Mark Zuckerberg, I Have No Friends
600 friends online and no one will return my texts.
May 29, 2014 | Summer 2014
Over last Easter weekend I found myself hopelessly and tragically bored. There really is something quite lonely about being subjected to a holiday that you don’t celebrate. I say ‘subjected’ because almost everything in Melbourne was closed on Easter Friday – bar maybe a few Chinese takeaway restaurants/Yarmulke outlet stores. Which left poor old agnostic me sitting on my couch at home, eating chocolate that wasn’t egg-shaped and feeling a little bit shit. No sooner had I thought ‘I should call someone to hang out’ had I also thought ‘who the hell can I call?’ I casually scrolled through my contact list as if I had somehow spontaneously ‘forgotten’ my own friends, but before I had even reached the ‘M’s I knew: there was nobody. Well at least nobody I could call on Easter to come over and watch movies in our pajamas. I’m talking about BFFs here, people.
Sadly, despite what my Facebook page says I do not have hundreds of pals and my face is not as strategically blurry as my profile photo would suggest. Secret’s out. The fact is I could probably count my real friends on one hand, maybe two if I make a few quick phone calls. Don’t get me wrong; it has always been this way because I’m a firm believer in ‘quality over quantity’. But it just wouldn’t be me to not at some point question my own sanity or speculate that I suffer from a social disorder.
See, my method of choosing friends has always gone as follows; I lurk in the shadows in social situations and observe people from afar. If someone displays signs of compatibility/awesomeness (such as dry humour, sarcasm, nerdiness, a love of film, crazy dress sense) I pounce on them like a lion…that is trying to make friends with another lion. It seems a little extreme I know, but high standards and perfectionism are good right? (RIGHT?!) Admittedly, they’re probably not so good when you can’t think of a single person to call on Easter Friday. Which begs the question: where do we draw the line between having ‘high friendship standards’ and social incompetence? Or are they one and the same?
I guess a part of me vainly wishes that I could be the social butterfly rather than the lonesome over-thinker. But recently I’ve noticed that it’s becoming increasingly difficult to connect with the majority of people I meet. Often when I’m hanging out with someone for the first time it’s like there are devils on both my shoulders saying, “My god these people are rigid and boring”, and “why are you so fucking awkward and weird?” The problem is, I can’t determine which devil is telling the truth. Is the person in front of me not laughing at my jokes because they don’t get them, or because they think they’re stupid and obvious? Am I the boring one projecting my boringness onto other people, or does everyone just have jack shit to talk about nowadays? I feel like even the heavy drug users I meet don’t have any funny stories to tell. Seriously.
Maybe I don’t need any new friends. Besides, being socially awkward is interesting and funny! At least, that’s what the Comedy Channel has been telling me…
Collage by Kellie Hogan.