Maybe I'm a slow learner, but years after Facebook first hit the web I'm finally getting really into it. I'm at the trailing edge of the trend. I guess I should get used to the feeling, now that I'm old.
I've seen some strong opinions about Facebook, and have heard stories of people who've sworn off it entirely. I'm not sure exactly why. Maybe some of their so-called "friends" didn't have as much in common with them as they thought. I can see that being a problem.
I've been pretty selective about who I've created "friend" relationships with. Not that I've been inundated with requests. I have 68 "friends", most of whom aren't actually active on Facebook much at all. For example, my mother-in-law never seems to log in. (I was kind of counting on that when I accepted her friend request.) At most there are a dozen or two people whom I regularly see in my feed, and only around 10 people I have marked as "close friends" (meaning I receive all of their updates).
Over the past year, I've become more active on Facebook, mainly interacting with the friends I see every weekend. It has become a venue for our teasing and in-jokes, so that I feel like I get a little bit of weekend happiness every time I log in. I've started logging in first thing every morning, and as often as not I'm rewarded with my first smile of the day, when a friend has posted something silly like this:
(Credit for this gem goes to DarcKnyt.)
So, for all the fuss about how technology is making us lonelier, I am a Facebook fan. I suppose it's because I use it to nurture real relationships that were strong in the first place. Too bad it's not like that for everyone.