So, I did the deed and made a facebook profile. Not all that active, I log in once in a while to accept requests, play around a little to see how it works, and invite a few people I know to be my friends.
And then one of them doesn't approve me.
Who'd have thought.
Not that it matters, and of course it's no reason to accept everybody, but still, it's not like I invite all kind of people I never met. It felt weird to see others in the same group of people linked, and me left out. The visual lack of a connection was a stark declaration, a public rejection.
I suspect a large part of the power of facebook lies here, in the power to include and exclude, and make both the links and the lack obvious to the insiders, but still unvoiced, unspoken. Luckily I am no longer 10 years old and desperately unhappy when somebody doesn't pick me, or write in my book of memories. But it makes me wonder... what will I do the day somebody I am really uncomfortable about want to be my friend?
There is no way to aknowledge a link which is less than friendly, no such thing as "casual aquaintance" or "neighbour I never spoke to the 20 years we lived close" or "yeah, I know who that is, but that's all." The neutral, unemotional, that which is less than friendship but still more than strangers - there is no category for that. And that leaves an odd sensation of unease, as the world is split into friends and not-friends. It is just too simple.