Friday, January 23, 2009

Facebook is not a face, nor a book ... discuss

I've fallen victim to the final online frontier -- Facebook.

My friend Gisela, who is insanely persuasive, has been trying to coerce me to join for at least a year, if not longer. I'm pretty sure that the most powerful genes in her entire biological makeup are her piercing eyes, killer cheekbones and her uncanny ability to convince people to do things.

She can bend willpower the way Superman bends steel.

The only reason I was able to hold off as long as I did was because she lives a few hundred miles away. But even then, she waged a relentless campaign.

First, it started subtly. I got the site-generated e-mail saying Gisela wants me to join Facebook.

I sent her a reply.

"Suck it."

The way I see it, I already belong to MySpace and mostly only use it for music. The last thing I need is a membership to another social networking site, let alone another username and password to remember.

I've already created a wide-reaching wake of online subscriptions that clog up cyberspace -- Blogger, Xanga, Flickr, Snapfish, EasyShare, Yahoo groups, four personal e-mails, online banking, utility companies, not to mention all of my work-related accounts, which easily hit double digits. And those stupid sites I fall victim to at 3 a.m. after too much time spent online that promise to tell me which celebrity I look most like if I create an account and upload my photo. Or NEEDING to find out my "real age" after watching one of Oprah's Your Best Life episodes.

The fact that I remember any of them or check them frequently enough to remain active at all is nothing short of a miracle.

So when Gisela started dropping Facebook plugs into our phone conversations, I tried my best to give her the verbal equivalent of a middle finger.

"You can see all of my pictures from my trip to Greece," she'd say.

Or, "There are some hilarious pictures of you on there."

Or, "You can see pictures of me when I had supa '80s hair."

I have to admit, that last one had me wavering, but I responded with a meek, but resolute "shut the hell up."

Then, when she arranged to visit last summer, I braced for the onslaught. I knew it would be difficult to stand my ground once she could use her full powers of persuasion. Like sitting at my computer and signing me up herself.

Although she threatened it, she kept to a surprisingly positive tactic of showing me JUST! HOW! GREAT! IT! CAN! BE!

First, the pictures. Then all of our mutual friends who were waiting for me to join them. Then she wrapped up with Nike's tried and true slogan: JUST DO IT. DOOOOOO IT.

But I resisted. "No more passwords," I mumbled after mentally telling myself, "Must. Break. Gaze."

Then, months later, she delivered the final blow. Gisela, whose family I feel deeply connected to because I care about her so much, told me she was going home to Puerto Rico to meet her new niece.

And the photos would be available for my perusal.

On Facebook.



So I begrudgingly made an account. Because the promise of snugly new baby photos still has an indescribable power over me. And this wasn't just any baby. It was Gisela's niece.

I sped through the signup, knowing I'd almost never use the account. Then Alli woke up from her nap, so I abandoned it for another day.

But when I went back, this strange thing happened. There were all sorts of friend requests from people I've long since lost touch with. Friends from high school. Old college roommates. Former co-workers.

Then I found some friends I talk to regularly, but realized I could have a whole new level of connection with them online.

Before I knew it, I was leaving comments, responding to others, checking out photos, uploading photos, scrolling through people's friends lists and otherwise being voyeuristic -- and lets face it, that intrigue is a big part of what makes those sites successful.

And although my first message to Gisela was "you better friend me fucker," followed by deserving coos over her newest family member, I'm sure she's deducted from all my activity on the site that I don't find it as offensive as I thought I would.

But I refuse to admit that she was right.

My eventual cooperation will have to be reward enough.


Marina said...

Trust me, the excitement wears off after about 4 days. Or at least it did for me. But I'm a grumpy old hermit. Haha.

Ray said...

Hahaha you are too funny! And to Gisela, "I'd love to see your photos from Greece!" Hehe. =P

Personally, I'm a Myspace person ALL THE WAY! I've checked out Facebook and I even have an account (which I don't even use), but I just don't like the set-up. I like Myspace better. But hey, you like it and that's all that matters. Nice that you've found old college and high school friends.

Also: I too have a ton of accounts from different web sites. Including those accounts you only make for silly things. I think we all fail victim to that though. The internet is just full of so many "web pages to obsess over" that take you by hold and never let you go. ;o)

Shal said...

