Internet Musings, Part the Second

I’ve come to face the facts: for real communication on the internet, Facebook is where it’s at.

This is not entirely great news for me. To me, Facebook is… Prickly. Awkward. Not entirely User Friendly, as they say. I go there and find all sorts of information that I cannot use (updates that come to me because I am a “friend” of the person writing but that mean Absolutely Nothing to me) or find invitations to groups that I just don’t understand or am asked to take “quizzes” that (from a teacher’s perspective) are Loaded with Trick Questions.

As I wrote to a friend recently when she joined Facebook, I feel that entering those pages is like jumping into a swimming pool when you’d really rather not get wet.

Of course, sometimes one doesn’t even need to go there to get wet, so to speak. Just last week I discovered via my gmail account that I had been included yet again in a “compare people” Facebook thingamajig. The results of said evaluation informed me that I had scored in both the “best” and “worst” categories and, while the results seem both straightforward and relatively benign, I remain a bit mystified. What, for instance, does it mean to learn that one would be “the best person to be stranded on a desert island with”? All sorts of images come to mind. Perhaps this is a nod to the t.v. show Lost, which I’ve never seen, or the popular “reality” show Survivor, which I’ve also never seen. I’m really really hoping that it has nothing to do with the movie that was popular in my early high school days, that splashy Brooke Shields movie The Blue Lagoon, which, even in its sanitized-for-television format, could go Some Distance in educating the uneducated about how one discovers one’s sexuality.

Definitely hoping that my “best” award is a nod to one of the former….

In the “worst” category, I was awarded “kindest,” and this I also found mystifying and maybe even disturbing (this is a worst category? As in, kindness is a bad thing?). The social implications of such a statement are, frankly, Terrifying and I’ve decided not to think about it any more.

Just this morning, I find that I’ve been invited to take part in a (new?) Facebook quiz It’s called “Uniquely You” and, as its title seems to suggest that I won’t be comparing myself to anyone (something that I think we all do and should try to avoid whenever possible), I thought I’d give it a go. The quiz includes a variety of “goals” one might have in life, and these one is supposed to rank from 1-10. Problem is, I’m stumped from the get-go. What is most important to me in life, love or being married? Love is likely the “right” answer, but now that I’m married, one could argue that these are one and the same, or that I need to rank “being married” above love because of what that might imply, but then again that could also imply that I just want to be married no matter what which isn’t true but if it’s Bill Stevenson we’re talking about then it is true and do you see what I mean?

I didn’t take the quiz.

Once upon a time, in a fever-induced state, I actually tried to participate in one of these Facebook quiz things and it went very badly for me. I should have learned my lesson. Sorry, Friend-From-College-Shane-Whom-I-Recently-Rediscovered-Via-Facebook-And-Who-Invited-Me-To-Take-This-Quiz. Not gonna do it.

But that is what’s good about Facebook, I’ve discovered. It’s the Rediscovery. I’ve been “on” Facebook now for a while (over a year), and have recently experienced a rash of reconnections with friends from college and high school. Here are people I haven’t seen in Years but who occasionally cross my mind. It’s so great to suddenly see them there and to hear how they are and to have the opportunity– so much easier than snail-mail or telephone– to reconnect. This, O Reader, is Good.

Interestingly, as I was poking about on Facebook last night, a friend IM’d me– and this is a relatively new friend (in the scheme of things) and a local friend and, sadly, a friend I have not communicated with since August. We chatted last night and we’ve chatted again this morning, and now our whole family is going to her house tomorrow to spend the afternoon. Lovely.

See? Facebook is a Good Thing.

Nonetheless, I remain a blogger and will be for the foreseeable future. And I am not alone. One of my recent Facebook reconnections includes childhood-friend Jenny, who moved away to Atlanta at the beginning of 9th grade. It was great to hear from her on Facebook, great to see her photo, and really, really great to learn that she has a blog!

So I guess I’ll be spending more time on Facebook. But thank you (oh, thank you) for reading this blog.


3 thoughts on “Internet Musings, Part the Second

  1. Ah, thank you, I could always use the publicity! πŸ™‚I agree with this post. You write really well too. I always thought of myself as “the writer,” but I suppose that is not so.Honestly, a few hours ago I thought, “Isn’t today Kim Timko’s birthday?? Or maybe yesterday?” Same old Jenny.I do mean to write to you more at some point. Lots and lots to tell.Take care, Friend,Jen

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  2. I’ve been sucked in myself the past few months, ever since my cousin (who is younger) talked me into it. Several of my high school friends reconnected earlier in the year on My Space (which I truly hate) and went so far as to have a reunion of sorts in CA, which I actually flew out to attend. It was wonderful to see these girls who I hadn’t seen in 15 or so years and honestly thought I’d never see or even look for ever again. Since then we’ve all migrated over to Facebook and while I often see updates that are useless (like someone wanting to take a nap – don’t we all?), there are some that are amusing (like your current aversion to leaf blowers), or heartbreaking (lost pets). In looking over my own list I realized that almost everyone on it is a “old” friend, meaning someone I hadn’t talked to in years or had simply lost over time, and they are now there, commenting on my bad days or making me laugh. I found someone who was once my closest friend in college, but due to a fight about something that was never that important, we walked out of each other’s lives. Thirteen years later we’re suddenly talking again, all the bad stuff has been forgotten and the good never went away. I never would have found her otherwise — probably wouldn’t have ever looked.Now that I’ve rambled…I guess what I’m trying to say is that even if it seems like it’s kid’s stuff and strange to communicate with people so publicly, I’m glad it’s there. It IS a good thing.PS I hate the quizzes too!

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  3. First of all, I find this an amusing post from my-friend-who-just-sent-me-an-invitation-to-that-their/there/they’re-quiz. Did you think no one had sent me that one before? And more importantly, do you dare insult a Syntax Sister with an invite to a quiz my five-year-old could complete? Really.And second of all, my friend who loves Capitals as much as I love hyphenated-things…ummm, I don’t know what the second-of-all was. I’m just glad to have a friend who loves Capitals as much as I love hyphenated-things. πŸ™‚

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