Fun with Fresher Facebooking

Jonathan Laurence 13 October 2007

Now, with all the new freshers around, at some point in the past week and a half we’ve probably all been tempted to say it. But oh my God, please don’t. Although we’ve all been on the fresher groups, asking ‘Have I seen you on Facebook?’ is still about as socially appropriate and likely to get a positive reaction as ‘Hey, wasn’t it you I saw in that horse porn movie a while back?’

For the moment, Facebook stalking is still one of those incredibly fun and necessary things that everyone does but no-one ever feels the need to talk about. Like flushing halfway through taking a piss and then giving the toilet a race. Oh. Just me? Oops.

Still, quite a lot of the people I’ve seen meet each other from fresher groups do seem to give each other a quickly doused flicker of Facebook derived recognition as they introduce themselves.

With fresher groups it would appear that meeting people from the internet in person – once the exclusive preserve of Star Trek fans and balloon fetishists – has finally come into the mainstream, just no-one wants to admit it. Everyone I’ve talked to so far this week seems intent on continually pointing out just how weird they find it seeing people in real life who they’ve previously met on Facebook.

Oh come on. Like it’s never happened to you before. A ‘no, I’m not going to tell you how many hours a day’ Facebook habit put pay to those particular inhibitions on my part a long long time ago.

Despite constant bitching from second and third years about how fresher facebook groups are the end of university/civilization as we know it, they are probably A Good Thing (though try telling that to the fresher who was gleefully informed that his room came with ‘semen stains as standard’).

The main flaw was that not many of them actually really contained much discussion from freshers anyway, though, after they were overrun by hordes of alternately chatty and sarky second and third years.

Apparently one fresher collective went as far as creating a secret substitute group away from all the big nasty people. Understandable, if a little extreme. The other massive problem is that it’s still not acceptable to actually mention any of the things you read on there, as that’s still apparently creepy and stalker-ish.

But whatever. If it makes it easier for you to learn the names of all the random people around you (this is, after all, the point of freshers’ week) then it’s fine by me. Just don’t let anyone know how you’ve managed to remember them all.

Jonathan Laurence