A crash course in “friending”

12Oct10

I didn’t want to do it.

For two years my friends and relatives have been sending me invitations to join them on Facebook. “It’s really fun,” they’d say. “And it’s a great way to stay in touch.” But I’d always demur. For one thing, I value my privacy. And for another, I value my time. The last thing I wanted was another exhibitionist time-suck.

So how ironic that on Sunday morning, I was informed I’d been chosen as the Munro Clan Association USA’s social media coordinator. My protests fell on deaf ears. During the plane ride home I realized that joining Facebook was inevitable, so last night I finally set up my account.

I was horrified this morning to find almost 50 emails from old pals who wanted to “friend” me. I briefly contemplated committing virtual suicide.  But then I remembered my duties to my kin. So I spent about an hour accepting invitations and responding to notes.

In hindsight, it was time well spent. I’ve already reconnected with several old friends from the newspaper. I’ve also caught up on some big news I’d missed. Like my friend Jeff’s shoulder surgery (artfully documented in black and white). My friend Robin’s new business. And my friend Chris’ adventures after losing the keys to his apartment in Paris. Knowing that he climbed onto the roof of his apartment made me shudder; just looking out the window gave me acrophobia.

I still have privacy concerns. And I’m still worried about spending (dare I say wasting?) even more time online. But I’m also surprised to find that my friends were right: Facebook really is fun. And it really is a great way to stay in touch.

But there’s one point on which I still won’t compromise: I still refuse to use “friend” as a verb.



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