Monday, September 20, 2010

Facebook

So I finally joined Facebook even though I took my sweet time doing it. My reasons for joining this oh so popular social networking website that boasts about 500 million active users are pretty standard.

1) I wanted to track down some old friends that I haven’t seen since my school years, primarily high school; friends that I’d been very fond of at the time. And with all this social networking all around us, I figured it would be a great way to do just that. And it is; I’ve hooked up with friends in my old city and with friends who now live in different countries.

2) I wanted to stay in touch with friends and loved ones from my hometown that I am no longer able to see as often as I use to since I moved away. Facebook allows me to view photos of some of these individuals and their loved ones, and I can be up to date on what’s going on with them. Like their children’s graduations, engagements, etc. And I’m able to share my own news and pictures.

3) I wanted to be informed of special events like a high school reunion, which, incidentally, happened some time in June in my old city. And if my best friend hadn’t been a member on Facebook and learned about it from other members, neither of us would have known it was being planned. In the end I wasn’t able to attend, but still. I was aware of the event and I had the option to go.

So these are the primary reasons I finally joined.


But for all those people that were curious about why I was so reluctant to become a member of this larger-than-life social network, here’s why:

1) I don’t want to become addicted to my computer. As much as I appreciate having my system, the last thing on earth I need is to be glued to it for a few hours a day going from one internet site to another. There are other things I’d rather be doing.

2) There are times (many times) I want to be left alone. I don’t want – or need - to be constantly connected. It astonishes me how some people cannot stop socializing from the world even for a second. If they’re not on their computer, they’re on their cell phone. If they’re not on their cell phone, they’re on their iPod. Texting, blogging, hanging out in chat rooms, communicating through Facebook, going from website to website, MSN, talking on the phone in the supermarket, at the restaurant, while strolling down the street, blah, blah, blah, all day long; not a moment of peace or solitude to be found. ACK! That type of lifestyle would push me over the edge. I like (and need) to disconnect completely. In fact, there are many hours of the day when I don’t want to be reached at all. I shut down everything and no one can find me. Peace and quiet.

3) I’m not very good at keeping up with these things. Sure I start off all enthusiastic and eager to be a part of something new, but eventually I get bored - or too busy or too lazy – and I stop visiting the site, and/or simply forget about it. I have a lot of different interests that I already can’t seem to find enough time for, and I always discover new ones that I have to squeeze into my day. So, yeah, I’m not always good at keeping up with these things.


The bottom line is that I did finally join this social network, and I have hooked up with friends, some of which I haven’t seen or spoken to in years. And that’s kind of nice. So far I have an invitation to Greece from a friend that I’ve known since we were 12, and another invitation to Albany, Georgia from a friend that I’ve also known that long but haven’t seen since we finished high school. Greece is too far and too expensive to even consider, so I don’t see that happening any time soon. Or any time for that matter. But a trip down south may be possible - eventually. That would be fun.

So, have any of you joined Facebook?

5 comments:

  1. You can friend me, Martha! Facebook's pretty funny. I'm kindof relentless on it, though - I hide people if I think they are boring or if they play too many games. I use it to promote the blog, but I'm not sure it works very well for that.

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  2. I'm on facebook largely because all my friends mounted a campaign to get me to join. I joined, and quickly became rather addicted, enjoying a several week long honeymoon period. Then I backlashed against the intrusion and lack of space and didn't use it for a few months. Now I've got a balanced approach with checking in for 10-20 min a day, and not every day.

    I totally agree with you on the constancy of being plugged in. It's just too easy. We're on our computers every day, then facebook, twitter, blog, when is it too much? Do we spend so little time with 'real' people that we need to form virtual communities online? Or is it that most people we see in real life are not like minded enough so we go online to find 'our kind'?

    And that's not even counting any forums, sites we visit, or games we play online. I know some people just said enough, and pulled the plug on the whole thing, and I get it, but I'm not sure it's the answer either.

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  3. Liza, I'm not the most active member on facebook, so I'd be one of the people you might end up thinking of as boring. I do add jokes once in awhile, and some funny (or serious) quotes. And I do share photos. But that's about it. Mostly, I log on to see if my friends are doing/saying anything interesting. Then I go do something else. Off of my computer.

    ==========
    Tatiana, I was the same way for the first week or two - highly addicted. Then I started feeling a little fed up with it, what with too much of my time being spent there. Now, like you, I check in for a few minutes a day and not every day. It's a comfortable amount of time for me. I don't feel the need to disconnect completely from my system (I enjoy many aspects of the interent) but I will never get to the point where it takes up the majority of my time. I want (and need) to do other things.

    And that's an interesting point you made, about getting online to find 'our kind' of people. I know this is quite true for me. I've found more like-minded people online than in my 'real life'. So that works for me. Still. I don’t want any virtual connection or communication to dominate my life. I have to draw the line somewhere so I can enjoy some solitude.

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  4. Loved this article Kingston. As I read through it, I felt you so close to me... it was like we were sitting down and having a large pot of coffee and talking about current affairs and everyday life. I agree with so much of what you said, but being someone who uses the internet to also make money, I believe it has its positive qualities as well.
    I am indeed intrigued. Keep up the good work.

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  5. Hellas, we'll always be connected even if we're thousands of miles apart. We have so many memories between us; we went through our adolescent years together, which was a very special and important time for all of us. And it was so much fun. Didn't we have a great time together? I'm grateful for all the wonderful (and crazy) memories! And I'm grateful for our friendship.

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