I confess to joining Facebook–at my sister-in-law Nancy’s urging late last winter–with no real plans to use it. My thinking was: I’m already challenged enough when it comes to keeping up with friends by phone and email; Why would I ever want to complicate my life with one more tool?
But then, I began to receive a few isolated reminders from Facebook asking me to confirm a friendship or two. And so I did, mostly to be polite. But now, based on the last few weeks, my days of isolation could soon be over, as more and more of my past is catching up with me. While most are friends from Texas, a few date back to my high school years. And I confess to being pretty wowed at the power of this tool that can re-connect me with people I’ve almost forgotten.
Most of my Facebook friends are extroverts. It looks like about half are serious about it. And a few have confessed to being addicted in some form or fashion. By looking at the grafitti left behind on my wall, they may be right.
I like to write though I’ve not yet written on any walls. Not even my own. No surprises here. I’ve always been a bit of a wallflower. If you were to spot me at a party, that’s where you’d find me: holding up some wall. And it’s no different in Facebook. I respond as people buzz over or buzz by, if they call me by name. But being the introvert I am, it will take me a while to work up to writing on walls.
Facebook walls are one big digital party. My wall reveals idle chitchat as well as a few mixed digital drinks and games. I received my first digital drink about a month ago. And because of the chitchat…I feel more like a next door neighbor to some friends who wrote on my wall to tell me that they were on their way out the door to mow their yards. Before Facebook, I would have never known people cared when I mowed the yard.
But to be honest, rather than chitchat about yardwork or whatever, I’d much rather curl up on a couch with a good freind or two and just listen to their lives. But these days, few have the time or even the desire for meaningful conversation. I guess they’d rather ‘work’ a room, even if it’s an internet room with iconic faces. And I ask, does working a party sound like fun? Not to this introvert. In fact, working a party sounds like an oxymoron.
My extrovert brother Jon joined Facebook earlier this week. Already he has over two hundred friends. Driving down to see Daddy on Wednesday, we laughed about the fact that I had only gathered twenty friends with six months work. And it is work. I was never good at networking. My lack of networking skills was just one of the reasons I found it easy to leave the ranks of accounting management for the greener pastures of retirement.
So what does retirement look like, according to my Facebook profile? Reading and writing and no arithmetic. And while it’s a ‘no’ to arithmetic for now, my wallflower of a CPA certificate is still hanging out on my basement wall. Just in case. And just in case anyone out there in the middle of the electronic room is interested, I mowed my neighbor’s yard this morning. 🙂