When I received a Facebook invite from my high school best friend, Pat, I cringed. This horrid reaction was only because I’d tried Facebook before and found it to just be one more place to scatter my thoughts. It seemed that everyone knew if I was ‘on’ and I didn’t feel right about not contacting them, as if I was tiptoeing by to avoid them. There may be a shutoff for this but I didn’t stay on long enough to find out. But with the best of intentions to keep in touch, it seemed the years flew by without contact between Pat and I above Christmas catchups and a promise to call or email right after the holidays.
Within an hour of rejoining, I had seven friends. You can’t really turn down an invitation, and luckily, these are all people I know and like so it wasn’t a problem. It’s up to nine now, after a day on the network and that number could rise quickly very easily since Facebook sorts through all its data on all its members and finds connections to bring up loads of folks you may know. Via Pat’s page, I found a photo of a young couple who are likely related, (son?) to my first serious boyfriend, Jimmy.
Then I played a bit by putting in people that I do know, such as members of my family, my husband’s, some of our friends and old acquaintances. Yep, there are plenty of them on Facebook. I immediately found two of my nieces, two of my nephews, my sister-in-law, my great niece, part of my neighbor’s family, several more friends, and a slew of my customers and past co-workers. And here’s where I stopped.
We all have family, friends, co-workers, a present and a past. Facebook, it would seem, can bridge all the gaps of time and bring everyone together. That’s not my way of social intercourse. There are different worlds for different friendships and while it’d be a great idea to let everyone know simultaneously what’s going on–sort of like that detestable Christmas letter–there are certainly different layers of intimacy and interests among our circles of communication that don’t need to or want to overlap.
More on this later, or maybe I’ve already covered this issue in the series I’ve done here. I’m just thinking that maybe I’m not good with large groups not only in physical living, but on the wide world of the internet either.