Saturday, November 8, 2008

It's all too much

Well, I officially have no time to work any more. I sit down at my computer with the best of productive intentions, but there’s just too much other stuff to do. What with checking and answering emails, Instant Message chats with my children and friends, tending this blog occasionally, checking out my favourite websites, doing online crossword puzzles…and now, to top it off, I’ve joined Facebook.

I joined because my daughter encouraged me to, and because I was curious. Although I feel no urgent need to socially network beyond what I was already doing with phone, email and Messenger, I wanted to see what this vast cultural phenomenon was all about. When you look at the Facebook pages of the Millennial generation, they each list literally hundreds of “friends”. The majority of these are obviously not really friends at all but something scarcely above total strangers: friends of friends of friends of friends. I’m not sure what the point is. I have, so far, all of 16 friends, several of whom are related to me. I feel compelled to check each of their Facebook pages regularly, just to see what’s going on. How can you do that with 517 friends? I’d lose my mind.

I’m glad I do not have young children in this day and age. It would be exhausting trying to keep track of all their “friends”. But my children are adults and this is their reality and they think nothing of it. It’s always been true that each new generation has a mindset quite incomprehensible to the ones which preceded it. Boomers are competent with computers; we have come to be reasonably comfortable with them, but they are not an utterly integral part of us as they are to our children. So I joined Facebook as part of my ongoing efforts to keep up, to understand. And it is kind of fun, and it does transcend age. My youngest Facebook friend is 15 and my oldest is 86.

Seriously, 517 friends??? I don’t think I’ve met that many people in my entire life!
(Happy Birthday, Missy Moo!)

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