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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Faceing Facebook

Thursday, August 20, 2009

I have recently had many new friends. Well, they are not new friends really. They are people that I have known before, but now I am classified as their friend. Many of my long time readers are probably as confused about what I am saying as I was about a month ago when I got the notice on my e-mail that Susan Thornton wanted me as a friend. That was not exactly news to me since Susan, our youngest child, has always considered us as friends as well as parents. But there it was on the monitor. She was inviting me to enter the world of Facebook by becoming her friend.

The message continued to say that I had to accept this honor or I would not be listed as her friend. Now you would never tell a machine that you didn't want to be a friend to your own youngest daughter. So I said yes and was invited to leave a message.

I think my message was something profound like, "OK, I am your friend, now what do I do?" Susan answered me in a personal e-mail that she didn't know how this all came about since she had never requested me as her friend. That didn't sound right to her so she explained that she knew I would not have time to become involved in Facebook. She thinks it happened because she tried to forward a picture of my late brother, Ralph, to me, that her cousin, my niece, had posted on her wall. It didn't work but my e-mail address then got into the system and here I was being asked to be her friend, even though she hadn't asked me.

We decided that since it had been started that maybe I would enjoy it. So I went through the list of Susan's friends and found that many of them I knew, or was also related to. I added several to my list and surprisingly, most of them responded that it was OK for me to be their friend.

It would have been awkward at the next family reunion if half of my younger relatives had to meet me after saying they didn't want to be my friend. However, one wise niece answered that she didn't really do much with Facebook until someone new asked to be her friend, then she read what had been posted on her friends' walls.

However it seems to me that when I do that, I either don't know what they are talking about, or it is like reading a bunch of short Christmas letters. If the messages are there for everyone to read, then they either can't be understood by half of your friends, or it is such general knowledge that you probably already heard it through family gossip.

But now I have all these friends and I don't know what to do about them. Am I supposed to write something on each person's wall? That would take a lot of time and if I had something I wanted to tell Mary, it would be easier to just write or call her personally than to go through the steps to put something on her wall. Yet it was exciting one day when I got the message that a niece had posted something on my wall. It merely said that she was glad I was becoming part of Facebook, but she didn't realize what a small part of it I am. I just don't know what I am supposed to do to not hurt the feelings or waste the time of all of my new (old) friends.

I think I've got the answer. I will just tell them that if they want to know anything about me they can just go to nevadadailymail.com and read my columns on line. Or maybe they could even subscribe to the paper!

Carolyn Gray Thornton
Middle Age Plus