Thought a lot of you parents could relate to Amy Rodriguez of Belmont who wrote the following story about her Facebook experience.
Facing My Problem
I ended up on Facebook by accident. I was here, I was there, and next thing I knew I was on it. I was genuinely confused as to what had happened. Like everybody else, I had received daily pop-us from Classmates.com and, like everybody else I had ignored them. Who are these people? Who has time for this? Why would I care? Then they sent the notification, “Amy, three people have signed your guestbook.” My guest book? Who? I clicked to see who, and that is where it all began. “Amy, you must be a gold member to see your guestbook.” I hesitated for a second, but they had me hooked. I paid for a trial period and signed in. I did not have three long-lost friends. I had three names that I had never heard of.
But within weeks, I received another notification. “Kevin Conboy has sent you a message.” I have not talked to Kevin since high school, but until then, we had shared a long history since second grade. He was Conboy. I was Cooper. We were paired alphabetically for thirteen years of lab reports, gym relays, and reading circles. I spent a lot of time looking at the back of his head, since he always sat in front of me. Our sophomore biology teacher had told me to let Kevin copy my lab reports, so he could do better. When Kevin sent an email asking “for help on a lab report,” of course I had to answer. After all, I never knew that he understood the ridiculousness of the situation. Apparently, he did. When Kevin said that I should look on Facebook to see the weight he had gained since his days as a gangly Triton Viking, my curiosity got the best of me. I was once again a sucker.
I went to Facebook to find out how much weight he had gained, but when I clicked on Kevin’s little tiny profile picture, it told me, “You cannot see Kevin’s profile unless you are his friend.” Oh, I am his friend. His new friend. Click-click. That did not count. Facebook told me I had to join Facebook to be his friend, but all I needed was an email address and password. Done. So easy. Click on Kevin. Look at Kevin’s wife, mom, child. His yard. Hello, Kiddy Pool. Hello, Big Dog. I like his couch. And that was it. My first puff, sip, drag. I was addicted.
It then asked me, “Do you want to know which of your friends are on Facebook?” Why yes, of course! Almost immediately, I received emails from people I barely recognized. I did not know how this happened, but it had contacted everyone in my directory who was already on Facebook. These included old teachers, friends of friends, friends of my husband, and mothers whom I have never met from a local list serve.
I thought I wouldn’t care about these people, but I do. I have tried to explain my obsession to my husband, since much of it is actually reading about his friends and family members. I rarely post or send a message. I am obsessed, however, about reading what others have to say. It can be any others. It does not have to be a friend. I am especially fascinated by the people whom I hardly know. My friend’s husband is conservative. Who knew! Does that mean she is, too? Rob is sad and, more importantly, posting this information with an emoticon? I thought I knew him. My college roommate, the wildest one of the bunch, has a profile of her cat and posts notes on her wall “hoping to snuggle with my Boo.” What is happening here? And why has Miss Katie, my daughter’s favorite pre-K teacher from last year, posted a new album entitled “Moist Pussy?” Who is that man pouring champagne over her head, and when does she have to report to school, her pre-K school? These are the things that I must know and, until I figure them out, I will have to say, “My name is Amy, and I am on Facebook.”