In Consideration of Facebook

I have so much to say about Facebook that I have to break it up into multiple posts. I am trying to figure out whether it is the Best Thing Ever Invented or a sign that we are descending into the Next Dark Age. To start:

I was so over everything and everyone associated with my high school until Facebook. I didn’t attend my 10-year reunion, thinking “I am in touch with those I want to be in touch with”. Yes, I am that arrogant. My friend Rich attended and when I asked him whether I should have gone, he came up with a couple of names that made me think, “Yeah. It would have been nice to see her.” But I wasn’t heartbroken.

I signed up with Facebook because Joy told me to – I was looking for contact information on someone. Don’t even remember who it was. I did not add much to my profile and I Friended no one. I certainly didn’t have a picture posted. I probably had the name of my town and American University listed, but that was enough for Matt to find me. And then someone else and someone else.

Like many people, my Friends list is made up of some people that I see regularly and some I haven’t seen in years. Some I am (or was once) close to and some where that came from different corners of one peer group or another. It is funny to note the differences in our Facebook habits. Who posts every day and who only checks once a week. How “Friends” are defined and how much they reveal. I don’t even have a handle on the rules for Friending co-workers, because I just don’t do it. (HR professional’s paranoia about crossing a line.) Someone could (and probably has) done a doctoral dissertation on the sociological implications.

The thing is, Facebook is way better than one night at a Reunion. A Class Reunion is a few hours and so many people to see and how the hell do you catch up? Facebook allows us to catch up with the people that want to talk, in the few minutes we can spare each time we log in. Sure, we are only getting tidbits of daily life. But those things add up. I don’t know what the sum total is, but I know that it is much easier to reach out to people when something is up if you have been building on the everyday. Even if it is only online.

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