Scan Magazine, Issue 115, August 2018

Page 107

Scan Magazine  |  Humour  |  Columns


By Mette Lisby

Who has encountered a new grey zone between Facebook friendships or acquaintances and real-life friendships? I recently found myself in this odd situation: someone requested my friendship on Facebook, on my private profile. It was one of these people who is in the same business as you, with whom you have got loads of mutual Facebook friends, who you have heard colleagues and other friends mention in conversations over the years — you are literally one birthday party away from actually having met this person in real life. So I accepted the invitation and we became friends on Facebook. By chance, a few weeks later, I met him in real life, at a birthday party for one of our many mutual friends. I was chatting when I saw him across the room and I thought “Oh, how fun! There’s that guy who befriended me on Facebook!” So I smiled at him. He did not smile back. My husband and I mingled around, several times close to my new Facebook friend, who at no point seemed interested in saying hi. I thought

perhaps he had not seen me, so I smiled again, only for him to shoot me a ‘Relax, lady!’ stare, as if he thought I was creepily stalking him. I felt inclined to follow him — see? I am not the stalking type at all! — poke him in the back with an insistent finger and say: “Hey! YOU asked me to be friends on Facebook!” I am usually pretty non-confrontational and easy-going, so after the initial outrage, I calmed down, telling my husband in the car on the way home that it was probably a misunderstanding. Maybe he thought I was someone else when he requested my Facebook friendship. But then, a few days later, it was coincidentally my birthday and this guy sends me a heartfelt greeting. Not one of those standard ones, but one you actually spend time on (or at least two seconds, which is a lot to spend on anyone these days!).

Muddy brown-grey

I do not look that different from my photos. Maybe he is just more comfortable being friends on Facebook than in actual life. And, admittedly, the great thing about Facebook friends is that you do not always have to talk to them. But it does reveal the real challenge with Facebook friends: you think you know someone! Mette Lisby is Denmark’s leading female comedian. She invites you to laugh along with her monthly humour columns. Since her stand-up debut in 1992, Mette has hosted the Danish version of Have I Got News For You and Room 101.

By Maria Smedstad

would wildly squish all the different shades of Play-Doh together, all the blues and yellows and reds and whites, despite knowing what would happen. Muddy brown-grey. That is what happened. But I would stare at the lump in my hand, always reminding myself that muddy brown-grey is the best colour Play-Doh there is. It is all of everything, mixed together, until it is irreversibly one.

As I’m writing this, Sweden is about to play England in the World Cup. By the time it is in print, we will know who won, but at the moment, anything seems possible and I am being bombarded with messages from friends asking which team I will be supporting. The answer is Sweden. Come Saturday, I will be in blue and yellow, while my husband will don red and white. I am incredibly proud to call the UK my home and hope it will remain so. But deep down — apparently, as proven by the World Cup — remains the Swede, ready to scream at a TV screen while 22 men chase a small ball across it. I do not think of it as disloyalty to England, more as the occasional awakening of something that is so firmly attached to my soul that it can never be removed, despite what my mother says when she catches me eating Scotch eggs or coleslaw.

Dude, I met you a week ago and you could not be bothered to say hi to my face!

I think it is possible to immerse yourself in your adopted culture, while retaining some of the original you at the core, existing as a happy hybrid. It brings to mind those childhood moments of abandonment, when I

Maria Smedstad moved to the UK from Sweden in 1994. She received a degree in Illustration in 2001, before settling in the capital as a freelance cartoonist, creating the autobiographical cartoon Em. Maria writes a column on the trials and tribulations of life as a Swede in the UK.

Issue 115  |  August 2018  |  107

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