Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Seriously, I am confused. I mean it.

I know a person could be writing today about Obama and the Tom Bradley effect, Palin's "pay for your own abortion, rape victims" policy, the ramifications of a nuclear Iran, parallels between the crash of '29 and the crash of '08, and other urgent stories du jour. But I have a nagging question that trumps them all:

What the hell am I supposed to do with Facebook?

I understand that it's a social networking site. I understand it used to be called "MySpace for college kids." I get all that, but now what? I mean, what am I supposed to DO with it? (BTW, since I am communicating on a young person's topic here, it is necessary that I use terms like "I mean" regularly, and also use abbreviations like BTW, by the way.) No one ever sends me an instruction book for these new things. I am supposed to figure our for myself about "writing on the wall," and "poking" people. What do I look like, Stanley Einstein or something? I suppose one option would be to ignore it, but since I have been getting friend requests from people equally fuddy-duddy to myself (and you can't prove yourself to be more fuddy-duddy than by using the phrase "fuddy-duddy") it would make me feel left out. I mean, OMG!

I went right to the source for an answer to this question. Click on "About" at Facebook and you get:

Facebook gives people the power to share and makes the world more open and connected.

Millions of people use Facebook everyday to keep up with friends, upload an unlimited number of photos, share links and videos, and learn more about the people they meet.
OK. Ironically, almost all the people who are my friends on Facebook are people I already know pretty well, and I see them in person pretty regularly, and all the other people that I encounter on there that I don't know are - well...strangers. Why do I want to talk to strangers?

And besides, I already "make the world more open and connected" with email and with this blog. I've got my photos place, and my videos place, and subscriptions to three of four list servs. Now and then, I even speak to someone face-to-face. Now what?

If you have any advice for me on this question, I'd sure be glad to hear it. I mean, seriously.

Right now I need to go chase some kids off my lawn. Damn kids.


Kate said...

OMG, like, I so totally agree! And what about Plaxo/Linked In? (did it go into the witness protection program and change its name or what?). I get so many invitations and I am finally accepting them, but YEAH, WHAT NOW? And why, why, why do I want every little detail of my life put somewhere online that the whole freaking world can find it? I mean, there's an ex-husband out there that just shouldn't have access to anything to do with me. I'm with you, Barry. I have enough challenges in my life than to try and figure out how this whole deal works. BTW, I don't blog either.... well, except to respond to you. Does that mean I'm starting to? AUGH!!!!!

Barry Martin said...

Ditto and a half on the Linked In. I got sucked in because it looked more like a grownups place, but WTF?

But blogging is different. It's art, not science. Or maybe it's science, not math. I forget.

your daughter said...

oh, guhranmpah.
facebook is for talking to people you see face to face everyday over the internet so between the times you are face to face, you can make inside jokes in a public forum.
also, not all young people say i mean or shorten anything and i resent the stereotype. you're an agist and it's hurtful.

Barry Martin said...

I am not agist, it's just that you are young and young people are silly. And old people are scary. But I am definitely not agist. So there.

Anonymous said...

BTW, I luv the Facebook. It is the only way I can communicate with these darn college kids I allegedly work for. My 20 year high school reunion is coming up in a couple of weeks...and golly all of us old people are now flocking to Facebook. I've never had so many conversations with marginal friends in my life.

ME said...

young people are silly?? hmm interesting...I suppose you could also say we are brats too...but without those silly brats in your life it wouldn't be as exciting...am I right?? =)

cf said...

Facebook is fun. I have connected with people I went to elementary school with -- very cool to see pictures of them, who they married, etc.

People just kind of make random comments there -- my latest was I think Tina Fey is more qualified to be VP than Sarah Palin. Then my "friends" can comment. All in good fun! :)

juliana inman said...

Ok Barry - I found your blog - on facebook! Ha...