I’m a Facebook recluse

First I thought Facebook was only for twenty-somethings, and then I decided since all the baby boomers were rushing to be on it it would be short-lived (that’s how good I am at reading cultural trends). I put myself on it several years ago just to see my son’s pictures, but I was a shadowy avatar presence. I ignored people’s “friending” requests, even my brother’s, so I only had three friends: my two kids and, for some reason, my daughter’s college roommate who, very sweetly, wished me Happy Birthday on my so-called “wall.” Since I had no idea what my wall was, or how to respond, I ignored this too; and ignored her the following year when, pityingly, she wrote that she was wishing me a happy birthday again even though she saw that she was the last to write on my wall.

Then all of a sudden this year Chip went all to town on Facebook. He posted a picture, and his schools, and got himself some friends, and got a young partner in his firm to tutor him on privacy settings (good lawyer stuff). She was kind of bemused by the whole process – What’s your objective? she asked. I said the same thing: Why? Why now?

Apparently it’s all Time Magazine‘s fault. He read Mark Zuckerberg’s profile for being Person of the Year, and decided, as he put it: “This is our world now.”

Okay. Not to be undone, I put up a picture, and some schools, and finally told my poor brother he could be my friend. But since I didn’t have my own lawyer schooling me on privacy settings, I kept my friends list rather restrictive. My son kept telling me I should make him my son instead of my friend, since his page looked like he had a sister and a father and no mother, but I couldn’t figure out how to do that (having a child is apparently beyond me), so he finally changed my status, leaving me with one fewer friend.

All of which is to say that I found the following on my wall (which is still kind of a mystery to me – it seems like it should appear on a page with things scrawled on it, sort of like the Berlin Wall, but it’s apparently a virtual wall that I still haven’t really figured out how to find unless someone writes something on it, in which case you get a little number appearing on a little globe, which doesn’t make a lot of sense either), from another of my daughter’s friends (yes, he’s actually one of the very few people I myself “friended,” because I’ve always liked him and he’s funny and interesting):

Facebook said I should help you find friends. Try smiling a lot and introducing yourself to people. You can also give people small gifts, like brownies or flowers. If you learn some jokes or magic tricks, this often helps to “break the ice” and make friends. I hope this helps!


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