Tuesday, December 9, 2008


You know Facebook is a funny thing. I resisted setting up a Facebook account for a long time. I didn't want my kids to go, "Ewwwww, my mom has a Facebook account!" and then not want to friend me. But after getting assurances from all of them that it was OK I ventured into this odd virtual world.

In some ways Facebook plays into the deepest fears of those of us who were insecure in high school and beyond (sounded like Buzz Lightyear for a second there). What if people don't like me? What if no one wants to be my friend? You know the drill. I certainly do because I was that person for all of my growing up years. Will I know anyone and how will I find them? Insecurties abound and come to the surface. You become a mass of quivering, insecure jelly. Snap out of it girl. You are 48 years old for pete's sake and have plenty of nerve and will do fine. Take a deep breath and get over it.

On the other hand Facebook also appeals to the social butterfly in us, the narcissist in us. We collect friends as we go along and our Facebook "page" is all about us, how we feel, what we are doing. Me, Me, Me. Be honest those of you who have a Facebook account, when you "friend" someone don't you check to see how many friends they have. I do. I have one "friend" who has 1200 other friends. How is that possible??? Also, you look through all the friends that your friend has to see if there is anyone that you might know. Like a bee going from flower to flower collecting as they go. Yes, I know that I can have Facebook look at my address book and find all the possible friends that might also be on Facebook. However, as much as I like Facebook I don't like it well enough to give it my password and have it root around in my address book. Sorry. I will just search piece meal for those I might know.

I do have a rule or two about "friending". If the person is someone who is my age or an aqcuaintance then I have no problem friending them. But, my daughters had to make the decision to friend me not the other way around. I let them know that it wouldn't hurt my feelings too much (sniff, sniff) if they didn't and that I would understand (I was lying on that one). Thank goodness they all friended me right away. Any friends of my daughters are free to friend me but I will not friend them. It isn't that I don't want to be their friend on Facebook, it was just that to friend my daughter's friends seemed a tad too creepy to me. It has been gratifying to have a number of them friend me. Sort of makes me a "part of the group" if you know what I mean.

On Facebook I have reconnected with people I haven't spoken to in years, friends from my teenage years, people I just never see. It has also become a way to keep in touch with my cousins who I see infrequently. They are a fun group and I miss spending time with them. This way I can see what is going on in all of our lives, that is if they are good at keeping up on Facebook. Some are and some aren't (that would be you Doug). I am a part of various groups with various people, some of whom I don't know in person and will probably never meet. There is over lap in friends on Facebook and friends on Ravelry (sort of Facebook for Knitters. Stop laughing) or Socks for Soldiers or both. So confusing.

However, for all the fun that Facebook is I also think that it is a stark picture of our solitary disconnected, connected world. That sentence may seem like it doesn't make sense but it does. For all of our interconnectedness on Facebook and the internet we have lost something. We communicate over the 'net through email, messages, IM but we never write letters any more. Whatever we write to each other, no matter how profound, is lost in the ethernet forever unless we print out what has been written. I am so sad for all the memories and history that is being lost because we don't put it down on paper. That may be fodder for another post actually so I will leave it there for the moment. We communicate on Facebook but we don't communicate in person. It is a very solitary thing to sit in front of your computer screen and interact with someone. You aren't, on the deepest level, interacting at all. Interaction is all wound up with body language, facial expression and tone of voice. You can't know what those are when you are communicating through a screen. It is safe in one way (I can blog in my underwear for all you know) but you lose as much as you gain. Off the soap box now.

So, I will continue to "Facebook" and look for people that I know or knew. It is one more thing that makes me sit my butt down in my computer chair and spend (waste?) time on the internet. It can become addicting. I think I will go and look for people that I know..............

1 comment:

  1. Interesting! I have also just started using Facebook, and haven't figured out quite what I think of it yet.

    We also have two more things in common (besides three girls) - we are both 48 and both knitters :)


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