Facebook: Got friends?It started out as a normal, uneventful evening. We were in the kitchen, preparing supper when my husband dropped the bombshell. “I joined Facebook today,” he said, sounding nonchalant.
By: Jill Pertler, Pine Journal
It started out as a normal, uneventful evening. We were in the kitchen, preparing supper when my husband dropped the bombshell.
“I joined Facebook today,” he said, sounding nonchalant.
His announcement was unexpected, to say the least. Facebook is a computer version of the old-fashioned idea of pen pals – times 100. My husband is not one to typically embrace computer technology. I was unaware that he was aware of Facebook – or even knew what it was for that matter. I thought his cyber communications began, and ended, with e-mail. So his revelation was more than unexpected, it was shocking.
But you know what they say: The wife is always the last to know.
Seems like “everyone” was telling him that he needed a Facebook page, so he went ahead and signed up, without so much as consulting with his family.
“Everyone at work has a page,” he told me with a confidence of a man who grasps the importance of technology. “You put your information on there and only people who have permission to see your page can look at it or send you messages.
“When you sign up you answer a bunch of questions about why you’re on Facebook. I picked Networking,” he said with a professional flourish, as if something like Facebook could be anything more than a book of faces.
“As soon as I finished answering the questions I started getting e-mails from people asking to be my friend,” he said with a sort of quizzical tone.
On Facebook, people who have permission to see your page and communicate with you are called “friends.” I know this, even though I am not a Facebook user, which apparently put me one step ahead of my husband in the Facebook-knowledge department.
“Who requested to be your friend?” I asked.
“Oh, you know, my friends,” he answered.
“So your friends are your friends?” I posed the obvious question.
“Yeah,” he said pausing. “I guess so.”
By day two his friend count was up to 29. He was proud. He never knew he had so many friends. Well, he did, but he’d never stopped to count them. Thank goodness Facebook does that for you. Before Facebook, who even thought to sit down and count their friends? Think what we were missing.
“Have you told anybody that you don’t want to be their friend?” I asked.
“I couldn’t do that,” he said. “That would be rude.”
He had a point. Cyber-rudeness is a definite Facebook faux pass.
The kids thought it was just plain cool “Dad’s on Facebook! Dad’s on Facebook!” they chanted in a celebratory sort of way while giving my husband a bunch of high-fives.
He and the kids spent the evening on the computer looking at different peoples’ Facebook pages. There are a lot of pictures posted on Facebook. People post photos of their family reunion, trip to the Grand Canyon and graduation party. You can experience a “friend’s” most personal and important moments without ever having to see them face-to-face. Handy, especially for a site named Facebook. Does anyone besides me see the irony here?
By bedtime, I was feeling rather alone. Everyone was having such fun with Facebook, and there I sat, friendless. I thought about picking up the telephone, but that felt so… old-fashioned.
So, I made a bombshell decision of my own: I needed to create a Facebook page. Not because everyone else was doing it. Not because my kids would think it was cool. Not because I try to be cutting edge in the technological sense. None of these was reason enough. There was only one motive that could cause me to make my decision, and it was simple enough.
I just wanted my husband to be my friend.
Jill Pertler is a syndicated columnist and award winning freelance writer working with graphic designer Nikki Willgohs to provide writing and design and other marketing services to businesses and individuals. You can check out their Web site at http://marketing-by-design.home.mchsi.com/ or e-mail email@example.com.