Then I found out that my mom is on facebook. Frankly, it struck me as a little bit lame, I mean, really, who is she friending on facebook, is she sixteen? Well, I guess her facebook page must be pretty interesting, because my friends started asking me about it -- as in, is your brother really in the Opera, I read that on your mom's facebook page. So, who is she friending out there in internet land? My friends, my friends parents, my in-laws, extended family on both sides, the list goes on, but it seems my mother has an awful lot of friends!
After sitting quietly at the last two parties I attended while friends who had not seen each other in a while picked up quickly because of facebook updates, I started to wonder whether I should be on facebook. Then, someone (well, my mom, actually), sent me a link to a picture that I couldn't see, because I am not on facebook.
So, I started asking around, and friends tell me that I am the only person they know who is not on facebook. They tell me that I have missed the invitations to several parties and get togethers because I am not on facebook. They also tell me that they have found old friends on facebook, and it has been lots of fun. Then they tell me that facebook is annoying and a huge time suck. Then they tell me very honestly that I do not have time for facebook. Then, I started hearing about how people get hurt by facebook. Elizabeth is not alone in being 'unfriended' and I know one woman who was unfriended by family. I also know that I have a tendency to over share and wish I could take things back, which is part of why blogging only once a week is a good fit for me. Also, I know people get contacted by people from their past with whom, perhaps, they would prefer to remain out of touch. Now, instead of letting a friendship drop, you have to actually reject someone? Or do you just say "yes" to everyone but then block their messages so they don't annoy you? I already get easily annoyed by people on group yahoo lists, when they start getting political or just post too often, or ask obvious, google-able questions.
I can see lots of value in online social networking, but fear it is a distraction from real life social networking, after all, I have an extensive social network right here in my home! What do you think, am I missing out by holding out on facebook?