I’m now one of the millions on Facebook, Twitter (where according to my friend Brandi I “Tweet”), Flickr, Classmates.com and MySpace. I came to the sites honestly (peer pressure combined with a dash of morbid curiosity – not sure why it’s morbid). Facebook having been the most recent of my “social networking” experiments.
I really had tried to avoid most of these, because they’re a bit gimmicky and fluffy, but I hate to be one of those people who derides something having never poked at it a bit first. I accidentally fell into Facebook after reading a line from a friend that claimed I was already on the site – and after my initial “wha..?” I showed them by creating an account (yes, I know – brilliant move – showed them). Then I promptly pretended that I never saw the thing in the first place hoping that, without any intervention on my part, the whole thing would be swallowed up and disappear into some binary void for neglected accounts.
A couple of weeks ago I received a notice in my e-mail “you have a message”. Now see, I’m a sucker for “you have a message” – I’m curious to a flaw (I will push the big red button, I will open the thing that has “Do NOT Under Any Circumstance Open”, because what if the big red button doesn’t actually launch some evil something into the air (like red buttons do), and instead erupts into a chorus line of dancing/singing acrobats – I like acrobats! – I’m sure there’s some Twilight Zone episode that covers the downside of this way of thinking, but Rod was a bit of a cynic). When I received the notification, my thought pattern went a little bit like, “what if this is the BEST message you’ve ever received and by ignoring it that windfall you hoped for in this economy doesn’t happen?” Oh sure, it told me who the message was from and so the whole windfall idea fell apart, but still there was at least hope for a couple minutes of mindless entertainment.
After guessing at my password for a bit using all the combinations I could think of, I finally broke in and read my very special note for ME! (It was one of those mental moments where, had it been a real letter, I would have grabbed it, run to the nearest corner, hunkered down and slowly devoured every word – reading and re-reading it.) I’d taken that first Facebook step and decided it would be ok to maybe push some of the buttons on the application. Then I discovered I’d actually received a “friend” request some time ago. Oooh! A friend! I have ONE friend! I pushed “accept” and felt like a true part of the Facebook experience.
The next thing I knew, I had “friends” coming out of the woodwork. It was like a little light came on and they all “knew” (and all the analogies I can make would either have people driving to my house to smack me in the back of the head (ow) or my little friend pool would dwindle – so, let’s just say they “knew” like things (err.. people) who know things suddenly gain that knowledge, which is not akin in any way to the way zombies find the living or that Sam can unearth a crumb of food in the cushions, because those are TERRIBLE analogies that would never apply to actual people that I know). Admittedly, I did seek some out, because I was a little envious of people’s “friends” lists that had more than just the one friend (like me).
Now I have a place where I can share all of the best of my inane thoughts like “woke up early” or another favorite “I have to go to work” (previously this would have just have been a “tweet”, but now with an application on Facebook that pumps my “tweets” into status updates and my status updates into “tweets” – I can let all of my “friends” know about my colds, my wake-up times and work status, too – talk about a dream fulfilled). Plus, I now have a place to share 25 Things that tell you nothing about me, but fall into the category of “harmless facts I’m willing to divulge at this moment”. With Twitter, I’d be limited to 128 characters. With Facebook, I can natter on seemingly without limit.
Now I’ve been pressuring “friends”. Yes, “friends” with air quotes, because as I’ve explained to them “Facebook doesn’t officially acknowledge our friendship until you’ve joined – there are rules, you know.” So far, none have caved and signed-up, but I haven’t given up on them, yet. We can be more than “friends” – we could be Friends ™.
For now, I’ll play around with Facebook until the next big thing comes along that I get suckered into.