I had relegated Facebook, MySpace, and other similar sites into a "For Teens" category in my mind. When Neil and I staffed on Wood Badge earlier this year, I kept hearing of how everybody was on FaceBook and/or MySpace. Then I kept getting invites to join Facebook. In an effort to keep such spam at bay in my inbox, I joined. Little did I realize that I was now going to get inundated not just by other requests for friendships, but inane comments posted to the Wall.
I have accepted friends from high school, family, previous wards, and online parenting groups. I have accepted friends who I have not talked to in real life in over 20 years, and some to whom I've never actually spoken to. I did draw the line when I received a request from my ex-husband. I figure that if he hasn't bothered to have a real relationship with me or his children since 1999, there's not much reason to pretend to be friends on line.
The relationships between my "friends" and me are not any better now that we are linked on this social website. I have come to realize that many of my high school friends have never graduated mentally. Those who I have met online only through parenting groups remain enigmas - although thanks to the multiple quizzes, I have been given glimpses of which decade they should have been born in and the names they should have been given at birth had their parents had the technology available to them that we now do. I am still related to family (whether I like it or not) and realize that I still rely on their blogs and emails and phone calls to get the full story. The only area where Facebook rules over other websites is that I have more confirmed friends (44) there than I have followers (3) here. Given all the other factors, I prefer this anonymity.