Thursday, October 23, 2008

Ok, I get it now

I have to admit that I've been a bit confused by all the social networking sites. Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, LinkedIn.....What's the point, I've wondered, about following your acquaintances electronically?

Do I really need to know that my old roommate is cleaning house? Or that a colleague is counting down the minutes to 5 pm? I've sort of lurked and watched what a BigWig Hoohah in our industry has put on his Facebook page, and I'm pretty shocked that he is just a regular guy. Seems to travel a lot and have some political leanings, but beyond that, a regular Joe. No, not Joe the Plumber. I'm not going there.

There's a blogger down in Houston that I have a total girl crush on. This chick is hysterical. She writes about reality TV and some random clips of her life. I CANNOT. GET. ENOUGH. OF. HER. And now, thanks to Twitter, I know exactly when she heads out to the Super Target to pick up her Halloween Oreos. What a strange world it's become, huh?

Anyway, I've recently become addicted to Facebook. Lots of my family members have Facebook pages. It's fun to get on and see their profiles, as they are much more willing to put pictures out there than I am. As much as I share in this forum, and Lord knows it's too much sometimes, I still guard the privacy of MrG and LittleG. It freaks me out thinking that some random whackjob might see a picture of my kid and stalk her on a field trip or at the park, so I don't post family photos. My brother and my cousins do, though, and I like seeing updated photos of their spouses and kids.

My college roommate has a Facebook page, and I am fascinated by the life she leads. She's here in Texas and she acts, and apparently does it pretty well. It's been interesting to read her take on politics, and I'm pretty sure she's never speaking to me again based on our polar opposite points of view. Regardless, I still like to lurk and live vicariously through her as she is young and rich and beautiful and smart. She's always rushing off to this audition or that, or hobnobbing with the pretty folk. What a contrast to my 9 to 5 gig.

This week, I watched a pretty ugly fight between a friend of mine and some random person she went to school with years ago. Seems that neither of them realized that what they were posting to each other was being shot all over cyberspace. Odd, to stand on the sidelines and watch. Sad, to talk to her face-to-face the next day and realize how much her former friend's words had hurt her.

Facebook and sites like it have opened up a whole new world for all of us. I've learned all sorts of things about who is friends with whom at work, and that the Mean Girls really are mean girls. Not that I would EVER log on at work (because that would be WRONG), but I can tell you that many of my colleagues do.

I have found friends I hadn't thought of in years, and one in particular that I had thought about often but had lost track of. We were BFFs when we were young, say three decades ago, and thankfully she had a very unique maiden name. She used it in her LinkedIn profile, and we've reconnected.

We found each other a few years ago - before I was married maybe? Or before LittleG? I can't remember and it really doesn't matter. We lost track of each other again, and that was sad for me. But I have found her again, and I've found that visiting with her again through email is as easy and carefree as it was in the 70s. Of course, back then, we used paper and ink and stamps and envelopes! OMG I feel old.

How strange to think that we have found each other again after all of these years, and that some silly little website is to blame for it. We're having lunch next week, and I am positively giddy at the thought. I hope that time and different lives have not taken us in such opposite directions that it will be uncomfortable for either of us. And while I like to think we would be a big part of each other's lives again, it's hard to know, really, what paths our lives have sent us down.

I have some advice for you young 'uns out there. Be sure you pick friends and lovers with unique or unusual names. Sure makes it easier to find them a lifetime from now.

Hugs to all, and please go update your Facebook pages.


Chad and Mary Kate Martin said...

I don't log on at work -- really I don't...well ok maybe ONCE or twice or so...

Big Al said...

Steph, I'm shocked to think you think that I think......well, I love you. We've always had our little differences, and the political thing was purely financial: I don't want to pay 35% capital gains tax. Other than that, I'm actually very optimistic That One will take us is a very positive direction.

I sent you a Christmas tree ornament on Facebook, didn't I?

StephanieG said...

In all fairness, BigAl, I knew that your vote was influenced by your tax bracket, so I'll give you that one.

I love you too, and I love living vicariously through you. Not everyone gets ink here at Lady Steele, so I hope you feel special.

I am delighted with my ornament. I sent you, one, too, or at least I tried to.