Gwnewch y pethau bychain

I take it all back…

I’ve signed up for various social network sites, though to date LiveJournal is the only one I actually use with any stunning regularity. And in the past, I’ve particularly made disparaging comments about Facebook, saying “I don’t really know what it’s for.” and complained that it mostly seemed to be for spamming other people with quizzes and other fluff.

Well, I would like to redact all my statements from the past about the uselessness of Facebook, as it has within the last two weeks reconnected me with two dear friends I had lot complete track of.

Deanya was a college student working at Waldenbooks when she noticed a couple of high school kids browsing the science fiction section and struck up a conversation. On learning that these two kids were into role playing games, she mentioned the gaming club she and her husband were members of, and invited us to drop by and check it out. Thus began my (and Jeff (hejira2006)’s) association with the Carolina Game Club, and introduced me to a number of great people and quite a number of great games. I lost touch with most of those folks after I moved to Georgia, sadly. Just a few days ago, Jeff and I were chatting on IM and an old gaming-related joke from those days came up, and I wondered out loud “I wonder whatever became of Deanya?”, so I did a little searching and found her Facebook profile. A few days later we were chatting on IM and catching up on the last 20 years, like no time had passed at all.

Once I moved to Georgia, I got a job working in a fundraising call centre (I’m not proud of this, but we were desperately broke at the time and it paid very well. Sorry for interrupting your dinner….) and I met a guy who introduced me to MUDs. Lacking actual home Internet service at the time (this was late 1991/early 1992), I would go and use computers in the Macintosh labs at the University of Georgia campus. (Not being a student meant I didn’t have an account with the University, but no one ever really checked.) It was there I met a lovely lab assistant named Cat, who told me about a MUD that she and her friends were developing, if I was interested in checking it out. Not long after that, the MUD I was playing (Apocalypse II) lost it’s site, so I logged into Cat’s new MUD, JediMUD. Thus began an association with a game that would bring me friends, chosen family, and more than one love affair. Unfortunately, right around the time that kitanzi moved down to Georgia, Cat disappeared and all of us lost touch with her.

Today when I got back from lunch, I was surprised and delighted to see the following in my inbox: “Cat [Lastname] has added you as a friend on Facebook.”

So, you know, Facebook is just all right with me. I’m still not sure how to use it. But i know now what it’s for. It’s for drawing the parts of your world that had falling a bit far away closer to you again. And that’s a good thing.

(God help me, I’m starting to understand the allure of Twitter, too. But that’s another post…)

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11 Comments

  1. I mostly use Twitter to change my Facebook status a couple of times a week so people know I’m not dead. :-> And I like glancing at my facebook homepage and seeing tiny little updates on people I know …

  2. Cat! That’s so awesome! I miss her.

  3. I look forward to your Twitter post then, because that’s one I still haven’t figured out the use of. -H…

    • I don’t know that I’d call it useful. It’s sort of the modern technological equivalent to passing notes in class. (Prior to now, I was mostly using as a bookmarking site for sites I might later want to collect into a digest. But as I read other people who found me and added me, I kept seeing things I wanted to reply to, and slapping my hand because i swore I wasn’t going to use it for that. So, yknow, I see the allure. Still not sure I’d call it useful.

  4. Facebook is for seeing pictures of my baby nephew.
    And for things that aren’t worth full-on LJ posts.
    And for finding old friends, yes.
    And there’s some amusing games and things, too.

  5. I love facebook. I have reconnected with so many old friends. It is also an easy way to keep up with friends from Michigan since I don’t see them all the time any more. At a quick glance, I can see what they are up to and comment if I need or want to.

    I have found several cousins on face book that I haven’t spoken to since my Aunt died in 1999. I found high school friends who were a very big influence on my teen age self. It is super awesome.

  6. Well… facebook is also a way for DARPA to keep track of you and your associations and download stuff to and data mine your computer. It does have some positive side effects though…. like finding old friends. 🙂

    A friend of mine describes Twitter as El J for people with ADHD.

    I’ve been thinking about what I describe as the rise of the random info-nugget form of communication that has found birth and life with Twitter, Facebook & SMS. Kinda bizarre really. I’ve been reticent about clogging peoples brains with 411 on the contents of my sandwich or that I’m watching CSI Las Vegas or other things of a random info-nugget nature. I’d not really used facebook much, but have been using it lately. A friend gave them my email to send me an invitation so I figured the jig was up in terms of any super dark cover so I went with it…

    I don’t chat there though. I’m fairly judicious about what I spend my time doing and with whom I spend lots of time talking. I’m not one of those who leaves a chat client open. If want to chat with someone we’ll make plans about it. I don’t want to be pinged by just anybody at any time that has my email, facebook, El J…. I spend a fair amount of time talking with homie; so after that… I’d like some of my brain for myself.

    I may do Twitter when I Finally! get either an i or G phone… God help me/y’all… I can see myself getting pulled into random descriptive weirdblabs there.


  7. Well, I would like to redact all my statements from the past about the uselessness of Facebook, as it has within the last two weeks reconnected me with two dear friends I had lot complete track of.

    I’m in the midst of a similar experience. Folks from high school that I haven’t spoken to in two decades, suddenly popping out of the woodwork and pestering me to jump on the bandwagon.

    I am still not a fan of the UI by a long shot, but you get what you pay for 🙂

    • I swear, the last two weeks, someone must have publicised facebook in some serious non-geeky circles, because all my dad’s siblings suddenly made accounts, and so did a bunch of people I know from utterly non-fannish avenues, all of a sudden.

  8. I’m with you. I’ve reconnected with old friends and even connected with family members I haven’t seen in ages. My best friend from school got in touch a couple of days ago, and i’ve just had the first contact in 13 years with another old dear friend. A few months ago my classical pianist cousin, whom I hadn’t seen since I was about 12, contacted me to say she was in London and we met up, and this week I’ll be meeting up with my university crowd while I’m in Athens.

    A bit overwhelming, but overall cool. And when people from school I *don’t* want to share my life with pop up, they just go on the restricted list. 🙂

  9. I just reconnected with my best friend from HS on Facebook. We’d had a falling out decades ago so it is being a healing experience to discover that neither of us has hard feelings about it.

    I still don’t get Twitter though.

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