Facebook …friendship or communication tool? Stage | guardian.co.uk

Critics shouldn’t befriend artists |Stage |guardian.co.uk:

“As a woman of reasonable drive and sanity, I try not to spend too much time on Facebook. I’ll log on weekly to see which friends have a birthday approaching (felicitations, Peter and Lars) or to post an update. And for a while I really liked that Slayers game, Zombies Must Die! But lately I find myself forced to visit the site for an uncomfortable purpose: declining ‘friend requests’ from actors, directors, playwrights and publicists.

Why not just hit ‘accept’? Yes, many of these people are unknown to me, but so are several of the erstwhile classmates I cheerfully agreed to ‘befriend’. And many are known to me and very likable – a category that includes, remarkably, several publicists. But I write for publications with strict codes of ethics – chiefly, the New York Times – and they don’t look too kindly on pals profiling pals. Yet, to friend or not to friend is really a modern gloss on a much older dilemma: what is the appropriate relationship between the artist and the critic?”

This is an interesting dilemma. I am getting to the point that I don’t necessarily see a Facebook Friend Request so much as a request to be my “friend” as much as a request to have approved communication. More and more I am finding people that have my email address, and phone number, and mailing address (it’s all on my website) using Facebook (or MySpace) messages to contact me. The addition of another layer of technology is mildly annoying, but it seems to be a somewhat necessary annoyance. Apparently this is how people want to communicate, and if I want to be accessible, I need to be accessible there.

Thoughts? Leave a comment, or email me…or friend me so we can message each other.

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