Proper Facebook Etiquette

#244 confuzled

Tuesday 16th March, 2010

Dear Mariann,
how do you know intimate / not intimate? the contextuality of tone lacks here/
(from Confuzled, in reply to post #243 Prescription required: Having intimate conversations on Facebook)

Prepare to be enlightened. For those of you who, like Confuzled, have missed anything re. intimacies, let us start from the beginning: Facebook…finally a space for friends, friends of friends, and those other friends of friends of friends, of friends… *yawn*

To begin any good conversation or intimate connection, just remember that confidence and context do matter. You would imagine that this would be obvious, but you would be amazed at the number of SPAM and repeat replies that a gal (or guy) can amass in one sitting without any context, bar ‘viagra’ references. Oh, and anything less than a genuine connect – i.e. from a KNOWN and credible source can just be trashed. Sorry, but context really is everything and stranger danger DOES extend to the otherside of the screen too.

Take this scenario, I was recently approached, at a Come Dine with Me styled soiree, by a friend of a friend (their ex as it turns out) who mentioned that he ‘really likes me’ and would like us to pursue what would be (in his words) ‘an intimate relationship’. Well aside from the fact I have never heard a romantic trieste put so boringly, the context here too is EVERYTHING. For one we had only just been introduced, by his ex incidently, which did not stop him from seeing fit to add to his ramble that he feels that ‘ we would get out well’ and would like to ‘progress things at apace’. Steady on! Again, where is the romance?… where the genuine connection? Where the chase? NO-WHERE. I’m all for being up front, but pushing intimacy into a situation that is both formal and has an ex in the wings presents things as not only forced, but desperate. (I can’t imagine why he is an ex)? This also kills any kind of connection. Cold. Dead.

For the above, there will not be any encouragement for anything. Yes, dear reader, he has sent a Friend Request. This has been ignored. (Yes, ignored if You (him) are reading this). So as much as mediated contact, and even a comment on a blog Confuzled, can lack tone, so too for face-to-face encounters of the dull kind. Just be comforted by the fact that mediated communication can quickly be culled by a simple browser page change, inconsequential delete or re-setting of (privacy) settings. Not so easy at dinner party. I did manage to leave with his unopened champagne so it wasn’t a totally pointless evening.
Another incident concerning a friend of a friend (no, r eally, what do you think I am – some sort of brazen hussy) concerned the pursue of her by a particularly keen young man. And whilst she did nothing to refute his initial contact, she may also have muddied the lines between intimate, and intimate when she kissed him in the supermarket carpark. Or, from her tale: He kissed her and she could not refuse. This case evolves into the classic he said, she said scenaro as: She waited for his call – he said he would call the next day – and he didn’t. Now she is ‘trapped’ in the drama of it all. Not being initially attracted to this chap in the slightest, now he has the edge and she is ‘in pieces’. Not to mention she has to travel to the otherside of town to ‘avoid’ the supermarket carpark with the imprint of the ‘memory of him’. (rolls eyes).

Contextuality is significant in the above incidence too. The clue is here: Kiss in a carpark = bad. But for the friend in question, this is now seen as strangely seductive and ‘exciting’. Before the aforementioned he had only ever been on the periphery of her notice and was labelled as ‘boring’. Now he appears as impulsive and challenging. Women love impulsive and challenging, particularly if there’s a project to be commenced. You know the type, dangerous bad boy on the outside, but if only you could get underneath all that, and then WOW he’d be perfect.

Well kiddo, not the case. For better or worse, we don’t have to torture ourselves with those Brief Encounter throes anymore. Here’s the clue again: Carpark. This is not the modern equivalent of lustful glances from the platform. This is Tesco. This is dirty (not like that). This is unromantic. This is opportunistic. This is naff. He is not that bad boy. He does not need taming. The tone lacks here precisely because there is none. In short confuzled? – you better be. If there’s a lack of tone/context then this is dismissive and has nothing to do with anything (aside in this case from getting a leg over). So if your priority is not to ratchet up the number of shags in your lifetime, may I suggest that a flirtation or an intimacy, sends out its own obvious accord. As does salacious leering. All other connections proceed as ‘normal’…

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