I have both Myspace and Facebook, as well as a Geni account. Geni is all about who you're related too.. they are all addicting I think.. I keep telling myself no more..and then sign up for something else...

but I keep telling myself, "we gotta be social, keep in touch, etc... "

More social with my computer.. haha

Chelsea said...

Colleges now push you to make a Facebook! A lot of my professors have one...

Beth said...

I resisted, too, for a long time, but I have to say...I found old friends I'd been seeking for years and years. High school friends. College friends. My very first love.

I'm gonna be looking for you!

novelle360 said...



*slaps head*


Jessica said...

Yep, it's addictive.

Ray had me set-up an account for him last summer (I think after teasing me for an appropraite amount of time for having my own facebook) & he was hooked! He's reconnected with so many old high school friends & likes to show me pictures from "the old days." I always catch him chatting with someone on there.

Have fun!

Bettina said...

...and then there is, a global network for professionals to manage business contacts ;-)

Cheekbones said...

MWAHAHAHAHAHA!!! My plan worked... And I get a whole entry in your blog! This is a happy day, happy day indeed!

Jennifer Suarez said...

OK, another weirdness... we joined facebook around the same time and were both surprised we acually use it, AND both blogged about it TODAY.


No seriously, cut it out! ;-)

Janice said...

I love Facebook. Then again, I'm a college student so that is what occupies my time instead of actually doing work. Imagine that. I have a Myspace (and I'm friends with you), but I don't really like it that much except for the bulletins, and Facebook has notes...on Facebook there is so much more to do if you're bored...groups, bumperstickers, photos, friend-stalking, Addicted To...(insert TV show here), applications about sports groups (you can join a Steelers one)...basically all the original stuff myspace tried to rip off, haha. It's awesome. Just toy around with it for a while.

And if you get around to it, shoot me a friend request: Janice Pisello :)

Annie said...

How the hell did I not know you are on Facebook! How long have you been on and why are we not friends yet! I am going to hunt you down....

Ash said...

haha you got suckered in! same thing happened to me a year ago. it can be a good thing, and you can end up with people trying to talk to you that you don't really care about seeing again. it happens!

Marcy said...

You actually use different usernames and passwords for each site? I've been using the same ones over and over again. Comes in handy when I want to sign into something I think I've signed up for but can't remember. ; )

Christina said...

Woot! You joined the facebook bandwagon. I think it's so much better than Myspace. In fact, I deleted my Myspace years and years ago. Enjoy wasting time! :-)

Randall @ Happy For This Moment said...

Oh, it's fun I will admit. I deleted my MySpace and now just have Facebook. It's really neat to connect with old friends and new opportunities here in St. Louis. Enjoy it!

Anonymous said...

yup. same thing happened to me. i decided i didn't "need" a facebook. well lots of persuasion from other facebookers caused my husband to make me one. and now it's so annoying because i am constantly checking for updates on my wall, photos, etc.

have fun!

Anonymous said...

I love facebook!! Be careful!! So very very addictive!! ;)

Anonymous said...

My mom signed up to stalk me and her other teenager and now she's obsessed and all of her friends have them too :P

NatalieDeltaGam said...

i've been addicted since sept. '04. lord!
add me as a friend if you want: natalie cooper :-)

Loren said...

I love facebook!! :)

meg said...

this is weird but creepy - i randomly looked you up on facebook today and then went to your blog and saw this entry. so, you should friend request me. "meghana keshavan." done.

Kristin said...

I'd stick with myspace anyday xD


Tiffany said...

Oooh! Can I add you? I have TONS of pictures of Claire on mine, it's just much easier to post them there!

It's alot of fun for me, being home alone most of the day. Just make sure you adjust your privacy settings that no one can see your profile unless they're friends of yours and whatnot. Safe is safe, right? :-)

Candi said...

I love facebook. I'm one of those. :)

Haley Allison said...

I love The Book. Friend me if you don't mind strangers! Haley A. Bowers

Jaclyn said...

Ok, so I looked you up (under your married name, as I'd assume that's the one you signed up under) and could NOT find you.

So "friend" me or whatever so we can "ooh" & "ahh" over our girls' pictures!! Jaclyn S. Ortega

silverwolf said...

When I first read this, I wallowed in my glorious facebook-free status. And then, my mom blackmailed me into joining, much the same way Gisela did. And now I have joined the multitudes. I am so ashamed.


Celina said...

I am a Facebook convert from MySpace. Next you will have to try Twitter. LOL