Facebook: I Drank the Kool-Aid
“It’s like crack.”
“You’re going to get addicted.”
“You’ll have fun reconnecting with old friends.”
“People you haven’t talked with for years will come out of the woodwork.”
“It’ll change your life.”
Today, I’m here to report that all of the above statements (well, except for maybe the last one) are very true about Facebook, the vastly popular social networking site that seems to be taking over the world.
You see, after resisting going with the flow for a coon’s age, I finally caved in and joined Facebook last week. Yes, I drank the Kool-Aid.
But what sent me over the edge, you may ask? A convincing, convicting and quasi-peer-pressure-y conversation with my dinner group. I learned that one friend had been on Facebook for a while and the other had just joined about three weeks ago.
Prior to that conversation, my co-workers (love you guys!) had been pressing me to join as well. But I just couldn’t see the need to be a part of this virtual world. “I am already in touch with the people I want to be in touch with,” I argued.
Well, apparently not. Since I’ve been on FB, I’ve been in touch with people I haven’t seen or heard from in almost 20 years. Even some high school friends! And friends from other countries, too (England, Mexico, Russia). Who knew?
Once I got my profile ready to go and filled in all of the pertinent information, then I started the search for people I wanted to add as my friends. It wasn’t too hard to do either. By the end of the first 24 hours, I had 70 friends. The next day, 30 more. And then by this morning, over 130!
But I know that I can’t compete with those who have over 1,000 friends. I’m not kidding. There are some people out there who have that many Facebook friends on their Friends Lists. Unbelievable. They must have been the class presidents or homecoming kings and queens at their respective high schools.
Continuing on with my frenzied gulps of the Kool-Aid … I also couldn’t help but talk about FB with my sister. So she signed up two days after me. And we spent all of this past weekend on the phone discussing: “How do you work this application? Where do I go to adjust my security settings? Did you add in so-and-so as your friend?” And on and on.
Then, shock of all shocks, my own mother joined last evening. What???? After a quick phone call to see what in the world was going on, I found out that she did not know that she had signed up to be on Facebook. She just thought she was filling out some information for a friend (turns out it was a “friend request” for her “to grab a cup, poor some juice and join the FB revolution!”). The jury’s still out as to whether or not she’ll actually keep her FB account. We might be deactivating it later this weekend—you never know. If not, though, then she just might be the coolest grandmother on the site. I’ll make sure of it.
In hindsight, I now know that people weren’t kidding about the “addictive” nature of FB. It’s a sugar rush. A “high” or mountain-top experience, if you will. And today, I’m starting to feel the effects. I’ve come down the mountain, and think it might be time for a mini crash-and-burn. In fact, I’m hearing in my head what talk-radio host Scott Wilder (“The Scott Wilder Show” – The WORD, 100.7) said just a few weeks back about the phenomenon: “At best, Facebook is a waste of time.”
You know, I think he’s partially right. I wasted a lot of time this past weekend, working on my FB profile, trying to word my interests in just the right way, adding in applications and searching for friends. But I also reconnected with people who are still near and dear to my heart. And for that, I am not sorry I did. The time was well worth it in that regard.
From now on, though, I’m going to take it one day at a time. And go for much smaller sips. Otherwise, I’m going to have a permanent Kool-Aid mustache above my upper lip. And unless you’re 8 years old, just got released from an hour-long Sunday School class and are standing in line with your plastic cup at the giant Igloo dispenser, then no one looks good with that.