I have an odd Facebook resistance. First I want so badly to hate them and shun them for the whole Facebook Sucks – anti-breastfeeding saga. Then I just want to shun them because… because… well, I really don’t know why. It’s especially odd since I’m usually always ready to jump onto any passing social media bandwagon.
First there’s my whole issue with the extra stuff that goes on there. Are we really saving the earth with cute little “green plants,” or are we just wasting each other’s time? Do I really need to see if I’m related to the whole world? And why can’t I just play games on Yahoo! like I always have?
Second there’s the whole email thing. I used to get forwards that I could delete in 0.3 seconds. Now I get Facebook messages that take 5 minutes to open before they can be deleted. Granted, I’ve been told that I can change those email settings, but until recently if I hadn’t gotten those regular emails I would never have checked my Facebook account.
Yes. Yes. You read that correctly. I said until recently. Because, bah, I’ve gotten sucked in. I couldn’t help it! The pull was too strong. Not the pull of the friends I already know and love. Nah, I’m probably already chatting those people up on Twitter or IM. You know the pull I mean. The “eh, I wonder what that person has been up to these last couple years…” pull.
I’m placing the blame squarely on the shoulders of one of the friends who came to visit this summer. We were sitting there talking about people we remembered from high school, and he said that so and so was on Facebook, and so we looked her up and that lead to looking up a host of other people, and, and, and well, there’s really no excuse for the extremes I took it to. Seriously, I looked up, and friended(!) my first crush, from when I was 11. Who does that? (Also, while we’re at it, when did Friend become an acceptable verb?)
Even so I was still feeling conflicted about the whole thing. I’d still rather spend my time reading blogs or Twittering than bouncing around from Facebook profile to Facebook profile. It’s bizarre, but I feel more like a stalker on Facebook than I ever do reading people’s most intimate thoughts on their blogs. But, today I’m conceding that Facebook does have it’s great upside. Today one of my oldest friends reached out through time, space, and my sister’s Facebook account to say hi and I almost cried. (My account is under my married name, my sister still has my maiden name.)
I can still remember seeing her bike away 22 years ago as our station wagon pulled out of our Rye, NY driveway for the last time. Tears streamed down my face as I waved goodbye to her, my bestest friend ever. We were heading to the airport, leaving the country forever. We moved to London, England, then Paris, France. Shortly after our tearful goodbyes her family left the U.S. to move back to Australia and we lost touch. We were 10, there was no email, it was all too easy to forget to write.
I’ve often looked at her picture in my photo album and wondered what happened to her and now I know. She’s hanging out somewhere in Australia looking up old friends on Facebook. And I, for one, am tearfully grateful for this not so little website that’s allowing me to find my long lost friends again (Yes, even the ones I should probably leave lost in the sands of time, like say, best forgotten crushes.) and I won’t be dissing them any more.
Original It’s my life… post.