This weekend I relented and joined one of those hideous social networking sites, Facebook. All the cool kids were doing it. What really got me there was a combination of two things. 1. My good friend, Bubba*, joined Twitter at my insistence and posted, “Wondering why I need Facebook & Twitter. 2. My sister-in-law sent me an invitation to join Facebook. Oh, and then 3, my eldest daughter signed up looking for her aunt. She never found Auntie, but that’s another, long, long story that’s still in litigation.
I struggled with my cybersoul for a few hours. I eased my digital conscience with the fact that it wasn’t MySpace. I took the plunge.
Then spooky things started happening.
- Within 30 minutes, my roommate from my freshman year at Harding University found me on Facebook. We hadn’t corresponded in about 12 years.
- One of his Facebook friends (my replacement since I didn’t return to Harding as a sophomore) eerily lives here where I settled in Alabama. We probably have crossed paths without knowing.
- I found several workmates. That’s not so spooky as it is inconvenient for them.
- Then today, a guy I haven’t worked with or seen in 20+ years pops up. I still feel bad about giving him the chicken pox all those years ago, but he has a kid so no harm, no foul.
The really strange part about joining Facebook was the seemingly total absence of any of my relatives. Either none of my cousins are internet savvy or I’m just not Facebook-savvy enough to find them. Of course, there is always the chance they are intentionally hiding from me.
I’m still discovering the ins and outs of the site and enjoying the massive email inbox overdose. I know where the Facebook email filter is, but the emails are helping me navigate while I learn.
One thing I did that is a rarity for me was post a photograph of my self. It’s not that I’m grotesque. It’s not that I’m shy. It’s not even the restrictions of the witness protection program that have kept my face off the net. The truth is, I’m the one who always takes the pictures; therefore, I’m rarely in one.
I’m still wondering about some Facebook features like what you have to do to have fans and not just friends. I’m hesitant to join any of the groups, save that old college radio station, KHCA, I used to work for. I haven’t checked out the gift feature, but have poked a few people. I did hook up my Twitter account so that it echos on Facebook. (Thanks @Kessbird for the memory jog.)
If you’re on Facebook, look me up. There aren’t a slew of people named Barefoot. I’m easy to find.
*I know what you’re thinking. The writer is in Alabama so of course his buddy is called Bubba. In my defense, Bubba is from Mississippi.