I'm usually not first to try something, but in the case of Facebook I was working hard on being last. It seemed a waste of time to me, but I decided to setup a profile to keep up with family. Anything that both my mom and my dad were using was worth checking out. Mom has only been on the computer for a little over a year. Dad is very active on his mac, but he doesn't have a long attention span for this kind of thing.
Anyhow, that was 10 days ago. Now I'm thinking I judged it too soon. I'm sure it isn't for everyone, but it sure was fun connecting with...
- My freshman year college roommate.
- People from the various churches I've attended over the years.
- My favorite teacher from high school.
- Some family I hardly ever see
- High school friends.
- College friends.
- A different part of my current co-worker's lives.
I haven't had much luck connecting with friends from Brazil (where I grew up). I haven't had much luck connecting with most friends from college
I'll be honest and say that of those 137 about 17 are people I hardly recall. Maybe they are trying to increase their numbers. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt though since lots of people love my folks and knew me before I was paying attention and storing memories in the long term part of my brain.
Perhaps the biggest surprise was connecting with people who work in my field (churches) with whom I collaborate. Facebook gives me a glimpse of their family and personal life that is not invasive. It helps me understand them better than dozens of emails and blog posts have.
My sister Rachel gave me a jump start by telling just a few of our mutual friends that I had joined up. We have 67 friends in common on Facebook now. She has about 400 other friends that either don't like me (who can blame them) or just don't know me so they can't not like me yet.
I'll confess that I carry some guilt due to being the guy who usually moves away from everyone. It isn't that I want to go back, but I tend to live in the future anyhow so I hardly ever pick up a phone to call someone. I'm hopeful that Facebook will allow me to do a better job just knowing where people are and occasionally dropping them a note. If that note is related to something they are doing that strikes me as interesting or funny, so much the better.
If you are one of those people who are holding out on trying Facebook, more power to you. If you give in, don't pick a busy week to do it as the first week is full of interruptions. Most of those are good, but they still take time.