Sunday, June 14, 2009

FaceSpace all a-Twitter


Now, I don’t know this guy, but I am familiar with all of the hardware
(and no, that’s not me in 1982. I was much thinner)

I finally joined Facebook, yesterday. I’d been resisting it for one main reason; the prompting of a loved one finally pushed me over the brink. Joining was easy, it even scanned my email contacts for friends. Put in your schools, easy enough. Started accumulating friends immediately, and several addicts fed their habits by contacting me within minutes. It was, as I anticipated, overwhelming. It helped me over one other brink – the reason I’d resisted – I can no longer be everywhere, online, all the time, anymore. The truth is that I never was, but I felt a certain proficiency right up until, oh, say 2005, when I added a Steam account. I’ve felt “it” slipping away, ever since, my grip on my control of my online persona.

So, I start weeding through my ‘newfound’ friends, really old friends, but some new info and perspective. That’s great. A few ‘conversations’ with some that haven’t kept up via other means. Really good. Hit the “find friends” link and started looking through those identified as college graduate-mates. See a few familiar names, none that I really knew, started thinking about how few of them I really befriended – having a fiancée at State, and all. Their photos all look so, well, let’s just say I didn’t recognize any of them. On to the Upland High School Class of ‘77. Dallas! No, didn’t add him, just smiled at the thought. Went through several pages. Interesting locations for some, interesting pics of others. Then, WHAM! there it was. One of the reasons I’d forgotten not to get on Facebook. No pic, just the name. A quite unpleasant memory involving physical threats, property damage, and the authorities. Three minutes later, and my new profile settings read “Friends only.” I fully understand that I and my physical location can be found in a matter of moments, online, but I certainly am not going to make it any easier for this person (and yeah, he probably doesn’t know how to get a picture into his profile) to be reminded of me, let alone find me. In about 40 minutes, I’d revisited several snippets of my life history that I’d left by the sides of those roads. Facebook, guess what, bittersweet. Go figure.

So, privacy somewhat assured, we move on. I’m looking forward to communicating with the one person who hasn’t contacted me, yet, of course, the one who kept inviting me. The past lies there in Facebook, just as it always has IRL (‘in real life’ for those of you older than I, like, you know, as if). I’ll check in, but don’t look for me to camp it and hang on your every word. I just can’t, ok? I’ve got all those other accounts to keep up with. And blog. And mow the lawn, every quarter, whether it needs it or not. If you want, you can look up my address on Google Street View and see the dead truck, bald-patched lawn and house in need of painting, too. Let’s keep moving forward, shall we?