Friday, November 7, 2008

One Big (Facebook) Family

Warning: If you are unfamiliar with Facebook, you may not understand some of the terms within this post. Crawl out from under your rock and go sign up.

I joined the "social networking" site Facebook about a year ago. Aaron claims that it has stolen my soul, and of course, he never exaggerates. In truth, I go in spats of enthusiasm, which somehow coincide with the craziness of my offline life.

For the couple of months that we were in our rental house, I frequented the site quite often - multiple times a day. Then we moved into our "new" house, and I don't think I was on for months. Just recently, however, as we are stalled waiting for our doors to arrive, I have had more time to play. And I've finally dragged Aaron in along with me, after months and months of refusing on his part.

Last night we sat down and started his profile page. With regard to computers, all of my teaching patience goes out the window, and my hand just itches to take over control of the mouse. It becomes very apparent that Aaron and I have different learning styles when it comes to technology.

He likes to read and analyze.

I like to click, explore, and hit the "back" arrow (or restart the whole darn thing) if I run into problems. Aaron likes to call me "the mad clicker".

After getting his profile photo up, it was time to request friends. The site provides a list of people "you may know". Most of them he did know in one way or another, but this was the most deliberate, excruciating "friend" selection I have ever seen. True to my computer style and personality, when presented with a similar list, I go through them quickly - if I know them and have mostly positive memories, or would like to know what they are up to, I send them the "friend request".

But Aaron? Each person involved at least 10 seconds of deliberation. Which is actually longer than it seems - try just sitting and staring at your computer screen for that long. See?

The points of deliberation involved (and I'm just guessing here): 1) Do I not particularly like this person? 2) Have I already "requested" this person's spouse? 3) Is this person a closer friend to Liz? 4) Do I talk to this person frequently in real life?

A "yes" to any of these, my friends, and you did not receive a "request". Sorry.

Here's how I would break down my own list of FB friends: There are those who I barely know - former classmates, former students, etc. These I don't check it with too much -but I like getting the updates of their relationship status, etc.

Then there are folks that I see on a fairly frequent basis. I don't really check their profiles too much, either, because I generally know what's up with them. But it is fun to see photos!

The friend group that FB is really handy for is the "Christmas card folks". The ones you have some connection to still, but don't see in real life. For us, this includes cousins, former co-workers, friends in other cities. These are the friends that FB really helps with - we can interact at least more frequently than once a year. And I truly feel that this website, as much as you abstainers my laugh, has helped make those connections stronger.

Speaking of. I have at least two personal situations in which Facebook offered me closure in relationships. You want some dirt on my past, right? Okay. (deep breath...)

Both were former boyfriends - surprise! I dated boys before Aaron. Are you just totally shocked?

Anyway- C sent me a friend request - and it had been 10 years since I'd last talked to him. And that was after I got a letter from him in which he proposed about three times. Did I mention that we had last dated about 18 months before I got the letter? And that we hadn't seen each other or talked since? Yeah. It was kind of crazy.

So I finally got some answers about certain things that happened, and we haven't had much contact on FB since.

Shortly after that whole fiasco, I found L on Facebook and sent a friend request assuring him that I was happily married and not a stalker. Thankfully, he didn't think I was crazy. Again, we discussed some of the past and why certain things happened, and went our merry ways, although still Facebook friends.

What's my point here? (I'm starting to wonder, too.) I guess Facebook has given me the opportunity to right some wrongs and also get rid of some nagging questions. I've been able to find some high school classmates, and I'm looking forward to learning a bit of who they are as adults, instead of just remembering us all at our adolescent worst.

And now, I'm excited about another way to communicate with my husband. There's all kinds of flirty stuff you can send on Facebook, and I've just been waiting for the chance. I see even MORE time on the computer in my future.


Joanne Satterlee said...

This post is funny!I was into MySpace for a while about 3 years ago. I love Facebook, or FB according to you..Heehee..

Noel said...

I've been on FB since last spring when my teenage daughter wanted a FB account and being a responsible parent, thought I should be knowledgeable about the FB experience. Note that said daughter can expose odd parental behavior such as watching polka on community access TV for all the friends to see on the wall. Anyways, I'm part of the second wave of FBers who are the parents of the first wave.

My friends list started out pretty slow - some relatives, some church people, some work people. The group generally had credentials one would expect to see on LinkedIn.

The scary part has been high school people and college people from the olden days (20-30 years ago)who joined and found me this fall. Who are these middle aged people????? I haven't been to a class reunion since 1988 which is when I received my terminal degree from Iowa State. I haven't actively sought friends (ie just because I know someone, I don't send a request), but I haven't turned down any friend request I have received.

As for content, I actively update my status, have a few photo albums, and have my Xanga blog automatically copied over.

One of the odder friend recommendation experiences for "people you may know" is from a high school classmate who had ex-wives of her ex-husband recommended. My personal unusual experience has been showing up at a gathering in Moline and meeting someone in person for the first time who had been persistently recommended as someone I might know. He is now a FB friend.

Noel said...

Just to keep my notes straight on the Lyz chronology (and because it's a cold grey day in Fargo and I've already updated my FB status, made an entry on my own blog, etc and I may have to get up and do something productive if I don't continue procrastinating online...),

Were these two guys from the Cottey College days on was at least one of them in the brief interval between the transfer to UND and meeting Aaron by the elevator in the dorm? This is getting as complicated as a Jane Astin novel :-/

Lyz said...

Noel: There WAS a boy in between Cotty & UND, but he wasn't one the ones from this post! These boys were both from my freshmen year, and boy C showed up again my second year at CC. Oh yes. I should've known better.

Noel said...

Since CC is "a women's college without boys", the story setting expands to greater Nevada, MO where actor/director John Huston was born. It also isn't clear how the burning down of the town fits into all of this...

Noel said...

I got the fire part figured out via a sci-fi short story idea under the working title "Time's Firey Arrow". Something to do in all my free time as well as the book ideas....kinda fun to spend a dreery November evening working out plot, characters, etc.

Tagline: "A physicist must unravel his wife's firey past before she leaves his reality's timeline forever."

AJ said...

Science fiction is cool!