MaxBarry.com
collect the entire set

Max Barry wrote the novels Syrup, Jennifer Government, Company, Machine Man, and Lexicon. He also created the game NationStates and once found a sock full of pennies.

Blog

Fri 16
Nov
2007

Facebooked

Max I caved in and signed up to Facebook. I never had a problem avoiding MySpace, because every MySpace I’ve ever seen was clearly designed by a hyperventilating color-blind monkey. And the monkey had no idea about HTML standards. But Facebook looked nice, so I went ahead and created a profile.

I wasn’t sure I should be doing this, since I already have way too much unanswered e-mail. I don’t really need any new avenues for people to get disappointed when I don’t reply to them. But then I saw a Facebook group called “Max Barry is fricken awesome.” That was a big plus for me. There’s just something about a group of people telling me I’m fricken awesome that makes me think, “These guys are all right.”

At first my goal was simple: I would jump on this bandwagon and friend up anyone who asked. Facebook: put up my face, maybe sell some book. Made sense. But then I discovered it’s pretty cool to see what your friends are up to on Facebook. I felt like I was being social, but without any effort. That was nice. Maybe, I thought, I should keep this just for friends and family.

Then I realized my friends and family are boring. Day One, sure, it was crazy: Brit was pregnant, Dan had a new job, and that girl I liked in high school was now an architect. There was a lot to catch up on. But a few days later, Brit was still pregnant, Dan still had the new job, and the girl was still an architect. Where was the progression? The twists and turns? It was like a soap opera where nothing happened, and I received email notifications of every non-event.

The other problem was I had friend requests piling up. It became hard to know where to draw the line: did someone I’d only met once on book tour qualify as a friend? What about someone I’d only emailed? What if I’d never heard of them before, but they listed me in their profile as one of their favorite authors, and they were incredibly hot? Well, obviously that one was an easy decision. But the others: tough. On top of that, I accidentally friended one guy by clicking the wrong button, and another because I thought he was someone else. The walls had been breached.

So I decided to go friend whoring. My new policy would be: I’m anyone’s. I accepted every friend request I had, and searched out new ones. I know: I felt kind of dirty. But then I realized it was pretty nice to have a page of links to people who liked my books. Some of my actual so-called friends have never even bothered to crack the spine on one, and I still turn up to their kids’ birthday parties, the selfish bastards. The parents, I mean. The kids are lovely. What’s that about?

Maybe these people I’d never met were more deserving of social recognition than people I met face-to-face. They had read something of mine that mattered enough to them to affect their lives, or at least their Facebook profile. Wasn’t that something? Wasn’t that a connection—a meeting of minds? Yes, I decided; yes it was.

Comments

This is where site members post comments. If you're not a member, you can join here. There are all kinds of benefits, including moral superiority!

Yenzo (#829)

Location: Secret underwater pyramid base in the Pacific
Quote: "In order to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe (Carl Sagan)"
Posted: 3926 days ago

The decision is as hard for me as it is for you: Up to now, I only have real friends on my Facebook friends list, which makes it incredibly short, but also nice to look at. What if I add you now and then I find out that there are other authors or movie directors or, God forbid, porn stars all over Facebook and they all want me to be on their friends lists?

On the upside, I'd feel like I knew famous people. Yay! The downside is that I'd have like a hundred people on my friends list, among them about five actual friends of mine.

So how about this: I'll add you to my friends list as the only person I've never met personally. If any porn star or millionnaire or UN Secretary General comes up to me and invites me to their friends list, I'll go "Nah, I already added Max Barry. You're just not cool enough".

I don't use my screen name in Facebook, so you'll have to recognize me by my Darth Maul face painting. And no, I'm not geeky at all. Not a bit.

Oh, and of course I lied about one celebrity: If Natalie Portman asks me to be on her friends list, the deal is off. I'm sure you'll understand.

towr (#1914)

Location: Netherlands
Posted: 3926 days ago

I think I'll stay un-caved-in a while longer; true, it is terribly tempting to join facebook just to add Max on a friends list, but then, I can be ignored by him just as well without the extra effort. We don't need to be official friends for that ;)

Jennifer M. Dambeck (#3061)

Location: NJ, USA
Quote: "Rock on"
Posted: 3926 days ago

I'm a complete nut on facebook! I only have friends there that are real life friends, but I'm getting stomped at Scrabble daily. My revenge is to get them all to sign up for Super Poke and throw things at them. There's plenty of apps where you can send people virtual things that will appear on their profile. (I send folks WAY to many plants and eggs with the growing gifts app.) Its a fun time-sink. Better than minesweeper, I think!

Joey (#1080)

Location: Tampa
Quote: "Don't fight with ugly people. They have nothing to lose."
Posted: 3926 days ago

I think the happiest moment of my Facebook life was when I checked my new friend request and it said "Max Barry has requested you as a friend."


Max Barry is fricken awesome.

