June 23, 2008

Fiddling With Facebook

I have intentionally been reluctant to get real involved with Facebook. I have such limited time that I have been hesitant to give away chunks large or small to things that don't seem to have a solid payoff for my involvement.

Still, I am always interested in learning more about social networking tools that can be used for networking and reconnecting with friends and family. So with that in mind a short while back I found myself setting up shop there.

The process of adding friends reminds me of the concentric circles that form on the water after skipping rocks. When I first signed up the people I sought out were those who are closest to me. In my mind there was no reason to haphazardly add names to the list. I wasn't interested in having more friends listed there than anyone else.

In fact, I am still not, but over time I have found that it was impractical and unrealistic to try and limit it so dramatically. Gradually I reached out to people who weren't part of that inner circle and was in turn contacted with friendship requests by many others.

One of the interesting things I noticed from all this occurred because of one of my sisters. She has her own Facebook so periodically I have gone over there and looked at her list of friends. I am always surprised by how many names are unfamiliar to me.

She left home quite some time ago and has made a life for herself in a new city so it makes perfect sense that I wouldn't know everyone on her list. Still, it seems a bit strange not to know them. I am the big brother. I have spent all of her life watching out for her and here I am wondering who Bob Delaney, Kim Connors and Jonathan Weissman are.

Anyway, I understand from her that one of my nephews and a niece have asked if they could do something like Facebook. I don't know if they really understand what it is all about, they are still relatively young. But what I do know is that this is another sign that their childhood and that of my children is going to be dramatically different from my own.

I'll save the value judgment for a different time. Just suffice it to say that it is a reminder to me that I need to stay on top of technology. They're growing up with it, absorbing it the way I used to absorb baseball statistics. I don't want to be the old man who hasn't a clue what is going on. I am not trying to be the cool dad either, just don't want to look around and feel like a dinosaur living in times that are not his own.


Stacey said...

My 6 yr. old daughter asked me to buy her an iPod this weekend. Uhh...I don't even have one. And what's she going to even listen to on it? Laurie Berkner?

FlutePrayer said...

I'm semi inconito on facebook as Flute Prayer. My university students can find me, but old high school chums can't. It's been a great way to stay in touch with people who would otherwise have drifted out of my life.

Hadassah said...

i use the security settings on facebook so that no one can find me, i can only find those i am looking for.

mykids wanted to sign up for facebook but i have not allowed them to so far - it sucks time away and i find it totally unnecessary.

stacey - my 6 year old wanted an ipod for his birthday but was happy with a cd player i bought him for 20 bucks from walmart. my barmnitzvah boy mentioned wanting an i-touch - why on earth do they need these things? go out and play basketball and do something enriching kids!!

Fern Chasida said...

i avoided facebook till my semester was over - it is such a time waster. but fun in an odd way. and though i swore i would only friend people i actually knew and/or like, that's not what happens.

Jack said...


Birkner bites. No really, she is a mean old lady.


It is an interesting way to maintain contact.


I can give you a whole list of reasons why.


It is a bit of a time suck.

Lady-Light said...

I was invited by another blogger (who shall remain nameless) to be his "friend" on Facebook. Little did I know...
(At least, on Facebook I can keep up with what my kids are doing!)
And hey, I even own my own MP3 player-and I'm just a bit older than you are, Jack; now how cool is that?!

Jack said...

Very cool.