As most of you have noticed in the past two weeks, I have returned to Facebook. I know–momentous, especially given my strong reaction against that social networking site in the past two and a half years. (Yeah, in a classic case of eating my words, I even wrote a blog post on the topic.) And I still stand behind my issues with Facebook and everything I wrote in that blog post. My return to Facebook happened after lots and lots and lots of thought, and was precipitated by three events, two of which I’ll list here.
1) My family just moved to Hawaii. The portion of it that hasn’t moved to Texas or Illinois, that is. We are notoriously dreadful at keeping in touch by phone and worse by email. Forget letters. So if I want to know what the heck is going on with them, and SEE as well as hear them, for the next year, Facebook is the only venue that makes any sense, especially since they’re all active users. Even my parents.
2) I stood looking over a friend’s shoulder at photographs of myself on a day trip I’d taken with a few people about a month ago. The friend who let me look at the photos on her Facebook page hadn’t even gone on the trip. I only knew about the photos because she told me she’d seen them. And I realized, not only is that incredibly creepy, it’s a bit upsetting, too. There are hosts of photographed events I’ve attended over the past two and a half years, and presumably quite a few photos of me, that I simply have no access to outside of Facebook, despite my best efforts to get friends and family to email me or post items to Shutterfly. And really, it’s not fair for me to scream and wave my arms at people for not going out of their way to accommodate my prejudice against Facebook.
Anyway, that’s some of the story. But please be aware that I’m using Facebook in a very limited and private way. I’m only accepting friend requests from relatives and “actual” friends. My litmus test is simple: if your phone number isn’t in my phone, I will not accept a friend request on Facebook. It’s my stab at emotional modesty even on the Great Expose that is Facebook.
And I’ll be honest, it’s been good and humbling for me to renege on everything I’ve said for the past two years and create a new profile. Maybe it’ll teach me a thing or two about standing up on that old soapbox…