7/12/2011
The hierarchy

I got a Google+ invite from Paw yesterday.

Technically I begged her for one.

I told myself a few days ago that I wouldn't mind being late on that bandwagon. After all, it took me ages to get on Facebook. (It took me ages to get on Friendster, even.) And then I realized that I'm being left behind by the most vocal proponents of "everybody else" so I decided to, well, to hell with it - jump on the bandwagon, see where it goes.

I wasted some time yesterday finding people and adding them in circles. I only found ten people - it is a beta version, after all - and proceeded to categorize them according to how I met them. (That's all I'm going to say. In theory, you're not supposed to know which circle people put you into.) Google+ is best described as a Facebook/Twitter hybrid: you don't need to allow people to follow you, but you can limit your posts to certain people. Circles, in this case. So I can just add people and not wait for a confirmation - it's pretty much liking a Facebook fan page as opposed to adding someone.

(Gah, I sound like a social media maven. I wonder how many hits this blog entry will get?)

The circles thing is what sets Google+ apart from the rest. Another attempt to replicate real-life conversations. You won't tell your boss your deepest, darkest secrets, right? Same way you won't tell the people you just know, but aren't close with, your deepest darkest secrets. Also mirroring that reality is the fact that - like I said - you're not supposed to know which circle people put you into. For all you know, you treat them as a friend and they just assigned you to "People I Don't Give A Shit About". It's not like Facebook, where - unless you fiddled around with your privacy settings - everybody sees everything you post.

Yes, I'm being paranoid about this.

Once upon a time, everybody was either a friend or an enemy. Either you were nice to the guy or you weren't. Either you were told "friends tayo!" or "hindi tayo bati!" Sure, it kills off the nuances of best friends and barkadas, but it made for easier decisions.

As we grew up, these nuances begged to be noticed. So you had best friends, you had close friends, and you had friends you are nice to but never really bothered spending time with, because life wouldn't let that happen. You had acquaintances who just happen to be there. You had frenemies (whatever they called that at the start of the millenium) and you had enemies. And then you have your nemeses.

And then you find yourself having to deal with all these connections and all these places in your hierarchy. Sure, in theory you just let things be. And sure, this is me being paranoid. You put people in certain positions, and then they shift away from it, to the left or to the right, and you end up resisting it, because you know it's going to ruin the balance you meticulously maintain. I know we're supposed to be best friends, but your actions suggest otherwise, you'd go. I'd like to keep things the way they are. But you, on the other hand...

The end result: you have friends that don't treat you as friends, and you have enemies that don't treat you as enemies.

And you don't know which one's which.

I was rereading this article off the copy of The Guardian my dad brought home from London last year. It pretty much talks about the slow burn I was outlining in the earlier paragraphs: the time when you shift from one position to another, without any announcement, and without you being prepared. Someone makes the decision, and you're left out cold. And you're left wondering why you even bother honoring the agreement.

It's pretty much like trying to post a reply on a friend's Facebook post, only to find that you cannot post a reply, while your other friends can. You get frustrated, and you're forced to move on.

And then you realize that you're doing the same thing, and others are going through the same things you do - only you blow it up, because you're paranoid.

Why do you feel so entitled? What makes you so fucking important, Nicksy?

And your responses...

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