I’ve heard the stories: people join Facebook and then it’s as if they’re lives are sucked into this online vortex where bedtimes and jobs don’t exist. And I laughed a little at these people… I mean, *I* wouldn’t never succumb. *I* know where to draw the line.
I had joined Facebook quite awhile ago, at the urging of a friend (why else?). Created my account, posted a picture or two, filled out my profile. Even got a few friend requests. But – I didn’t see the draw. Couldn’t figure out how people could become addicted to the site. I mean, sure – I could spend time playing Scrabble and such, but the rest? Just not all that enticing to me.
So, I quickly became a Facebook member in bad standing. I ignored friend requests, I never logged in, I deigned myself above all that foolishness. See, I knew that it was all silly. Just a time-waster. (You can see where this is headed, can’t you?)
Yes… I’ve been sucked in. And my head is still reeling a bit at how quickly it actually happened. I logged on — again, at the urging of a friend — and realized I had a few friend requests. Decided that the easiest way to clear them out without ignoring them (which seemed so mean!) was to just confirm them and move on. And then – more friend requests. Grade school friends! High school friends! College friends! Triathlon friends! Everyone from people I know and love to people who I don’t even really remember… and there’s something intoxicating about ALL THESE PEOPLE who want to be MY friend! It’s like high school except this time around, I’m popular.
Don’t walk towards the white light!! Turn back!!
But … I didn’t turn back. And now I can say: “Hi, my name is Laura and I’m a Facebookaholic.”
So here I am… All sorts of people that want to be my friend! Is it even polite to not want to be their friend back? I mean, it’s not like I even know who some of these people are! Will they be hurt? Offended? Find out where I live and leave bunny rabbits in boiling water on my stove?? Really, what’s the protocol? Instead of just “Confirm” and “Ignore” buttons, I’d really love to have an “I want you to think I confirmed, but in reality I ignored you” button. Perhaps I should put forth that suggestion to the powers that be. The ability to ignore without actually rejecting. We’ll call it the “Nice” button.
The other side of that is this: how do I go about asking people for friendship? I have to admit – I feel like such a stalker! And then – what if they choose to ignore me? Ouch. You mean I went through all this trouble to harrass you and now you don’t even want to be my friend? Double ouch. See, even I’d appreciate being allowed to live in an alternate reality where everyone wanted to be my friend in return (heck, I spend a lot of time in that place anyway…). The “Nice” button would rule!
So, with all the friend requests and status updates and emails shooting back and forth, I found myself on Facebook all the time. I’d crawl into work and first thing — log in and see what everyone else is doing (duh… sleeping! it’s only 5:45am…). And then throughout the day, I’d try to close the website — I should be working! Being productive! And then I’d think… well, I’ll just do a quick check. And then I’m hitting refresh every 1.3 minutes to see if there’s anything new to see. (by the way, all you other Facebook users, would you please update your status more often?! I’m bored!)
Admittedly, Facebook still completely overwhelms me. I log on and will find myself determinedly clicking on anything that has a link to see where it goes and what it does. So many people, so many gadgets, so many things to do and buttons to click. Too much! What should I do first? Stalk new friends? Play a game? Navigate my way through the confusion that’s Send Good Karma or Send a Drink or Throw a Snowball? Read other people’s info? Respond to emails? See – that’s what I mean. Too many choices! OVERLOAD! OVERLOAD!!
Perhaps I’ll just log off for a bit, take a break and collect my thoughts… oh, wait – another friend request? Maybe I should do that now. Wait – status update!! Hey – flair! I need more FLAIR!!
…. and so it goes….