Life-changing link #4: Facebook

That weird guy in your Orgo class just joined a group called "I [heart] squirrels."

Some girl you don't really know that well says she's married to some other girl.
(Not these girls, though.)

Everyone's writing on everyone else's wall. It's almost like the dorm refrigerator with a bunch of stickie notes, but you can read everyone else's post, and--let's face it--they're not all very tasteful.

That's what it's often like for me logging on to facebook.com.

But, what's this? Among all the nonsense that people are posting about themselves and their activities, you notice that your kid sister has set her status to "blue." There's nothing for it but to send her some virtual flowers and wish her a speedy recovery to better spirits.

It's not all bad then, I guess. Except...
Why are these people always poking me?

I first opened up a facebook.com account early in the Fall 2006 semester when one of my students was shocked to find out that I was "not on facebook.com yet."

"Everyone's on facebook.com, Jeremiah!"

I was not surprised, upon opening my account, to find that everyone was not on facebook.com, but that it was nonetheless, a very popular networking site. I was actually swept up in the facebook.com craze and spent waaaaay too much time on it for several weeks.

What can you do on facebook.com?
  • There are common interest groups to join.
  • You can poke, slap with a trout (very VeggieTale-ish, actually), or defenestrate your friends. It's all virtual, don't worry. Yes, I had to look up "defenestrate" before I did it to someone, but now I defenestrate people all the time. Virtually.
  • Put a snowman or countdown to your favorite snowy holiday (he he--in January, no less) on your profile page.
  • Let everyone know that you're a conservative attending an otherwise extremely liberal university.
  • Give someone a gift of virtual chocolates.
  • Leave a video of your kids on your mom's wall, funwall, or superwall. (They'll run out of names for walls at some point--it's only a matter of time.)
  • If you don't take enough tests already (no, Clemens and Bonds, not those tests), take a quiz. My favorite are about Disney movies or geek culture.
  • Browse your friends' photo albums. Yes, I've heard it's risky, but no, out of the hundred of photos in my friends' albums, I've only seen a couple that would even qualify as slightly risqué.
  • Post your own photos. My profile is replete with pix of my children. Of course, even at one photo per child, that would still be more pix than some of my friends ever post.
  • Stump for Mitt Romney--he could still win! You might put him over the top if you contact enough of your friends!
  • Look up your friends' info. I've actually used facebook.com to get a friend's number to call and give him directions when he got lost on his way to see me.
  • See what your friends are reading or have read. My friends have probably figured out by now that I'm stalled in the middle of Les Miserables.
  • Write on your friends' walls. It's not as quick as texting, or as conversational as an IM, but it's great for saying "happy birthday," "I miss you," or "I know where you live and I'm gonna kick your dog!"

With all the third party apps being added on to facebook.com, the possibilities really expand:
  • There are games to play.
  • You can raise a dragon.
  • You can start your own racing team.
  • Raid an enemy starbase.
  • Test your stellar IQ. [blushes]
  • Compare (anonymously, thank goodness) your friends against each other. They can load the app and see the ratings. You get rated, too. You might have the best smile, or be the most trustworthy. Unfortunately, you might also be the best drinker or biggest whiner.
  • Contrast your taste in movies with your friends' tastes.
  • If writing on someone's wall isn't rebellious enough, you can leave some graffiti.

And these are just activities that I've done on facebook.com.

Things have quieted down now. There are the weird news feeds about the minutiae of my friends' lives, but that is mediated by connections with friends about whom I've often wondered.

Just today I added two friends from high school, one of whom I haven't heard from since graduation. Late last week I added some friends from Russia whom I haven't heard from since my mission. My sister is (really) on facebook.com, as are my two brothers and my mom. Some of my sisters-in-law and cousins are on facebook.com, and I have been invited to family functions through that connection.

Life-changing for me: keeping up with friends and family on a different scale and in a different way than I had previously thought possible.

Log on to facebook.com today. Accounts are free. Consider yourself poked. :)

- Jeremiah

(my current facebook.com profile pic)

(This post has NOT been sponsored by facebook.com or any of its affiliates.)

Life-changing link #3: Project Gutenberg


angie said...

I have a facebook account, but haven't spent enough time on the site to figure out what to do with it......looks like I should.

Cami said...

I have a facebook account also. My friend is constantly throwing sheep at me and posting photos, but I guess I just don't feel the need to do anything there since I blog frequently enough. I am NOT about to post photos and tag people in them all the time! Sheesh! But it has been useful to find a few old friends. And I know some of my family member just love it.

Jeremiah R. Jones said...

I forgot to mention the sheep throwing. Definitely a favorite!

Laurie said...

I'm almost tempted to get an account for the Disney quizzes. I love to see if I as still in the know.:)

Laurie said...

I'm almost tempted to get an account for the Disney quizzes. I love to see if I as still in the know.:)