984 – Running Into A Facebook Friend & Having Nothing Interesting To Talk About
Online, everyone’s got the wit of a gossip columnist. Never underestimate the effect that the extra minute that online chats grant you, can have on a person’s personality
Unfortunately, reality has a way of turning the smart, witty, super funny persona you had going into the dull one you really are. Accidentally running into what you thought was a funny & interesting Facebook friend usually disappoints everybody involved. And it always leaves a bad taste of “awkward” stuck in your mouth
It usually starts off simply enough. A mutual friend posts up a picture status update. You comment. Someone named “Alex” comments. You poke a little fun at this “Alex” person’s comment. “Alex” pokes fun at your profile pic. You take exception and start bantering with “Alex”. Before you know it, you & “Alex” are Facebook friends.
You do this for months. You two never actually talk about personal things, it’s always a joke on your mutual friends pictures or your pictures, or a “Like” to their status updates…the usual.
You’ve never actually met “Alex”. This person has the same sense of humour and the same interests, so you imagine that if you met you’d probably get along, but you probably don’t plan on ever meeting “Alex”, they aren’t part of your social circle. You don’t really know them and probably don’t really want to.
Then one day, when you’re out doing the boring stuff you usually get up to, there’s “Alex” walking toward you. “Alex” notices you. You have three options here; either ignore “Alex”, say hello & keep walking or stop and engage them in conversation. All three choices will be awkward, but you go for the polite person’s choice and you engage. After all, if you two can be so fun online, you’ll surely be just as fun in person right…WRONG!
“Hi!” you say. “Are you Alex?”
“Yeah, you’re Leon right?”
This is the point where you start to realise that you two are complete strangers to each other. The entire time you and this person have been communicating online, you’ve only ever traded short quips and witty banter lines. You’ve never actually bothered to have the basic introductory conversation. After all this time you have no clue what this person is all about.
You start to feel awkward. You’re trying to this stranger in conversation. You’re hoping to recreate the same fun spirited energy you would normally have in your online conversation, but you don’t know how. You find yourself suddenly noticing things about this person hat you didn’t know before and it’s distracting you. Maybe they have a stutter, or they’re much bigger than you thought.
“So how are you?” you ask.
“I’m good dude. You know…..umm….How are you?”
“I’m alright.” – Awkward silence. Now you’re starting to search for topics of interest…commonalities, previous banter topics….NOTHING you can bring up now without it seeming forced. More awkwardness ensues.
“Eerr…what are you doing here?”
“Oh you know, just walking around, doing some shopping.”
“Oh yeah? Cool. You buy anything?”
This boring conversation is NOTHING like the banter filled ones you two have Facebook. You soon realise that in person, you two are probably the most boring people you’ve ever met. You have nothing interesting to tell them, you can’t seem to find a decent topicto bring up beyond the usual trivial junk that strangers talk about (the weather, traffic etc).
The fact of the matter is, you’re not that bad together. It’s just that the contrast between your fun online conversations and this real is so drastic it’s hard miss. Eventually you say your goodbyes and break away. As you walk off you can’t help but think to yourself;
“Man, that was…AWKWARD!“
Will you two still have that fun banter you had in you before? Hard to tell, most of the time you’ll start avoiding “Alex” when she logs in. 😉