Monday, August 3, 2009

Sometimes, you’re just another face in the crowd…

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A little over a week ago, my friend Rich emailed me; he said he was having difficulty finding my Facebook page because there were several Doug Morris' out there, & wanted to know which one was mine.  When I told him I didn't HAVE a Facebook page, he was actually surprised.  "Why not?"

I'm familiar with it, of course.  (In fact, the site of my first teepee blog--Windows Spaces--was Microsoft's attempt to get into the social networking scene, and personally I thought it was pretty nifty, even if it didn't catch on with the masses.)  I had tried MySpace during it's heyday, and that's about how long I had a MySpace; for a heyday.  (I didn't exactly fit in with the 14-24 crowd, which is what it felt like they were aiming for.)   So after discovering that I actually knew more people that BELONGED to Facebook than people that didn't, I took the plunge & signed up.   Let the fun begin!

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That's my brother Steve & his wife Ann, who I've seen only twice in the last ten years; they both have their own Facebooks, who knew?

In all honesty, I still have mixed feelings about it.   From the start, it had some pleasant surprises; somehow the site recommends "friendships" you might be interested in forming, I guess based on the relatives you list in your Info Page, where you grew up or went to school, even former jobs you had.  The very first night I was on, I reconnected with my former work colleague (and once a very good friend) Kim Hall, and we sat up for hours, catching up on things.  Shortly after that, I discovered an assortment of relatives were Facebookers too (like my cousins Amy & Emily, and my brother Steve, above).   

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Kimberly (right), her husband Dave & son Evan

But that's not enough; you see, on Facebook you HAVE to have friends--lots and lots of 'em!   On my second day, my pal Martin contacts me--"Doug, you need more friends.  Search for coworkers, relatives, people you went to school with.  You gotta make more friends!!"   He's right, I only had 8 people so far--he has 403!   Oh wait, here's someone that works with my cousin's best friends' husband; do I like 'Lost'?  It doesn't matter:  we're officially friends now.  Do I want to be friends with his friends?  Who wouldn't?

And here's where it really gets friendly--every time a friend makes a comment like "I'm hungry & I think I'll make a cheese sandwich", it also gets posted on YOUR page.  Hey, you want to be in the loop, don't you?  And if 26 of his friends want to know what kind of cheese he's planning to put on that sandwich, not to worry--you'll see all of those too!  Just be glad there’s only 26 who asked, because he now has 377 friends in his Facebook.  

It doesn't have to be this friendly though--in fact, once I saw the potential for all this...camaraderie, well, not to be antisocial but I wanted to keep it real.  So I now have a total of only 25 friends on my Facebook page, and I'm proud to say I know each & every one of 'em!

Well, except for one--I have no idea who she is... but she's pretty.

And now, a true story...

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My sister Donda in "So Many Friends, So Little Time!"

Just yesterday my sister Donda (who happens to be a pretty big fan of Facebook) wrote me with an interesting (if not surprising) dilemma...

DONDA:  Doug, I have 160 friends on Facebook and it shows no signs of stopping!  Now what??

DOUG:  Well Cissy, you know how Facebook works!  A friend of a friend of a friend offers to be your friend, & you don't have the heart to say no...you need to start saying "No thanks”!

DONDA:  No--you don't understand!  I know everyone of 'em, and I love them all!

DOUG:  Well, fortunately you have 160 people to give you advice then.  Shawn, want to join me & your sister Cissy-Lin on Facebook?

SHAWN:  NO.

Well, there's a lot I didn't cover here--primarily because I haven't been a member long enough to see everything.  (What's with all the quizzes, anyway?  And what's with that Poke button??  You poke someone & then what--wait for them to poke you back?!) 

I think for now I'll keep my thoughts (and photos) right here in the ol' Teepee, where I can pretty much rant in private as no one comes here anyway.  And oh yeah--my friend Rich who asked me where my Facebook page was?   We're not officially friends yet.

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