Friday, May 15, 2009

Confessions of a Facebook Newbie

2006 me at the top of Masada, Israel

Okay...I admit it! I have a new addiction - oy! I finally took the plunge and joined Facebook. I had resisted for some time because I know myself and I knew that anything new with lists or photos or such will become an obsession for me. I'm one of those weird people that gets a new directory for an organization I belong to and immediately have to read every name and highlight the ones I know. Or if there's a bibliography in the back of a book, I have to highlight all the books I've read from the list. A true addict. I know myself. So, knowing this whenever I would get e-mails from friends asking me to join FB, I deleted them to avoid the temptation. But as time went by, and everyone was on MySpace, FB, and Twitter, I began to feel left out. It made me feel old and out of the newest hip thing. I began to question my thinking - what was I missing? What do they know that I don't? It reminded me of when I was not invited to a party in school or not invited to join the top club. I have always wanted to be part of the group. But after 19 years of sobriety and now confronting my addiction to food (I have now lost 25 lbs and 20 1/2 inches and am on week 22 of giving away my weight), I know myself.

Upstairs room at the church at Fountain & Fairfax - my very first AA mtg. 3/1/1990

Then someone I know who I really respect, went on and on about how Facebook is a great way to promote her business. That was it. The excuse I had secretly been searching for. I could join FB without any guilt to promote my Creative Coaching business and mixed media and writing classes. And besides it's free! Without another thought, excuse or hesitation, I found myself filling in my info on the FB registration. In less than 30 seconds I was in! I was at the party. I was in the club. Wow! Pretty harmless.

1981 - Me - Club Med show - Playa Blanca, Mexico

It was all pretty user friendly and I'm a quick study so within a couple of minutes I got how it all worked. At first I thought it was ridiculous. People posting that they're leaving work or posting things as if they're speaking just to me. Stupid, I thought. Why would people do that? Why would anyone care? I was wrong. This won't be addictive. As an old PR person, I'll only use it to promote business things. And that would have happened, if only I didn't discover that I could look at other folks friends lists. Once I discovered this, my addiction took hold and I found hours had passed by without moving from my computer. Okay, this is really embarrassing but I would click on a friend to request that they join my friend list. And then I would have to look at their list to see if I knew anyone on their friend page, which I most likely did. And then I'd see someone I knew from the past and click on their list. Just like when you hold a mirror up to another mirror to see "infinity" that's what FB became for me.

1978 - me channeling Ms. Streisand - Atlanta, GA

On a positive note...I've been a member of FB for over a week now and the novelty has worn off somewhat. I've connected with old high school friends and friends from productions I worked on almost thirty years ago. I'm actually going to meet a few of them for lunch. I do promote business things on my FB page. But I admit I now tell my "friends" when I'm off to the vet or going to a screening at the TV Academy and I do check FB many times during the day. I notice that I feel better connected to the outside world. There's an expression that says "contempt prior to investigation". I think I understand that phrase much better now :) But don't ask me join Twitter....