Brenng (#3235)

Location: UK (sitting down)
Quote: "Laugh when all the world cries and they'll lock you up for being an antisocial freak. www.brennigjones.com - there's a laugh in there somewhere!"
Posted: 3926 days ago

Facebook is scary. My wife pokes me, my friends hurl sheep at me (Sheep! WTF?), my stalker (just the one, thanks) bombards me with mail and my university co-students (what <i>is</i> the collective noun for a group of dysfunctional, alcohol-fuelled, lust-obsessed English students?) just sit there and moan about assignment after assignment when they've really had all the time in the world to prepare for things, whilst they display a frightening lack of ability to communicate correctly in English that makes me wonder why half of them are on the course.

<i>Pauses for breath...</i>

Still... It has uses. At least it gives me an opportunity to talk about motorbikes with my mate in Melbourne.
:-)

Machine Man subscriber Bushra (#36)

Location: Fremont, California
Quote: "www.caffeinatedmuslim.com"
Posted: 3926 days ago

You're probably going to get bombarded with friend requests now Max! Including one from, um, me. *cough*

jacob (#2241)

Location: tx
Quote: "those who are willing to sacrifice freedoms for security deserve neither freedom nor security"
Posted: 3925 days ago

I am still holding out. I caved into Myspace, but i continue to use it for the sole purpose of looking at under-age girls at my home-town high school who send cute pictures of themselves to me all the time.

I refuse to use it for any other purpose, no i will not make emo blog posts. No i'm not going to imbed my page with some terrible song no one wants to hear in the first place. And no i'm not going to use it to stay in touch with my friends, screw them!

Sometimes i think i'm to anti-mainstream for my own good.

Machine Man subscriber Toby O (#2900)

Location: Sydney
Quote: "You can't sell your soul to the devil if he's not buying"
Posted: 3925 days ago

It's funny your entry should be about facebook. Just yesterday I impulsively bought a domain name, for a new blog that will have news and pictures and possibly youtube squares all about my family for my family. And my wife says "why don't we just sign up on facebook?"

Mark Tran (#3249)

Location: Canada
Quote: "If you lived here, You'd be home."
Posted: 3925 days ago

Wow, cool, I was persuaded to immediately add you.. but I'm going to resist that temptation because everyone's probably doing that right now as well. Okay, that's about the end of my self control, I'm adding you.

Machine Man subscriber David (#1456)

Location: Sydney, Australia
Quote: "Why are the pretty ones always insane?"
Posted: 3925 days ago

I have so far resisted all entreaties to join either MySpace or Facebook. MySpace because it's owned by Rupert Murdoch and therefore the work of the the anti-Christ and will cost you your soul at some point down the track, Facebook because, well, all this "social networking" bs is such a friggin crock (and the FB code is a mess, it's really still a student project that needs a total redesign/rewrite. It's so insecure it's scary). It's really just another version of AOL's old "walled garden" for people too young and/or stupid to remember it from last time.

I like my web open, my blogs public and my email plaintext.

But damnitall, Max Barry's on FB!

DR (#1183)

Location: USA
Quote: "I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate. And I can picture us attacking that world, because they'd never expect it. 'jack handey"
Posted: 3925 days ago

You might consider keeping your standard facebook profile restricted to your personal friends, and then making a special page for yourself again as a writer through the new Facebook Pages feature.

This would allow you to connect with your fans, while at the same time allowing you to put more personal information that you might not want to share with every random person who friend requests you in your personal profile.

Christopher (#3016)

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Quote: "What's a battle?"
Posted: 3924 days ago

Face.... book....?

Machine Man subscriber Jarrad (#837)

Location: Hobart
Posted: 3923 days ago

i will not fold to facebook's evil ploy to take over the universe one kid at a time

i just don't get the appeal? if i wanted to converse electronically with friends there is this crazy thing called email. i'm sure it will catch on.

and why would i - who has no book to sell or family to feed - need to clock up a list of no-real-friends? do people really ignore their real live friends for a bunch of cyber-mates?

although, hatebook could be a go-er...

Eric Mugendi (#2567)

Location: Nairobi, Kenya
Quote: "“How can you expect a man who's warm to understand one who's cold?” Alexander Solzhenitsyn"
Posted: 3922 days ago

Ok, was this just a subtle plot to get everyone on Facebook as well as on your mailing list to add you as a friend? If so, nice one. It worked.
Though I now have a feeling that adding Spider Pig as a friend right after the Simpsons Movie as well kinda hurt my chances of ever making real actual friends on Facebook.
You win some, you lose some...

Michael Ricksand (#2212)

Location: Terra
Quote: "You do not have a right to be stupid."
Posted: 3917 days ago

I haven't got a Facebook account, I'm too busy reading Barrybooks. And Dantebooks, Cervantesbooks and Hemingwaybooks.

Ralf Heinrich (#1441)

Location: Buehl, Germany
Quote: "What does this button do?"
Posted: 3899 days ago

I'm not familiar with Facebook since they havent's settled in Germany yet, but have you ever tried Xing (the platform formerly known as openBC)? Check it out: www.xing.com

Don't want to miss it anymore ...

Comments are now closed for this post.

Built on Blosxom