Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I've joined Facebook but shh! - don't tell my teenager

I just joined Facebook, even though I was strongly encouraged not to/banned from doing so by my teenage son. I did it because a few friends asked me to, and because with the election going on I can't really focus on work anyway.

I can already see how Facebook can be a time suck, what with looking up old high school and college friends and all. But, I did include this blog on my profile so maybe I'll get a few new readers.

However, I know I must keep in mind that Facebook "friends"are not the same as well, face-to-face friends. A recent essay in the New York Times magazine," Facebook in a Crowd" by Hal Niedzviecki, is a cautionary tale about the difference between the two. Hal decided to have a Facebook party in Toronto. He invited his 700 Facebook friends to meet up at a neighborhood bar. Although fifteen people RSVPed that they would attend, and another 60 said maybe, only one person showed up for a beer.

Hal describes that night better than I can, but to summarize - awkward. What is it about online etiquette that makes it so different from off-line etiquette? Over coffee with friend today (over real, not virtual, java!) we discussed how people express anger online in ways they would likely never do in person. And I think that people are similarly less honest about their commitments when they make them online rather than over the phone, or via those little RSVP cards with their stamped envelopes.

All this to say - I am now on Facebook so if you are, I guess let's be Facebook friends? I'm still working out how to make that happen, but I'll learn. Invite me over; I love invites!


Anonymous said...

Hi Carol, hope you know that you are both delightful in person and great to read on-line. Pam

Anonymous said...

Good for you for doing this. I am not a Facebook person...I honestly hope to never be...I can't concentrate enough on my own life and if I get sucked into this computer any more than I already am, I'm sure to disappear forever.

Carol said...

Funny you should say that, Mia, since I opened up my e-mail this morning to 14 e-mails (more than usual) and 10 of them were Facebook! We'll see if that is a regular thing or because of the election (oh joy!!).

Casdok said...

I havent given in to the lure of Facebook yet! Have you owned up to your son?!

Carol said...

Yes, I have been "so busted" by my older son. I forwarded him an e-mail with a link to Kenya's celebration of Obama's victory, and in that e-mail I mentioned I had joined Facebook.

As long as Jacob and I are not "Facebook friends" we are good. And hey, aren't I the parent? How easy to forget we are supposed to be our own decision-makers!