Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Alley Felineawitz

I just joined a “social networking site” at the prompting of my cousin, to play online-scrabble and to hook up with old friends. I found a few long-lost college buddies, renewed some relationships with neighbors from my hometown and have enjoyed seeing photos they shared on their home-page of themselves and their families.

From my sons, I learned a bit about this site in the past few years. At one point, I confess to “disguising” myself (that is, assuming an alter-ego) to see what my son Jon was up to when he was in high school, and what the site was really about. With one “Request to be Friends” sent to him, I was IN.

(O.K—I’m not proud of that, but if he was dumb enough to “friend” me without any questions asked, me, with a fake name, no friends or networks, and a profile photo of a cat… I deserved access to his world.)

But I didn’t have a “peek window” open to me long. It took him less than a day to figure out “Alley Felineawitz” was me. He started a discussion group about “not liking to eat alone” and I gave him helpful advice on how to cope, typed in full words, full sentences, punctuation and no IM jargon like:

“OMG, Ur so right!”

I said, ““Honey, why don’t you just bring your iPod and read a book---then you won’t feel so lonely.”

He promptly UN-Friended me and sent a text message that read: "Nice try, Mom."

So, naturally, I’m cautious about who I allow access to my world via the "verbized" term “Friend-ing.” I saw a high school classmate was also a member. Since it has been 25 years since high school, I was curious what she was up to, if she was still in the area where we grew up, kids, etc., so I submitted a “Request to be Friends.” Nothing happened at all. I asked my son about that and he said:

“She probably doesn’t know who “Alley Felineawitz” is.”

“I used my real name, Jon.”

“Well, if you don’t hear anything, it means you’ve been rejected.”

Snap! Maybe I SHOULD have used the alias—it probably would have at least intrigued her. Now, I’m left hanging, wondering if I did something wrong these past 25 years. Is it poetic justice for my dishonest antic last year? I may never know.

The longer I use this site, though, the cooler I think it is, and the more addicting it becomes. You could spend HOURS joining “virtual groups” and attaching little distinguishing things to your page about yourself and your interests. Every time you do anything to your “stuff”, all your “Friends” get notified in some way. It’s a full time job being cyber-social!

I troll for new/old friends occasionally, now that it seems like more people my age are on there. OR ARE THEY??? Could be the kids are checking up on what their PARENTS are up to.


Jenie Altruda said...

Alley Felineawitz? You would have been safe using something like Levi Strauss.

Very funny, though.

bspicknall said...

Hey Alley, I am laughing so loud that my kids are worried about me. Honey, just listen to your IPod or read a book and that will solve all your social networking ills. You. Need. To. Write. A. Book.