Well, I did it. I went and joined Facebook. I say joined, but it’s not exactly a club. More seasoned people would say, ‘I opened an account on Facebook.’ My friend Madelene once called it Spacebook. I once called it Facepage. Mix that all up and you’ve got Spaceage. But what is ‘our’ nickname, collectively, anyway: we people who communicate via cyberspace? Facebookers? Facers? Bookers? I guess we’re simply friends. And that’s where they get you! Everyone wants friends! Think about it: one of the most successful sitcoms ever, aptly named Friends, ran for ten solid years and now gets nine (out of ten) stars on the IMDB website.
In the beginning (I don’t know why) I fought the urge to join the rest of the crazed fans. You know, those hip, tuned-in and turned-on techie fools that are trying to friend—or, befriend, my sister, Nancy, says—as many people as possible in the shortest amount of time. It’s like a contest, but I fail to see the point.
Not too long ago I didn’t know anyone my age on Facebook. The exception is most of my writer friends. They’re the ones who hounded me. “What? You’re not on Facebook? Are you serious?” They acted like I’d crawled into a cave. Excuse me!
I felt like I had my reasons. But again, it was hard to pinpoint them. I made a mental note, then realized the biggest one was—okay, this is embarrassing—I didn’t know how. That changed, however, when my sister, Nancy, came for a recent visit and the enticement was just too much.
“Come on, Ann!” she insisted. She’d just joined and told me how she loved reconnecting with old high school friends from Jacksonville, NC and old neighbors from Johnson City, Tennessee. That got my attention since there were a few special folks I’d lost touch with over the years: Kalondia from Pensacola, Florida. Sharon from Bay City, Michigan. Sabra from Chapel Hill. Jenny from high school and Jane M. whose husband was once a professor at UNC-W. Jane was a physical therapist with Comprehensive Home Health Care and I was their office manager.
Realizing I might find these lost souls, Katie set me up an account. We answered all the questions and posted a few photos, then a curious thing happened: The more I played “Whatever happened to?” the more friends I reconnected with. I even found Mike and Larry Uzzell (old schoolmates) that started “Nantucket,” the popular rock band.
The first night I started out with a couple of friends, but in no time the number grew to 250. I’m not telling you that to brag. Hardly! If that’s what you’re after, do this: Just friend friends that have a million friends and friend them. See? Easy! That is, IF those friends accept your invitation. Here’s the thing: What if they don’t? I asked Katie about this. What if they reject me? She said I’d never know the difference. What if I reject them? She said they’d never know the difference. I don’t know about all of this!
In many ways, Facebook is kind of cool. I’m getting the scoop on lots of old friends. For instance, who got married, who got divorced, who had babies, who adopted babies, who became grandparents. Who moved away. Who changed careers. Who retired.
But there’s a downside. People that write about every ingrown hair they discover need to get a life. Puh-leeze! People who describe the best meal they’ve ever eaten need to—Oops! That was me with the recent steamed oysters. Also, people that use Facebook to further political agendas. Dislike! People that write crazy things like, “Good morning, sun. I am grateful for the sun.” Unclear! People who change their profile picture every thirty-six hours. Why? Even worse: people who don’t have a profile picture. But get this: I have a friend named Lisa Simpson that I looked up; but, all I could find was the cartoon. This is when you’re happy to have an unusual name.
The second night I was on Facebook I knew I was in trouble. The clock struck midnight and I could NOT tear myself away. Addicted? Perhaps. Now I know why I fought joining. Every time the screen said, “11 mutual friends,” I had to check out every single one of them. I’m still confused about my wall, my profile, my account and news feeds—not to mention the chat thing at the bottom.
But if nothing else, I’m here to tell you that I did indeed find Kalondia! We’re now BFF’s like we used to be during Lamaze classes twenty-six years ago and we’re friending each other on Facebook. Now we just need to figure out how to visit each other IN PERSON.