Monday, October 01, 2007

My new time suck

I joined Facebook a few months ago, on the invitation of another Toronto blogger. I added a handful of other Toronto bloggers who joined at about the same time, but didn't spend any real time looking around.

And then Trillian registered this past week. So I checked back in to confirm her as a friend. In her usual manner, she proceeded to spend some time on the site and then filled me in on what she found, which included a number of mutual friends. So I started searching on my own for other people I know. Funny how the time flies...

I've been trying to moderate how much time I spend on Facebook, especially given my recent proclamation. But that didn't stop me from going through and sending out a flurry of friend requests to people I know in some of my groups (just hadn't gotten to it yet).

One area into which I've only tentatively ventured is the far past of school. I sent a friend request to one person from my enormous high school class so far and haven't looked any further back than that. The ambivalence that even contemplating looking these people up is interesting to me. Most of my pre-university social experience was neutral to unpleasant. I haven't kept in touch with many, if any, of the people I knew back then--mostly my choice and not just an accident of time.

Nonetheless, I did reach out to this one person from my graduating class, someone I was passing friends with. He was much more popular than I, involved in student government, a member of a visible minority. But always nice to me, and we had a good time in a senior-year literature elective. I knew where he went to university, but this is the first we'd crossed paths, albeit virtually, since our graduation more than 15 years ago. And I can't decide if I want to do more than look at his picture over in my friends list. Because I'm curious. There's a part of me that wants to get chatty, mention some of the people we both knew, the odd ways my paths have crossed with theirs. And I couldn't help but notice that one of his groups is the gay/lesbian student association from his university. Yes, he could have joined as an ally (he did always have a strong sense of civil justice), but what if his indication of 'married' matches mine, what if this is something we never knew we had in common?

And if I can spend all this time wondering about one person, how much more time will Facebook steal if I find somebody from elementary school?


Suz said...

I think I've been saved from this particular time-suck by the simple fact that I have trouble searching it. My searches always seem to bring a hundred responses or none at all. So, maybe that's a good thing.

Lisa b said...

It is such a time sucker but now I am dying to know about this friend you mention so I cannot imagine you will be able to resist messaging him.

Aliki2006 said...

I've yet to come up with anything on my searches, either. Maybe I haven't been creative enough!

Laural Dawn said...

I joined ... I like it, but it's weird. People who I really wasn't friends with in highschool keep adding me (and no, not cause I was the most popular or something). And then ... I was invited to get together with them all - TWICE! I live within in minutes and have chosen not to see them in the last 10 years. Why now???
And, I hate all the poking and quizzes and high fiving.
(not to sound anti-social)

Mouse said...

Nearly all of my Facebook friends remain Toronto bloggers, all of whom I also know in person, or other students from my department. And then a few family members. And one person from high school (even though I graduated with several hundred other people).

The weird thing for me is that I'm using my real identity over there, and I find I'm not quite used to that online.