A friend of mine from college told me I’d love Facebook, and at first, I balked. It sounded too MySpacey for my tastes, but he assured me that it wasn’t. Some of the features are the same, but, unlike MySpace, not everyone can see your page – only your friends can. That way, I don’t have to worry about pedophiles scoping out info on my prepubescent daughters.

So I registered an account, and it seemed harmless enough. My college buddy was my only Facebook friend, and that was fine. I didn’t see what the big deal was. He would “throw a sheep” at me every once in awhile with the “SuperPoke” function. If the mood struck me, I would throw a sheep back. That was about it.

Then, on a lark, I checked around to see who else I could find that I might know. That’s when I discovered how remarkably functional Facebook is. You can comb through various networks made up of your hometown, your high school, your college, and in seconds, you stumble across someone you know. So I sent a few people a simple “friend request.” And suddenly, instead of 1 friend, I had about 12.

Then it started getting fun.

Facebook gives you a “news feed,” where you learn what your friends are doing. It’s pleasantly unobtrusive – all friend updates are listed on a simple, nondescript page where you can click what interests you and peruse more info when you’re in the mood. You suddenly feel connected to people you’d almost forgotten, and it requires very little effort to maintain.

So Friday night, I went nuts.

My lovely wife was out with the girls, and, after I had put the boys to bed, I was all by myself. Hence, I got Facebookedly aggressive. I thought my 12 friends were all I could manage, but I started to comb networks to see if I could find anyone else I knew. When I stumbled on one, I looked through their list of friends, and discovered I knew about ten or so of their friends. Those lists yielded a treasure trove of others, and it pretty much snowballed from there.

I was a little nervous about some of my friend requests. Do they even remember me? Are they still mad at me? Then I thought “the worst they can do is say no.” And even though I knew some of these folks in real life better than others, it’s still fun to hear what they’re up to now and again.

A few thoughts:

Artsy people are more likely to be on Facebook than average civilians. I’ve found a gazillion people from all the theatre stuff I’ve done, but not one person from my MBA classes at BYU or from my missionary days. Likewise, young people facebook more than old ones – I’ve made contact with a lot of my old Tuacahn High students, for instance – and that makes me feel like a bit of a geezer.

So sign up, people! I’m up to 39 friends at last count. I just threw some mashed potatoes at everyone.

Like I needed something else to waste my time.

Languatron: Anatomy of a Wuss-Out
Election '08: Less is Morris

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.