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.