Sunday, September 21, 2008

"Facebook" - how many friends do YOU have?

By Eleanor Tylbor

In case anybody reading this is interested - I signed in/up/to Facebook. However, don't look for a photo because there isn't one posted for a few reasons:

a) no photo of me exists that has been doctored sufficiently to hide all my facial imperfections
b) I'm a very private person (true by the way) and prefer to remain a woman of mystery
c) even if I did have a decent photo among the others, I don't know how to post it with my profile

I signed up with Facebook because I'm nosey by nature and have to be a member of this group in order to keep abreast of all my aquaintances/enemies/etc. goings-on. There was a problem initially as to how much information I should provide and I decided to limit it. I mean, IMHO, there is no logical reason why anyone should want to know or should know my religion. Also, there is no logical reason why anyone should know about my political leanings.

So far I have approx. two dozen "friends." In order to get "friends" on Facebook, the person requesting the friendship has to receive permission from the potential "friend."

"Blah-blah added you as a friend on Facebook. We need to confirm that you know blah-blah in order for you to be friends on Facebook. To confirm this friend request, follow the link below..

The most ununusual request came from a virtual stranger who wanted to be my friend. Although his photo and name didn't ring a bell, I checked out his profile just in case we knew each other in earlier years but it was obvious we had never met. At least not in this world, anyway. So I refused his friendship and then worried I had hurt his feelings. I mean, what happens if he had no friends to speak of and reached out to me being a writer and a communicator, and I had rejected him! Oh the guilt of it all!

Through joining Facebook, I am now a member of a cooking group with the leader being a well-known cookbook author. Interested family members and close friends can surf on to my page and discover - well - nothing much to be candid.

There is a competitive element to Facebook in that it could become a competition as to the number of friends one has since the number of friends everyone has is posted for all Facebook members to view. I suppose in the end it's a kind of virtual voyeurism in that you can keep up with what Facebook-ers are doing at that particular moment, what's happening in their lives and all the latest news.

To think we had to depend on a humble telephone to do that for us not that many years ago! By the way - wanna be my friend?

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