I fought harder against Facebook than I did against any other web service.
I’m not sure why.
Probably because it started out as something just for students. Even when they opened it to the public, joining would have felt like crashing some kind of party, I assumed.
So, I ignored numerous invites from friends.
Until one arrived while I was looking for a good procrastinating activity.
I signed up. I filled in a few profile items. I added a couple of friends that I knew had accounts.
And then I forgot about it.
A few days later another buddy of mine added me as a friend. He had tracked down some folks I hadn’t thought about in years.
So, I added them.
Then I signed up for my old high school’s “group.”
More people added me.
Then I started to understand it.
Facebook is great for re-connecting with long-lost friends, for keeping up with the doings of your friends, and for sending out invites to hastily planned orgies.
I was living in a little Facebookian utopia.
Nobody warned me about the dark side.
Just like nobody warned us as kids that one of the Smurfs was, in fact, a serial killer.
I am betting on Hefty. You know, ‘roid rage and all.
Fast forward to last week…
I was busy doing something awesome and world-changing, when my gmail tab told me that a new mail had arrived.
I took a quick peek and saw that someone had added me on Facebook.
“Neat.” I thought.
(Yes, even my inner dialog is dorky.)
I clicked on the mail to see who it was.
And that’s when everything changed.
To finish that story, I’ll have to tell you this one first…
When I was in the twelfth grade (high school senior, for you Americans) I started dating a girl from a neighbouring town. We dated on and off (and on and off) for three years. (Four?)[She drops by here sometimes, so she may correct me on this, or other parts of the story.]
She had a little cousin. She was 4… or 5?
We babysat her sometimes. We entertained her at family gatherings.
She was a good little twerp.
She loved me.
She made my girlfriend teach her how to dial my number on the phone so she could call me herself.
Anyway, back to the other day.
It was the little cousin that added me in Facebook! (You had to see that coming.)
And, much to my surprise, she is no longer four years old.
She is in college.
And TWENTY years old.
I was shocked.
And then I felt very, very old.
Just the day before I was glancing at pics of people I went to high school with and thinking that I had been aging pretty well.
And now this…
Now notices from Facebook no longer elicit a “Neat” response from me.
I find myself experiencing Pavlovian flop sweats.
Maybe I’m just naive.
Just like when I’ve dated crazy women, I didn’t see the potential for disaster.
Oh crap… gmail says I have new mail.