One of my best friends lives in New York City. She talked me into making a page on MySpace years ago. It was a way for us to share information and keep in touch. And then more recently, she talked me again into signing onto Facebook.
I was reluctant at first. Very reluctant. When first online with Facebook, they have SOOOO much information that you can fill in about yourself; all your interests, all your contact information, all the schools or jobs you've ever been associated with. It seemed so invasive....the whole concept of having all this personal information about myself out there really bothered me. In this day and age where every third commercial is about identity theft and computer hacking putting that pertinent information about myself in one venue? How much do I really want people to know? But I succumbed and signed up....but not with much on the page. I wanted to somehow be there, but remain anonymous. I didn't get the point of it. I didn't understand why you would want or possibly need it.
Then I noticed when I would visit the site I would always see at least 3 of my friends almost always online. I stayed the status quo for awhile...kind of watching, to make sure things were safe. And then allowed snippets of more personal information to post. Pictures of myself or my daughter...things that people that I know might want to know to 'catch up'. I am now able to keep in touch in more real time with the exchange student from the Czech Republic that had lived next door for a year. I can also check up on Calamity Kel in her first year down at OU. I can see pictures of friends that used to live in my rental property and find out what's going on in their world. I would view photos or videos of my New York buddy on the subway....which was fun. I was enjoying this semi-voyeuristic view into others lives and connecting with people through this venue.
So I got a little bolder. I put more information up. I started using the 'friend finder'. The other night I searched for a few people from my past that I haven't heard from or thought about in a long time. That is when I truly understood the beauty of Facebook.
There's a girl that used to be part of my 'posse' here in Cleveland that had moved out of town. I have, for the most part, lost contact with her with exception to a Christmas card here or there. She's a newbie on the site, befriended me and had posted a comment the other day on someones wall. She said Facebook was "like a grade school and high school reunion". I was nodding my head as I read it and thought that Classmates.com must be totally hating the Facebook phenomena. Why would you possibly buy a subscription to Classmates when you can find the same people for free? And for that matter...why continue your MySpace page when there is Facebook? Even my ex-husband said that eventually Facebook may really limit regular e-mail....everyone will be connected through that interface instead.
One thing that I hate though is all the invites that I get. At the end of each of the quizzes or questionnaires there is always something for you to accept the terms....and that scares me. There is a point where to continue you must agree to share your profile information and your friends in order for "it to work". Who's collecting that information? Maybe that's why I have been getting so many spam mailings as of late. It's rather frightening. So just in case you are one of my friends on Facebook: note to self, don't send Nancy those invites....I'm not going to answer or do them.
The other night when online I did a search for one of my best friends in high school. I'm not sure why I even did the search. I hadn't thought of these guys in years. Over the years we just 'lost touch'....as people do. He was one of the "Happy Bunch". His dad dubbed us that. And that's exactly what we were! The Happy Bunch. We were inseparable. I have difficulty finding a memory that didn't involve one or all of us during our high school years. What a joy. How damn amazing. It brought flooding back memories buried for over 20 years. I'm hopeful that the other two members of the Happy Bunch might someday sign onto the madness as well and we can have ourselves a reunion of sorts....but in the meantime I like to share daily quips with my friend and relive the grand years of our youth. The funny thing is that when I did the search for his name, he had only been a member of Facebook for a whole 12 hours. THAT is Kismet.
I now find myself signing on Facebook with more regularity than I ever had before. It's a strange way to keep up to date with people that you know. I've befriended an old boyfriend that now lives in Florida, the Bug King in Cincinnati, several old friends from my high school years. I have since brought my yearbooks home from my parents house...there people that I have to look up their pictures to remember who they are. The names are familiar but I need that photo to give me the "Aha!" and then it all comes rushing back. It might be a side effect of leaving town at 17 never to live there again...it might just be filling up that space with other things over the years that I've deemed more important. I saw that one of my friends on Facebook had listed as a Network their grade school. That is going a little too far back in the time machine for me....ain't gonna do that. Next thing I'll be putting on as a Network my pre-school. Hmmm. Nope. I don't think I even WANT to remember that far back. I've lost alot of those pages in my memory book over the years.
But the technology of Facebook is pretty intriguing. I don't get quite all of it and why we would even want to send Gaelic wishes, a movie request or drinking request online. Why would I want to become a fan of the Cav's or Put-in-Bay on Facebook...some of those things I guess I don't understand.
I have another friend that wanted me to sign up and join the Twitter network. I did, but don't get that at all. Why in God's name would someone want to follow me and find out what I'm doing all the time. Why would I want to post via my mobile where I'm going all the time. Who cares? And why would I want to follow what OTHER people are doing instantaneously as well.....that will have to wait. I can only multitask so much. AND it freaked me out. I canceled my membership into that weird world. And my MySpace page instructs you to go to Facebook or my web site.
So much technology....so little time. Yikes.
Gotta go. It's getting late and I need to update my Facebook status....