Just the other day I told my husband how much I love Facebook. And I felt like a total nerd.
A really old nerd.
I first joined when they lifted the restriction that you needed an edu email. My college days have been long over. I didn't even use a computer back then so let me stress the long over part.
At first, I'll admit, I was nervous. Wondering if it was going to be like other social networks where I get requests from dudes saying U R HAWT. WANNA B FWIENDS? Or see tons of Thanks for the add! comments. Cringe.
But that didn't happen. What happened was kind of fantastical.
I reconnected with friends. Former colleagues. High school friends I lost touch with. Elementary school friends I never thought I'd see again. For me, or anyone around my age, there were no email addresses or cell phone numbers to keep in touch. These were the days of land lines and phone numbers that you didn't need an area code to call.
And I made real re-connections. Honest to goodness friendships that I'm happy to be in again.
I accepted friend requests and sought friendship from people I hadn't heard from in years. Now I get to see their families, "like" it when they have successes, be excited to see the ultrasound for my friend in Australia who is pregnant, coo at my elementary school friend's newborn, offer comfort when an old pal's cat passes away, and freak out a little when I see that some of my friends' kids are teenagers.
And in turn, they do the same for me. When I post new pictures of my twins, I love reading the responses. It makes me go to their Facebook page and catch up on what's new in their lives. In a way, it's like a phone call -- with three or five or ten way calling. Comments get the conversation going. Without hearing a voice, add photos.
My settings are private, so only friends can see my photos and my wall, so that makes me feel good that trolls can't stumble across my page. I'm not scared of sharing that I thought Crystal Bowersox was robbed of the American Idol title (though I did ruin the finale for my West Coast friends -- darn time difference!). And I'm not worried about sharing too much. (Though I am a blogger so .....)
I've posted wedding photos, belly shots, ultrasounds, birth pictures, even my birth story, and have gotten great comments from friends near and far ... making those who are far away seem closer. I've even taken some of my CafeMom friendships to Facebook, which has made me feel closer to those women even though we've never met in person (yet!). It's my virtual phone book and I enjoy making the effort to talk to my friends.
When my kids get older, Facebook may create some new challenges ... if I'm "friends" with my kids. And that's scary to me. But by then maybe computers will be obsolete and we'll be on to the next big thing.
Were you or are you scared of Facebook?