Monday, February 02, 2009

Sucked into the Black Hole of Facebook

Like everyone one else over forty, I joined Facebook last month (as in three days ago, but, officially, last month). I resisted it for awhile, because I knew full well what would happen; I would get sucked in, obsessed, and shirk all my other extra-curricular activities to see who had responded, if anyone commented, and what they all look like these days.

I know this was invented for/by twenty year-olds, but it's an amazing gift to us "oldsters." What a great way to fill in your past (if you want your past filled, I guess). I feel about fb sort of the way I felt about email, when I finally figured it out back in 1994 in grad school--two floppy disks switched in and out of a single drive, long addresses entered, eternal waits for dial-up connection (beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, dong, dong, dong, kkkkkkkkkkkkk). Back then, I was in my twenties and couldn't believe how easily I could reestablish contact with "long lost" friends from 1991. And the emails were quick and breezy and you could feel connected to some one else's life without running up phone bills or writing long letters (remember, that was pre-cell phone)(and before cars were invented).

What goes around, comes around, altho this time it's people I haven't communicated with for 20 to 25 years. They have teenagers who look like they did, the last time I saw them. They have love and lost and had major successes and failures and put some mileage on the odometer. My friend Jeff calls it "one-stop shopping" because it's all the fun of a high school reunion, without the awkward cocktail hour.

Some of my friends shudder at the idea of "putting it all out there" or being available to whoever wants to look. I figure if you exist, you probably have an internet presense and if some body wants to find you, they will. I don't really understand posting anything you wouldn't want your mother to see (she could find it, too, if she wanted to), but chatting with your freshman roommate of 1985 is kind of a hoot.

I wonder what this will do for how we think of our past. I had regrets about people I have let slip through the cracks and figured I'd never hear from again (there's only so many pages of Google hits I feel like scrolling thru). I wondered how this kid and that work friend turned out...now, there's a chance I may find out. I suppose there's something bittersweet about the finality of a discontinued friendship, but I think the hope of rekindling is nicer.

We'll see. The chick I walked with for high school graduation sez the glow dies down after a few weeks and you can get back to work. I guess I have until Valentine's Day...

8 comments:

Linda-Sama said...

I hear ya -- it's a huge time suck if you let it. I'm on FB too so now we can be "friends"! I'll look for you....

PetalsYoga said...

Sharing the Facebook vortex...

I've been on FB for several months. I'm still addicted and finding more old friends. Even friends I had forgotten about totally. Loving it!

Kristin said...

I must be the odd duck here. I am really resisting *anything* to do with FB. A long-time friend wanted me to join as she is re-connecting with all of our HS aquaintances and my SIL's partner just recently started her page and invited us.

At the risk of sounding like a fuddy-duddy, I really have no desire to "reconnect" with people I haven't talked to in over 20 years. And if I wanted to connect with the SIL's partner, I'd prefer to call or e-mail.

My friend met with one of our old HS mutual aquaintances as a result of FB and said she had such a good time talking about the past. Ya know, I left the past behind and I really see no reason to go review it.

I figure if someone had a burning desire to talk to me, they can find me through my blogs.

But, that's me. A bit of a introvert at times.

I'll add that I'm barely under 40...

(Triva - Did you know that Italy is the worlds 5th largest user of FB?)

Anonymous said...

OMG! I just came across your blog and I have been feeling this myself! Especially since I've suddenly found or have been contacted by friends from my past that I've lost touch with! It's a bit scary though because you can spend hours more than on blogs there checking out to see what people you really do know, are doing!?!?!
THanks for your post :)
Anon

Linda-Sama said...

I resisted for a long time, too. my friends kept telling me I should join so I caved and I found that's it's not that bad. for example, I found out some things from my teachers that aren't public knowledge so to speak, so I was glad of that. and like anything else, just like blogging, I only tell what I want to tell about myself. and my profile is not searchable on the 'net.

Brenda P. said...

I wavered and then I caved. It's okay. It's cold outside and there's not much to do in the evenings. I ought to have this out of my system once the days start to lengthen and the temperatures rise...

Carol, Hangar Yoga said...

Facebook is just another tool, just like the tools we get from our yoga trainings. I, too, have just recently joined and would like to reconnect with people I've lost touch with. It's also good for keeping up with busy extended family.

Nice blog. I will be visiting often.

Yoga Mama said...

I was somewhat forced to join FB for my corporate communications day job back in the fall of 2007 to learn more about it and how it might work in a work environment. At that point, I think there were maybe a handful of people from my graduating HS class. Now there are at least 100! People I don't even recall seeing, EVER!

When I first joined FB, it was rather addicting. Especially after having a baby nine months ago, I was all about posting photos and keeping in touch with co-workers (since they were on it too).

Now, for the past few months, it has just EXPLODED and EVERYONE is on it. Kind of freaks me out a little bit, but like Linda said, as long as you only say what you want ANYONE to see, it's good. Plus, you don't have to friend people if you don't want to do so. I totally ignored an ex-boyfriend's request... did he not remember how it all ended??? Geesh! lol! ;)

You know, a really cool feature on FB is establishing a group. You can make them private or public as well. We should create a Yoga Blogger group!