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Facebook Aficionados, Fanatics, and Freaks

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Melissa Howell blogs about her life with her three princesses and her one Superman-look-alike husband at The Howell Herald. She is also an administrator at Bloggers Annex and is a professional photographer specializing in babies and children. You can see her work at her website, Blue Prints Photography.

My freshman year of college I met a boy named Stan. Stan was completely obsessed with me, which was flattering and frightening all at the same time. He nicknamed me “Swiss Miss” and wanted to marry me and move to the Alps. Or make me stay home and whip up hot chocolate all the time. I’m a bit hazy on the details. Anyhow, as luck (or divine providence) would have it, I left on a mission for my church one week before he got back from his, and he got engaged to someone else just before I got home.

After he got married, we lost touch. I still maintained a fondness for him and attempted to locate him on many occasions. A few months ago, I was finally successful. The first thing he says to me is, “I’m on Facebook,” with a tone to his voice that clearly indicated that if I had any sense at all, and if I aspired to be a “cool” person, I would obviously be on Facebook myself. Sure, I had received invitations from other friends to join, but to me, it was just one more thing I had to remember a username and password for, and I didn’t want to bother. Besides, I was wary of those social networking sites. But then Stan told me he had gotten fat and that there were pictures of his fat self on Facebook. And I had to see. So I joined.

I must say that I was disappointed to find that I had been duped. Stan was not, in fact, fat. Yes, he had put on weight, but he just looked like a healthy adult as opposed to the stickly college freshman that I knew. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find that many old friends from high school were also on Facebook. I have been able to reconnect with the boy I had a crush on in math class, my adorable and naive Chinese friend (who is now a brilliant doctor) and many others.

However, I have noticed that many people seem to be completely addicted to Facebook. You can easily discern who these people are, because they are constantly updating their status and their profile picture. They are also continually adding “applications” to their pages, and inviting you to do the same in weird ways.

“Donald threw a snowball at you! See what type of snowball it is!” So, I’m supposed to click here to find out which of the 19 types of snow comprise the snowball? Or maybe it’s the kind of snowball I made in my youth that I filled with what I thought were pine nuts that later turned out to be deer droppings. Are those the kind of snowballs we’re talking about? I guess I could click “there” and find out, but I’m not going to. Because if I do, then I will get asked if I want to allow this application that will then access all my personal info, blah blah blah. If I click yes on that, then I have to throw snowballs at a bunch of my other friends, and I don’t want to throw snowballs at my friends, especially if they are packed with deer droppings.

Then there’s this notification: “You have been Kidnap’d by Stanford to Seattle with the Giant Sticky Flypaper!” What? What does that mean? I don’t even know how to begin to respond to that.

Or how about this one? “You have been Kidnap’d by Gina to Paris with the Fuzzy Pink Handcuffs!” Frankly, this one frightens me.

I think this is my favorite: “I NEED YOUR HELP!!!” Take this Glock 9 mm and fight alongside me in Gangster Battle: an all out race for cash, cars, guns, fame and infamy in the Mafia Underworld. “I wouldn’t ask, if I didn’t need you.”

Um, o.k. I guess it’s nice to be needed. But I very politely told Stanford that I had no desire to be involved in his illegal mafia activities. And besides that, I would definitely be a liability to his team, owing to the fact that I have never fired a gun in my life and would most assuredly be the first one killed.

I’m so confused by all this. People want to hang ornaments on my tree, they want me to accept creatures for my sea garden, they want me to join the “Hot Moms Club,” and to top it all off, strange people with scary pictures who I do not know want to be my friend. One of these turned out to be my first college boyfriend. Good thing he’s addicted to Facebook and changed his profile picture so I could recognize him. Now if I can just get him to stop throwing snowballs at me….

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  • comment avatar Amber February 13, 2009

    I use Facebook entirely to reconnect with friends. I don’t send those corny invites or even accept them. Between that and Twitter, I do have one person, though well-intentioned, is kind of creepy with how responsive he is. I guess it comes with the territory.

  • comment avatar Amber February 13, 2009

    P.S. Fun story about Stan!

  • comment avatar Terra February 14, 2009

    I can’t subscribe to this blog in my reader. al it brings up are cute kid pictures and not the posts. Am I doing something wrong?

  • comment avatar Kagey February 14, 2009

    I’ve recently entered the FB world myself, and I’m amazed at how many of my college friends & even just acquaintances are on there.
    I don’t get all the weird apps either — I do not want Lil green tangy plants, thank you very much.

  • comment avatar Melissa D February 14, 2009

    Great Post!!!!!

    Thanks to Amber and MHM I’m hip and on Facebook. I’ve reconnected with some wonderful old friends and it’s a blast. That being said I currently have 1 Friend Suggestion, 8 Cause Invites and 93 Other Requests.. um, no time for all that, thankyouverymuch!

  • comment avatar Momma, The Casual Perfectionist February 15, 2009

    I am also on Facebook as myself AND as my blogging personality. Granted, I have 300+ friends in my personal FB account, and they all know I have blog…so it’s almost time to merge the two? Who knows.

    For now, I’ll just try to remember who I am when I log on… πŸ™‚

    I don’t do all the applications or super-poke stuff…but I love reconnecting with everyone! It really is amazing.

    Oh, and Terra…I can’t get the RSS feed to work for MHM either. I just have to remember to click over here to check out the new stuff. Maybe Amber has ideas on what link to use?

  • comment avatar Lori in Denver February 17, 2009

    LOL. I feel exactly the same way. I have something like 386 app requests, (or whatever they’re called).

    If we are ever Friends, I swear I’ll never throw a snowball.

  • comment avatar Jenna Hallock February 19, 2009

    I think we are all starting to think the same thing! If you have a family, you only have so much time to devote to something like FB. I wrote a similar blog last month.

    I refuse to “accept” anything that seems non-sensical (like the snowballs) and I think people who send that kind of stuff are probably sending it to like 50 people and they will never notice that I didn’t respond anyway!

    Good luck! We do live in a strange world.

  • comment avatar banteringblonde March 29, 2009

    I have really enjoyed finding old friends on Facebook. It has also made communicating with my family overseas much much easier and more frequent. I get all those silly quizzes and snowballs and wonder how people have time for it all! I do however partake in a game of scrabble quite often πŸ˜‰

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