It's been seven months now since I joined Facebook, and it's amazing how quickly people of my generation have caught on. Back in April, there were about a dozen people from my high school class signed up, for example... Now, nearly 50 people have signed on, and that number is climbing every day. While this is largely a positive phenomenon, there are some drawbacks. First of all, this sudden contact with people I have not seen in nearly 30 years has brought me face to face with my own age. Here's an actual recent exchange I had with a girl I last saw in 1979. She had requested friendship with me:
Me: Hi there! Life is good... it's the economy that sucks! Happy and honored to be on your friends list!
Woman : LOL back at ya, John! Good to "see" you again. 30 years is right around the corner! Can you believe it?!
Me: What I can't believe is that I have a sophomore at Sherwood, so I'm living high school all over again!
Woman: I know what you mean! Mine are 24 and 20 .. and.. I have a grandson! whew..
Me: Kill me now.
There are still things about this Facebook networking that I don't get. For some reason, there seems to be a pressing need for some people to sign up as many "friends" as they can get - whether they are friends or not. For example, I signed up to become one of my son, Brad's friends, just so I can keep an eye on what he's doing online. But now, a couple of Brad's female friends have asked to become MY friends, so now, I receive a steady stream of updates from adolescent teenage girls... filled mostly with misspelled words and dopey fake gangsta speak. Just brilliant.
I'm also receiving friend requests from people who I've either A - never heard of... or B - who I've heard of but have no desire to ever hear from again. In the case of people I've never heard of - it's akin to someone dialing a wrong number, except it's also possible that I once knew these people back in some dark past, and I'm just not remembering them... (I'm getting old, remember? Some of my contemporaries have grandkids!)
Meanwhile, I'm still struggling with the etiquette of how to deal with friend requests, and I've even faced the phenomenon of people not taking a hint! I have ignored their requests, only to have them come back not once, but two or three times, demanding to be my friend!
A lot of people have taken on Facebook as the new way to be non-productive at work. At this point, I'd prefer some more work to keep me away from Facebook!