It seems to me that Facebook is kind of a guilty pleasure; something you enjoy but aren’t supposed to admit to, like sneaking to the refrigerator at 3:00 A.M. to eat the last of the chocolate ice cream. But I can’t help myself. I love Facebook.
Slowly but surely, though, I’ve begun to understand why some people may find it weird. For instance: recently my cousin Drew sent me a message on Facebook saying, “Do you know Bill F?” This is after Bill F. told me that it was Drew who invited Bill F. to be his “friend” in the first place. So my answer was:
No, I don’t know Bill F. “in person” but he’s a friend of a friend. In fact, he’s the friend of a friend of a friend of a friend. Took me a while to track that back. And he’s a good guy (I’ve taken him for a test run, so to speak.) I think you have a lot in common, I said to Cousin Drew. I believe you will like him. It’s the Facebook version of being asked for a reference.
Just yesterday, I was invited to be the friend of the sister of a friend of a friend. (Try to unravel that.) And it turned out to be fun, although I was a little leery to see that she has 1,004 “friends”. At least as of yesterday. There is a certain acquisitiveness and competition that occurs on Facebook in terms of the number of “friends” you have , but I’m not afflicted with that problem.
One of the interesting things about Facebook to me is that I’ve had to revisit my opinion of myself. I am so often in the public eye that when I get home I want to be a hermit, because I hate that public-eye stuff. Except, I’ve learned, really I don’t hate it. I love that interaction with complete strangers, and I would wither without it. Meeting new people is energizing. Sure…sometimes that makes you wish you had an AK47, but mostly not.
I need that alone time, that rejuvenating silence, or that time to listen to an owl hoot, or listen to Tchaikovksy’s violin concerto all by myself in the driveway on the way home from work. I need to be able to read, uninterrupted, for at least two hours a day. At the picnic table in my back yard, where I can listen to the hawks on the hunt.
But after that…I need the cry of the madding crowd. Work and Facebook both do that for me. What can I say? I love the variety and the craziness and the interesting lives of the people who are Not Me.