Thursday, April 23, 2009

Self-knowledge via Facebook

I needed to join Facebook. The why of that is irrelevant, but if there hadn't been a specific reason, I wouldn't have done it.

I'm still avoiding the creepy follower, so I'm not on Facebook under my real name. I'm not even using my own life. Of course, two people have already called me by my real name, but I don't think anything has been revealed to Those Who Should Not Know.

Facebook is a scary place for me. My relationships exist on the surface, but only one or two people who know me have actually caught on. I struggle with wanting deeper connections but not being willing to reveal myself to that degree.

Facebook has more than 200 million active users. Once I figured out some of the functionality of Facebook--and it wasn't easy--I went on that search of looking for everyone I know or had ever known. Making Facebook friends while using an assumed identity is tricky, at best, especially if you're trying to keep your identity a secret. Sort of. I immediately became annoyed by the people who have an account but no profile picture or location. Don't they know how irritating that is if someone is trying to learn of their whereabouts?

Users over 35 years old are the fastest growing demographic on Facebook. Given the searching I did for fmiliar faces, it was surprising to see how many people are not on Facebook. Maybe they have much more of a life than I do.

The average Facebook user has 120 friends on the site. I have nine "friends" on Facebook. That's about seven more than I actually wanted. There are many people I know on Facebook, but I feel no compulsion to contact them or bring them into my group. I became a fan or member of ten groups (I think), but the only one I felt strongly about adding to my profile was Blogger. Seriously. I spend more time reading and writing content on Blogger than with any living, breathing, entity.

Social networking may not be for the socially suspicious.

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