People don’t believe me when I tell them I enjoy Facebook. People don’t believe me when I tell them a lot of things, but that’s another story.
Truth is, I like Facebook a lot. Many of my stodgy friends, who are about the same age, don’t relate at all to Facebook. Their belief is that we’re too old and too set in our ways to adapt to something on the cutting edge. I try to tell them we’re not that old, but they just look at me. At least I think they’re looking at me. They’re so old I can’t really tell.
Anyway, I spend a good amount of time on Facebook. Why?
Good question. I could say it’s because I like to keep up with my family, but I only have the one wife and the one kid. Good thing on the one wife thing, by the way.
My wife, though, has a large family and I do follow them as much as I can on Facebook.
I like the spontaneity of Facebook. Being that I’m one who is long past the point of caring what people think, for the most part, I enjoy posting what I deem to be slightly humorous stuff and then reading the responses from my Facebook “friends.” That entertains me.
What are Facebook “friends,” by the way?
Again, good question.
Most of the people who are my Facebook “friends,” are people I’ve never met. Yet I am interested in them. Some of them, at least. Sorry, but not everyone who is my “friend” on Facebook interests me that much. And I’m sure I don’t interest many of my “friends,” that much, either.
So in that regard, Facebook is a peculiar place. When I read a post from someone I don’t know who says they’re going to have a knee replaced, I wonder if that’s really information that I need. It’s not, yet it’s something I learn from reading Facebook posts. But reading posts like that creates a dilemma: Should I “like” that status, should I respond to that status or should I simply ignore that status?
Most times I ignore, being that I have very little to add to the statement of the conversation the statement elicits. But sometimes, out of the blue, I respond to a complete and total stranger. There are some people on Facebook, people I wouldn’t know if they tapped me on the shoulder, with whom I establish a mild connection.
I worry, though, that I’m ignoring my real friends for my Internet friends. Real friends offer more, such as: Real conversation, facial expressions, high fives, a twinkle in the eyes, laughter, groaning, anger, resentment and all of the wonderful things that come with true friendship.
What do you get on Facebook? A few words here and there, most of which don’t amount to anything of meaning.
Yet I’m hooked. When I was in Branson, Mo., last week, it was difficult for me not to use my phone to get on Facebook. For three days, I did my very best. And I’m proud to say that I only reached out to my Facebook “friends” one time. And the sun always came up the next morning.
Another bothersome thing about Facebook is that many of my friends aren’t even people. They’re business, disguised as people. Yet I accept their friend requests because – this is shameful to admit – I want to have as many friends as Anita Cochran and Larry Hatteberg.
I never see Hatteberg posting much of anything on Facebook, yet the guy has a zillion friends. And I’m jealous. So when Mike’s Bail Bonds sends me a “friend” request, I jump on it like I haven’t seen Mike or sought bail bond money for decades.
Meanwhile, there are some people on Facebook who I have known for many, many years. And some with whom I have rekindled a long-ago friendship. Those are the biggest attributes of Facebook, I believe. Because of Facebook, nobody should have to wonder about “whatever happened to . . . ” again.
All in all, Facebook has improved my life. It’s probably much too pervasive, but that’s my problem. I could just turn the computer off. But when I do, I wonder what I’m missing. And when that happens, I usually find out that I’m not missing anything. But the notion that I think I might be missing out draws me back.
I hope your Facebook adventures are satisfying. Or perhaps you’re as mystified by this social media craze as I am. I’m all in, don’t get me wrong. I’m just not always sure why.