I do not actually know the guy (nor do I know anyone who does) but apparently Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder and CEO, is not known for his people skills.
The image you get from reading articles about the young billionaire is best described as ‘unkind’ and ‘anti-social’. His brainchild however (the thing that got him on the Time’s World’s Most influential People list in 2008) is now forcing me to work on my personal growth. (Is that Alanis Morissette I hear in the background?)
Friends of friends
The situation used to be like this. You, mostly, like your friends, which is why they are your friends in the first place. Your friends’ friends however, much like your in-laws, is an entirely different story. Even though there much be some sort of ‘common ground’,there is absolutely no reason why you should particularly like or give a hoot about friends of friends. If you did: they would be considered your friends as well wouldn’t they? Chances are you are a very social person and you can get along nicely with all sorts of people in terms of ‘chitchat’ and exchanging superficial niceties for the time being. Not me. I am better described as being a ‘difficult’ person. Although I work hard to keep a friendly face I hate people who, in my personal view are superficial, egotistical, short-sighted or just plain stupid. As will be the case with your friends as well: some of my friends socialize with those people as well.
(note: to my friends that are actually reading this. No, I don’t mean any of your homies…)
Back in the old days, before 2.0 that is, the aggravation and annoyance could be kept at acceptable levels.The occasional birthday party was survived by simply avoiding certain people and conversations and if you somehow got stuck with any one of those, it made great gossiping material. The prospect of that would keep me sane. Every once in a while you could also ‘skip’ on a social date when you found out ‘they’ were going to be there, should that date occur at a time when you just ‘couldn’t face it’. So everybody was happy. My friends’ friends were still retarded, polluting and selfish pigs and I was still the -secret- intellectual snob. How times change.
Now is the age of the online social networks and hey, aren’t they heaps of fun? I cannot remember what I used to do with my spare time before LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook and the mere thought of ever having to do without any of them sends a shiver of fear through my spine. but for all the blessings particularly Facebook has brought me, it’s also confronting me with my second worst nightmare… my friends’ backward friends. See, I like reading what my friends have been up to, seeing what they thought was interesting and listening to what they feel is worthwhile to share with their own circle. But I do not necessarily enjoy reading the comments their friends feel they have to write beneath them. In the best cases they make me laugh and feel superior, in the worst cases they enrage me with their stupidity to the point where I just want to throw my laptop out of the window (I have already mentioned that I am a little, little man haven’t I?). And to add injury to insult, in some cases I have to put up with comments by friends of friends of friends, vague acquaintances of friends, family of friends and colleagues/business contacts of friends as well. Just shoot me.
Becoming a better person
The answer to this problem is quite obvious. I should stop being such a stuck up prick and start (excuse the cliché) practising what I preach and let people who-do-no-harm just be. The alternative -blocking all friends that have annoying friends- just does not appear to be a viable option. And for the worst cases of ‘short-sighted, superficial, egotistical and plain stupid’, I guess I should learn to have more understanding, patience and respect. Damnit Zuckerberg, my personality used to be just fine!