Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Quest for Facebook Friends

Sometime before we left for Australia, I got a notice that my Livejournal friend Tracey had added me as a Facebook friend.

Now I was one of the many people who signed up for Facebook and then completely forgot about it.  

We become this lone name floating in the Facebook world.   But then someone finds us and we get lured in.  

Tracey is Australian and at the time was the only Australian person I knew.  I looked on her Facebook profile and she had like a million-gazillion friends.

Facebook is not advertised as a place to meet new friends, but instead as a place to keep up with/get back in touch with people you actually know in real life.   Or I guess...people you met on Livejournal.

I tried finding people I knew and had no luck.  Granted I've not been the most popular person with real-life people through out my life.  I don't have this rich social life with tons of friends.  But I did KNOW people.   I've moved multiple times in my childhood and went to several different schools.  I had so many names to plug in to Facebook search.   I kept coming up empty.

My other Livejournal friend Jamie joined Facebook so then I had two Facebook friends.  Tracey and Jamie.  I felt a bit pathetic....especially compared to Tracey's massive list of friends.

Jamie and I talked about how we were both having trouble finding friends.   I mean not that I need to be super popular, but Facebook is just not that fun when you have two friends on your list.

I came up with a theory that Facebook must be more popular in Australia.   I joked with Jamie that I needed to find friends in Australia--just so I could add them as a Facebook friend.

A few days after we got to Australia, I met this fellow mom in the Darling Harbor playground.  She was nice and we had a really lovely chat.   I thought we clicked well, but I'm horrible at going beyond talking with people.   My big sister is good at that.  She chats with someone at a Japanese restaurant and then she's writing down their phone number.

A couple of days later, we were at the Moore Park farmers market.  This was miles away from the Darling Harbor playground.   And guess who I see.   The mom from the Darling Harbour park.   I decided this "coincidence" was fate kicking me in the ass.   I found courage and asked for her phone number.  Michelle and I became friends.   We got together for some playdates.  We bonded.   All along, I was thinking....when can I ask her if she has a Facebook account?   I was just trying to build up the nerve.

I finally did when we all went out to dinner together.  I tried to be as casual as possible and not pant frantically, Are you on Facebook?  Are you on Facebook?

Michelle WAS on Facebook and she added me as a friend.   I now had three Facebook friends.

Later, I learned that people do meet people through Facebook.   Total strangers started adding me as their friend.   And that's not odd or uncomfortable to me.  I love meeting new friends.  The only strange thing was when people who just added me a few days before would then inform me that I was going to be listed as one of their top friends.   I'm thinking....I know I'm incredibly great, but it usually takes at least two weeks to figure that out.   

I guess relationships move fast in Facebook land.

I personally became obsessed with Facebook.   It was my life.  I mean literally.  I felt like I lived inside of the damn thing.

I also became a Facebook missionary.  I started pressuring everyone I know to join.   I got all my family onboard and I got some of my old livejournal friends to join.

Within months, I had 122 people on my friend's list.   It was out of control.  I was out of control.

Then I quit.

I had a lovely few months with most of those 122 people.  Sadly, I keep in touch with very few of the people I met through Facebook.

But I have kept really great relationships with two or of them seems to be becoming the best friend I've been wishing for all my life.   So, I don't regret joining.


I can't say I regret leaving though either.

One of the Facebook friends I left behind--my Haiku Pet Scully. He's now in Haiku heaven. I miss him dearly.