Call it what you want, I call it my newest addiction.
My cousin Molly calls it the "gateway drug." (So funny, Molly!)
I swore I wasn't going to get sucked in to FaceBook or MySpace, but folks, I'm the proud owner of my own FaceBook page. I've got the Wall to prove it. I heard someone refer to blogging the other day as "Facebook for old people," so maybe I'm just trying to hang on to my youth. Who knows. It was my birthday last week. I'm getting older, you know.
But I must be kind of old because there are just some things about FaceBook I don't get.
First, why would you send someone virtual Ben & Jerry's? I ask the question being guilty of it myself. I've both received and sent virtual pints of Ben & Jerry's. After the first pint I received, I concluded two things: 1) a virtual pint is definitely not as good as the real thing and 2) the marketing ploy worked because within minutes of receiving that first pint, I was on my way to the freezer to get my ever-present pint of Phish Food. But you know, at least giving away virtual pints of Ben & Jerry's is free, and at least it shows you were thinking of a friend in one of the highest forms possible. So friends, keep on sending those virtual pints, I don't fault you for it at all. HOWEVER... what I really don't get is why people would pay actual, non-virtual money for virtual gifts. I love my friends, but I'm sorry. I'm not paying a dollar for a virtual balloon to show up on your Facebook page. I'm pretty sure you know I love you, virtual balloon or not.
Now let's talk about Facebook etiquette. Maybe I need to go read up on it, because surely, somewhere in the big wide world of Internets there's a tutorial on it. I'm just not sure if it's bad manners to not reply if someone writes on your wall, or to not poke someone back, or to not accept the 1,352 gifts or requests you get from people, or to not comment on every photo your friends post... seriously. Maintaining all 652 friends on Facebook could be a full-time job if you took it seriously enough. And at first, I was determined to keep my Facebook friends to actual friends that I have some sort of relationship with. That went out the window fast. Granted, it's fun to catch up with old friends who I haven't talked to in years, whether from high school or college or somewhere in between. But when I started getting friend requests from people I don't actually know... then it got weird for me. In every case (so far) they're at least a friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend... but... I'm up for making new friends, but where do you draw the line? And do they know if you just choose to "ignore" them? It's starting to get stressful.
That said, if we're not "friends" yet... I promise to confirm your friend request. (Can you imagine if we gave each other friend requests in real life? Yes, you can. It was called junior high. "Will you be my friend? Check yes or no.")
And really, what's the point of checking everyone's status 37 times a day? I'm totally guilty of doing it, and yet I can't really figure out what good it's doing me. But I... can't... stop. I can tell you that Amber gave her kids popsicles at 10:00 this morning, and that Dena went to VBS this morning and that Michelle (who needs a blog) had an unfriendly reunion with her treadmill this morning, but don't ask me what time my husband is coming home tonight, because I haven't had time to call him amidst all of this status checking. I update my status because I think it was part of my Facebook contract, but really, I can't figure out many things interesting enough to update. "Angie is making PB&J for her kids... again." "Angie is emptying the diaper pail." "Angie is peeling her sunburn." And yet, I've seen more mundane things. (Oh, time to update my status... be right back. Or, BRB in Facebook chat lingo.)
Speaking of Facebook chat, I've learned it's a great way to get to know people better, catch up with friends, and go to bed well past a reasonable hour.
But, let's get down to the brass tacks. I've admitted it before, and I'll say it again. Friends, shmends... I'm on Facebook for the games. I'm a WordNerd. I've got the Scrabulous application, the Word Twist application, I've got Scramble and I've got Pathwords. I admitted to a friend the other day that I get a little downcast when I log in and don't have a game waiting for me. So, while I'd like to blame the warm weather and busy-ness of summer for my blogging inconsistency lately, I blame the silly word games on Facebook. I justify my addiction by saying that I'm learning and stimulating my mind. While this might be true, it's not justifying why my housecleaning has fallen by the wayside or why I'm way behind on commenting on blogs I love or feeding my children nutritious meals.
And okay, I'm not on it JUST for the games. It really is fun to have another way to connect with friends. I guess sometimes I just wish we were connecting in real life and sharing that pint of Ben & Jerry's with two spoons, you know? So, I'll quit complaining and being so cynical. Just come on over with a pint of Phish Food and two spoons, and I'll pull out my Scrabble board. I'm not worried... I can kick your butt just as well in real life.