It’s been a few months since I finally became an active member of Facebook. Based on my discussions with a few of you, my odd reaction to the experience is not one unique to me. It’s just a strange thing.
First, there is the reconnecting with people you haven’t talked to in ages. Here are some of the people I’ve friended in recent weeks: A guy who was probably my closest friend from fourth through eight grades, but had not talked to since 1990 or so. Another guy who I hung out with in fourth grade, but pretty much never again after that. A girl who caused me a lot of grief over the years.* It’s weird to send a couple messages back and forth and suddenly be caught up and friendly again. I’ve developed a quick, 2-3 paragraph generic “Let’s catch up” message for use in these situations. It seems to have worked so far.
(I’m deflecting. I brought all the grief onto myself.)
I’ve been reading several articles about Facebook and another common experience on FB is the friend request that you’re not really sure what to do about. This seems to be complicated for me since my 20 year high school reunion is this summer, and a lot of classmates are popping up on Facebook. That’s fine and all, but some of these people were folks I never talked to in high school, so it seems odd to me that they would want to share what they’re doing with me, and know what’s going on in my life.
My passive-aggressive method for dealing with this has been to accept any friend requests from high school people, but then select the option to get fewer of their updates, unless we’ve talked in the last 15 years or so. In my strange world, this means no uncomfortable “Why didn’t you friend me on Facebook” conversations in August. However, if someone is just recommended as someone I might want to be friends with, I ignore them.
I know, I’m weird.
My other problem with Facebook is what to list as my status updates. I have a friend that lives in New York and has worked for a number of very cool media outlets. He’s a very funny and clever guy, and his updates are always hilarious. I feel pressure to do something even half as funny as him.
But, for now, I’ll stick with it. A few of you seem to use Facebook as your main way of connecting with the world, replacing your traditional Inbox. And when things are happening, it’s kind of fun to see what different people are saying about it. Some of the various requests are annoying, but a few are fun, too. I owned the Christmas Vacation quiz, for example.
Here are a few interesting links I’ve collected about Facebook.
First, a good primer on how you can adjust your setting to help protect your identity, updates, etc.
<a href=”http://www.allfacebook.com/2009/02/facebook-privacy/”>10 Privacy Settings Every Facebook User Should Know</a>
Second, why one writer is leaving Facebook.
<a href=”http://www.newsweek.com/id/183180/page/1″>You Can’t Friend Me, I Quit</a>
And finally, a good overview of the place Facebook has claimed in our lives and people who are still holding out.
<a href=”http://www.slate.com/id/2208678/”>Everyone Else Is On Facebook. Why Aren’t You?</a>