Saturday, September 06, 2008

FACEBOOK 101
Why I'm an Abusive Junkie


I was at a preschool gathering today and in the context of 50 minutes heard 4 different people say to others, "You're not on facebook? You've got to do it!" Now it sounds like a peer pressure sort of thing that you got to do to fit in like smoking something behind the backstop. But here's why I've become an addict and also some easy to follow steps should my example (and peer pressure perspective) encourage you to sign up. I write this realizing the serendipity of PC(USA) Moderator Bruce Reyes-Chow asking a few folks to share why they facebook on the morning before I went to the preschool gathering. Bruce responded with Three Ways to Stay Connected and also a past post on His 3 Favs of Facebook)

1. I initially joined facebook and created discussion groups etc. in order to facilitate relationships and networking between members of the church community I serve. As of today (nearly 2 years later) there are 4 other people than myself (of our 65 members) on facebook. No one visits our church group or responds to discussion questions. So that was a bust.

2. Since facebooking I've reconnected with numerous folks (some I'm still actively in relationship with others who I'd lost track of):
*High School Friends from School and Church Youth Group Acitivities
*College Friends
*Friends from the faith communities I participated with in France
*Current Friends from Preschool and Elementary (not mine - my childrens!) Communities
*Adults who I knew as children in youth groups/summer camps that I helped lead as a young adult
*Work Colleagues
*Family Relatives (I have over 40 first cousins)

3. I actively communicate with between 10-30 of these people each day through conversation, jokes, and pictures. I work alone. Facebooking helps me to feel that I actually work with a group of friends.

4. I find it a great avenue for me to try to be funny with cynical status updates, photos and comments. It feeds my needy narcisism.

5. My wife thought it was a waste of time. So to retaliate I signed her up one night while she slept, creating a profile for her, finding friends and then gave it to her in the morning to run with. Within 48 hours she too was an addict reconnecting with a college friend who now lives in the South Pacific.

6. Another friend had his wife do the same thing for him. He refused to do anything with facebook until he had 100 friends. He's now well above that line and recently asked me if facebook is modern or post-modern friendship. I'm not sure what to answer. But I do know that it doesn't replace, but rathers empowers my existing and emerging relationships.

HOW DO YOU JOIN FACEBOOK?

*Go to www.facebook.com.
*Sign-up with your email and a self-created password.
*You can then create, tweak and re-tweak your profile page with pictures, background information (schooling, work, tastes in music, quotes, books, tv, etc.)
*You can upload pictures of yourself, and or other people and "tag" them to share the fun.
*One of the best aspects is that when you sign-up your email server may be connected to facebook and if so can nearly instantly inform you who of your existing email contacts is on facebook and ask you if you would like to "friend" (create an online network relationship with) them.
*My other favorite thing is to find old friends through existing friends list of friends.
*Plus you can make it as private and protected as much or as little as you like.

If you facebook what do you like about it? Why is it worth your time?

1 comment:

Stephanie Lutz said...

OK I'm sold. Being a boomer, I'm a "digital immigrant". I'm new to facebook, am ordained "Frozen Chosen" and live in Sunnyvale. Will look for you on facebook, but what's your name?