On Facebook

January 24, 2009    By: Geoff J @ 10:36 pm   Category: Life

So I finally signed up on Facebook this month. I did it reluctantly, but after Kristen signed up and immediately started getting interesting updates from various family members and old friends I was persuaded that it might be worth checking out.

It was worth checking out.

In just a few weeks I now have 70+ Facebook friends and that is with me being somewhat selective in my friend additions. (You learn pretty quickly that some people are interested in getting as many Facebook friends as possible so they will send you an friend invite even though they don’t actually know you. I decided that I would try to limit my list to people who I actually know/knew rather than people who knew one of my siblings or something).

The most jarring part of the process is reconnecting with people from various phases of your life. In my case that meant connecting with high school friends I hadn’t had any contact with in 20 years, former co-workers I hadn’t seen in 10 years, church friends from any time over the last 25 years, etc. It is jarring because each reconnection creates an odd frame of reference relapse where I vaguely remember how I saw the universe then, and I remember vaguely what I thought I wanted to be and do, and then I overlay that on my current life. The whole process feels like some odd day-of-reckoning exercise. It is not always comfortable but it has its rewards.

The most fun part is checking out the photos of all these old friends. One friend from high school put up a bunch of pictures from the 1985 LDS dance festival in Southern California and those pics brought back a flood of fond memories for me. That was great. And it is fun to see the grown-up versions of friends as well, along with their family pics. And of course nobody puts up pictures that emphasize their double chin or bald spots and that is fine.

This trend toward online interpersonal networking is clearly here to stay even if Facebook can’t corner the market permanently. The re-connections you can make with the service are very real and can be quite rewarding. At worst, getting friends on Facebook is like getting on the Christmas card rotation for scores of old real friends you had lost contact with and that in itself ain’t bad.

Have you succumbed to Facebook yet? If not I recommend it.

21 Comments »

  1. I’m not on it, but my wife is and it’s been really awesome for her. I am still hesitating, as It seems like a big time commitment, but I definitely think it would be a cool way to get in touch with people from my mission and keep track of converts, etc.

    Comment by Matt W. — January 24, 2009 @ 10:57 pm

  2. I just succumbed, in an effort to stay current and keep up with the yutes in the ward. I’ll be interested to see if I had friends in the past. I suspect not.

    Matt, don’t you just go there as often as you want? What is the commitment?

    Comment by Jacob J — January 24, 2009 @ 11:08 pm

  3. Jacob, do want to be my friend? You’d be number 101!

    Comment by kristen j — January 24, 2009 @ 11:19 pm

  4. Jacob J: When you are somewhat OCD like me, there is a time committment for everything.

    Comment by Matt W. — January 25, 2009 @ 7:11 am

  5. I’ve been pleased to be on Facebook. Most of the social networking sites are kind of “mehh” or worse, but Facebook is a nice way to be able to stay in touch.

    I’ve a link to my profile, etc. at:

    http://www.adrr.com/mylonas/

    Comment by Stephen M (Ethesis) — January 25, 2009 @ 7:22 am

  6. I’m on Facebook. A friend persuaded me to join this past summer and it’s really been fun seeing what old friends are doing and what people are up to. I didn’t think I’d like it, as I had resisted it for quite awhile, but I really do love it now. And I have even made a couple of new friends … from the Bloggernacle!

    Comment by meems — January 25, 2009 @ 7:34 am

  7. Another good professional networking site is LinkedIn.

    Comment by m&m — January 25, 2009 @ 10:01 am

  8. Kristen, of course! You will be my fifth friend.

    m&m, I really hate LinkedIn. I signed up for it because people kept sending me invites to join and I politely add connections when people connect to me, but it seems totally useless to me. What do you use it for? The last thing I want is social networking with people I know professionally.

    Comment by Jacob J — January 25, 2009 @ 10:43 am

  9. I am on Facebook, and think that it is worthwhile even though I log in only about once a month.

    Comment by Mark D. — January 25, 2009 @ 11:01 am

  10. Pres. Monson is on FB, so it must be True.

    Comment by LRC — January 25, 2009 @ 2:29 pm

  11. Do you think Pres Monson will accept my friend request?

    So another thing about Facebook — you start to realize how common divorce is when you reconnect with old friends.

    Comment by Geoff J — January 25, 2009 @ 2:32 pm

  12. I succumbed in September 2006. It is a great tool for EQ event organizing, as well as setting up HT appointment, PPIs, and ministry visits. Many people contact me through Facebook only, even if they have my phone number or email address.

    Comment by Kim Siever — January 25, 2009 @ 3:13 pm

  13. Yeah, I’ve been on Facebook for awhile. At first I thought it was a cool way to track down people from high school. Now I don’t really want to be in contact with a lot of those people on a regular basis and stopped going on there so much!

    Comment by Susan M — January 25, 2009 @ 4:40 pm

  14. I’ve been on Facebook for a couple of years now. Facebook is a great way to stay in touch with old friends and former co-workers, but I don’t get involved in the various cause requests and games on Facebook.

    Comment by Brian Duffin — January 26, 2009 @ 6:23 am

  15. I am on facebook to see pictures of people I knew in HS and see how old they have gotten. I have around 90 friends and holding steady – it is also a good way to keep connected with missionaries that have served in your ward.

    I am not sure if it is a sad commentary or not, but I signed my dog up on Facebook as well, and he has over 200 friends and growing.

    Comment by TStevens — January 26, 2009 @ 7:05 am

  16. I signed my dog up on Facebook as well, and he has over 200 friends and growing.

    Ha!

    Comment by Geoff J — January 26, 2009 @ 8:45 am

  17. My wife has been on Facebook for about two months and loves it.

    I signed up almost two years ago and have yet to figure out the point of it, even though I log on now and then when I’m really bored.

    Comment by Eric — January 27, 2009 @ 7:48 am

  18. Welcome to 2004 GJ.

    Comment by Steve Evans — January 27, 2009 @ 10:39 am

  19. Hehe. If it were still 2004 I would still be refusing to sign up with Facebook Steve. Back then only kids and uber-nerds joined…

    Comment by Geoff J — January 27, 2009 @ 12:30 pm

  20. Back then only kids and uber-nerds joined…

    Are you sure that’s changed?

    Comment by Eric Russell — January 29, 2009 @ 10:47 am

  21. Are you sure that’s changed?

    Yep I’m sure it is changed based on the tried and true “mother in law” test. My non-technical mother in law is now on Facebook so that tells me it has officially hit critical mass.

    Comment by Geoff J — January 29, 2009 @ 11:03 am

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