Tuesday, June 12, 2012

'Friending' with Autism

From SFGate Blogger Laura Shumaker.

My husband and I went to a graduation party over the weekend, and while he went to get us something to drink, I was greeted by a very friendly man wearing white jeans and a Tommy Bahama shirt who acted like we were long lost friends. I had no idea who he was but played along for a bit (“Hey … you, how’s  the family?”) hoping that eventually a light would go on. Just as he was filling me in on  his shoulder surgery, it hit me. This man was a Facebook friend, one who I hadn’t actually talked to in person since were were chaperones on a kindergarten field trip two decades ago.
The encounter reminded me  of a recent conversation that I have had with Matthew about Facebook. He’d “friended” a guy-I’ll call him Joe-that he knew remotely in middle school. He noticed that Joe lived near him in Santa Cruz. “Do you want to hang out sometime?” Matthew wrote on Joe’s wall. “Yeah, we’ll have to do that one of these days,” Joe replied. Encouraged, Matthew tried to nail down a date, sent way too many messages until Joe defriended him. The incident was one of many disappointing interactions for Matthew on Facebook.

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