Something awfully strange is happening. I am "meeting" people in town and in other towns through virtual reality. I now have "friends" in various cities, though some of them I've never met. I am making online friends with people I've been phoning and emailing for weeks, to no avail. People I would like to connect with for potential job opportunities who would and have otherwise completely blown me off, suddenly want to reveal very personal information to me. I have come face to face with the realization that Facebook is the great communicator of the day and I just don't get it.
Until now I have completed resisted the phenomena that is online networking for many reasons. First of all, it creeps me out to have to/want to share that much personal information with the world. Secondly, if I want to talk to my friends, I call them or send them a personal and confidential email. Thirdly, Facebook was introduced to me by a high school kid as "the coolest way to hook up", which somehow seems highly inappropriate for a mom. Lastly, does anyone really care "what are you doing right now?" if I'm doing the laundry or cutting my son's toenails? (last night's festivities) Must I share that with the world? Oh, did I mention it creeps me out?
Why did I join then? Apparently I was the very last of my seven siblings to sign on. My sisters' weekly invites, pokes (what exactly it is in Facebook world I'm not certain of) and messages to join were relentless. My brother John doesn't even bother to email anymore and insists people "catch him" on Facebook. Even my brother Steve, who can never remember my phone number and who forgets to buy groceries, is a regular. I caved.
I have friends who, in the real world, would barely pass as acquaintances, yet somehow want me to see their wedding photo albums. Colleagues who were satisfying as contacts, now want to know what I've had for breakfast. When will it ever end? I thought perhaps I might get a gig or two, share a laugh with a real friend (note to self - my best friend has not signed on) and keep up with my sister's never-ending camping photos. I still don't get it.
If you're on Facebook and you come across my name, don't poke me or wall me or send a smile or whatever. Call me at home this weekend and we'll chat.