Friend Tally

I resisted Facebook, thinking it was just for college students, but then I noticed that many of my friends were there, and it seemed like a good way to keep in contact. Frankly since lower Manhattan emptied itself of artists, I seem to seldom see anyone, except occasionally at openings.

While you can list yourself publicly on Facebook, the majority of users don't, so you have to gather a group of friends around you, to actually view anything meaningful.

So you search your address book and begin adding friends. The first thing you notice is that you have very few friends compared to some who seem to be the most popular kids at school, with 500 or more "friends."

Accepting you will never be that much of a star, you begin comparing your friend list, with those of your friends, ex-friends, ex-lovers, and those you remember as losers. It is not always a pretty picture -- this friend tally.

Anything is better than that first screen you get, when you join, the disturbing statement "Fred has no friends." I looked after a week I had 26 friends, including some of my students, and a couple of friends I was glad to reconnect with.

Facebook does appear to be good place to connect with other creative people, since each of your friends opens you up to posts from their friends. Close enough to the way the real world works, or at least used to work for me, when I first came to NYC, and seemed to have thousands of friends.  But then I could sit on my loading dock, drink beer, and watch  artists walk by.

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