Putting A Face to the Book

Mornings around our house are pretty straightforward. The wake-up siren goes off around 5:15 (give or take 15 minutes) and The Lovely Wife and I will bury our heads in pillows, jam earplugs into our ears, or basically will our youngest to go back to sleep. If we thought he was old enough to learn to tell time, we might put one of those large-digit clocks in his room,indicating that we won't want to hear from him before the first number on the clock reads "6". Maybe if we fill his crib with Cheerios it would buy us an extra 10 minutes?

I get up and Younger Son and I have breakfast and find out how many Corn Pops he can fit in his mouth at one time, and if I have the patience to wait for my coffee to finish or if I'll just eat coffee grounds until it finishes dripping. After all of that, we play rousing games of Dining with the Toddlers and Hide and Go Poop, before embarking in the last-minute bout of Pin the Clothes on the Naked Toddler. I then assist their mother in distributing them evenly in the van and kissing whichever of them will allow it, or don't have a face like a glazed donut. And then I'm on my own, for about 20 minutes until my ride share arrives.

This, you might think would give me time to get my lunch together, find my shoes or my security ID tag which goes missing almost daily thanks to a 17-month old blond child who loves to show off his walking prowess by carrying things around, only to leave them in random nooks and crannies of the house. But no. I go online. I update the iPod. I watch bits of television shows I can't catch during prime time.

And yesterday, while listening to the radio as I choked down my coffee grounds, I heard the story of the Premier of Nova Scotia and his endeavours to gain popularity the old fashioned way: using Facebook. The bit on the radio was actually a followup piece (original story here), introducing the morning show host to the website so he could compare his ability to reach new heights of Internet popularity.

Bug in ear and bee in bonnet, I signed up.

Let's be clear about a couple of things here:

1. I expected a total bust. (see: Gradfinder and Classmates, those late 20th Century renditions of Surfin' with the Oldies, which turned out to be great if what you really wanted was irritating emails reminding you that memebership was free, but if you would just loosen the goddamn purse strings a little, you could know more about the people you're quietly stalking in your spare time. Only they probably didn't pay, either, so you'd be a sucker to bite that lure. )

2. I have been avoiding MySpace like the plague, and thus a large part of me was hoping this would be slightly classier, or at least less seizure-inspiring than that. Jury's out, but I'll probably weigh in on this again at some point. Friendster got me to sign up, but little else.

3. I was pretty sure that most of my high school classmates were either too out of the technology loop to join in on the festivities, or were desperately trying to erase any trace of Oiltown from their collective memories.

I filled in my high school and my current location, and was immediately faced with two people I had not seen since 1992 (Hi guys!), but who I could have picked out of a lineup and easily named, despite only having known them through my high school years. By the time I was off to work, I had four or five "friends" listed, even though I had next to no idea how the damn thing worked. What the hell is my "wall", who's writing on it, do I make people "friends" before I "poke" them? (In high school, you didn't poke anyone who wasn't at least your friend, but I digress.) Would anyone remember who I was? In short, I felt a little in over my head, and was pretty sure it would be an interesting couple of days, but then the novelty would wear off and I'd go back to having one more public profile out there with a message that says, "Last login: April 2007" (= "slacker").

One day later, my friend file has grown to a dozen or so, the members from various locations in Canada and various stages of my life (high school, university, the local Ultimate Frisbee community, and the blog world). My wall continues to gather comments. I'm still not sure what I can use Facebook for, but for now, I'm willing to look a little closer at it to see what others are doing (not just to spy on them, which is but a teensy little bonus.) Hopefully my limited time availability to correspond and check the state of affairs at Facebook won't convey indifference. Not yet, anyway.

I've put it all out there, people. Have you?

Posted bythemikestand at 10:34 AM  

7 stepped up to the mike:

FrozenExtremities said... 12:17 PM, April 17, 2007  

I'm still in shock you found me. Where real life and the blog collides, that place is.
I still have no idea why it's so addictive either. But there I am, poking around, day after day.
Speaking of poke....

Tanya said... 4:15 PM, April 17, 2007  

Oh man...I can't go an hour without checking in. And there's always something to keep me there. Did you know there are groups for people who like the colour orange?? Well, there are...I had to think hard before I joined one.

Hard to believe there is no TDI lovers group tho.

Poke, poke...

Sassy said... 5:01 PM, April 17, 2007  

I'm on facebook!!

Gillian said... 11:31 PM, April 17, 2007  

Facebook freaks me out. I can't believe how many people I know on it! And eating coffee grounds: hee hee!

canadian sadie said... 3:27 AM, April 18, 2007  

I'm on there. And I'm still not so prepared to have RL and blog collide...I'm such a coward. *grin*

It's addictive because of the voyeuristic nature of man. We all want to stalk one another, legally. And this gives us the opportunity to do so. We also get to stalk each other's friends, thereby validating our own decisions to like one another. 'That person is cool, and THEY're his friend...maybe they'll be MY friend and make me cool too!'

SRH said... 9:47 AM, April 18, 2007  

I have not taken the facebook path as of yet. It is an interesting concept, but I don't like most of the people from my life that I don't already keep in contact.

Dustin said... 3:23 AM, April 19, 2007  

You geezers and your fascination with Facebook. ::yawn::

Man, I've been facebookin' since before YouTube was a sparkle in Google's eye, back when you had to have an e-mail address that ended in ".edu" to sign up. Now it looks like they're letting any old riff-raff in.

I knew it was too good to last. :)

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