortingly dull, while others are absolute poetry.

    Plus also? A TERRIFIC way to spy on one’s teenage children!! (Trick is… say NOTHING. EVER. Just haunt…)

  3. After my high school 30th reunion a bunch of us are now connected on facebook and I have to admit I am having much more fun with them there than I ever did in high school. It is really nice to keep in touch with all of them.

    I’m with Rufus, I love the status updates, especially the clever ones and the mundane ones. I also love the pieces of flair just for the inanity of most of them.

    other than that I don’t think there is much point to facebook, unless of course like almostgotit you have to spy on your kids

    I wouldn’t let my kids get a facebook page unless they friended me — coersion? maybe but at least I can see who they are talking to and what they are talking about. Better to be forewarned than blindsided in the parenting game.

  4. Yes–it’s the only way I can (sorta) keep track of the love interests of my granddaughter.

  5. Rufus McCain says

    The same granddaughter who updated her status with: “… probably shouldn’t use the word clusterfuck in my status update, since my grandparents are on facebook.”

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