Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Hooked on Facebook

Lately, I've been spending way too much time on Facebook. I have more than 200 friends now--- schoolmates, book club friends, people from when I used to have a 9-5 job, people I worked with when I was freelancing, neighbors, husbands of mommy friends, family and other relatives, no matter how distant. There are at least 2 people to whom I don't even know how I'm related, but they have the same last name as my husband. I found out fairly recently that he doesn't know them either, but he accepted their friend requests only because they share the same last name.

It's silly, really. I update my status and within seconds, a couple of people will have commented on, sought clarification about, made fun of or simply "liked" my update. it addresses my self-indulgent need to be patronized (in my defense, I don't even update on a regular basis...). I bump into friends I haven't seen in ages and we know the most insignificant details about what the other has been doing despite the years, even miles, of separation--- at least from the time we have been Facebook friends.

I have so many applications--- Glamour Age, Nitrous Racing, Yoville, Farmville, Scramble, Restaurant City, Scrabulous--- and I subscribe to Networked Blogs, daily crossword and jigsaw puzzles, ad nauseum. Friends are appointed crew members, neighbors, posse, cooks, farm hands, waiters, followers and janitors, and none of them seem to mind. On the contrary, most of them appear to be as obsessed with these games as I am, generously accommodating my requests and invitations. There is a certain bond, a virtual camaraderie, that springs from a shared and common activity--- and it's very heartwarming.

Some of the most interesting people in my friends list are those I met playing online games. In real life, I'm quite shy and I don't make friends easily. I've been told that I come across as aloof or unapproachable. But in Scramble and Yoville, all people see is a still photograph of whatever or whoever you choose to upload to your profile, or an avatar whose image can be the antithesis of your own. It's very comforting to know that I can be liked on the basis of how I relate to people, and not on how attractive or unattractive I am by their standards, the color of my skin, or the shape of my eyes. As much as there is logic to the argument that there is no guarantee the people you meet online are genuine, there is also, on the other hand, an irrefutable possibility that they are. This syllogism restores faith in the inherent goodness of people.

My husband finds it amusing, maybe even ridiculous, that I seem to be having as much unbridled joy at traipsing around in Facebook as our 2 boys. Yes, I'm hooked. Heaven help us when I finally click "accept" on that long-standing Mafia Wars invitation.


The Literary Gift Company said...

My husband found my Facebook interest 'amusing' until he tried it himself. Now HE'S hooked. He has twice as many friends on there as I do, and spends every evening catching up with lost friends!
The Literary Gift Company

mental wayfarer said...

That's so funny! My husband thinks i'm nuts. He's on facebook, too, but he's immune to the bug, i think.
Thanks for dropping by, Dani.