Tuesday, September 9, 2008

"Let Us Call Brother Even Those Who Hate Us..."

... and "friend" even those who hardly know us!

For the second time in recent weeks, I received one of those "this is a voice from your past" sorts of email messages. The first one which I got several weeks ago was from a former teacher - the guy who was my high school choir director when I was a junior in high school. Fun! We shared a brief email exchange and he promised to call next time he's in town so we can get together.

The second one came in the form of a Facebook invitation yesterday morning. This one was from a former college roomate who was an exchange student from Denmark - a delightful woman I've wondered about from time to time over the years. Well, the only way I could make contact was to set up a Facebook account - something I have really avoided doing if for no other reason than it's just so trendy. I have enough online forums to keep up with without adding another - but I really wanted to find out how my old roomate is doing after these 25 or so years. So I went ahead and signed up.

So when I signed up for the account, the first thing Facebook did was go through my email address book and identify everyone there who also has a Facebook account - and it also identified alot of other people I didn't know who weren't in my address book. So first I sent a reply to my old college roomate, and then because the program had listed a whole bunch of people I'd never seen as my "friends" I started deleting the links to the pages of those I don't know.

Somehow in my haste to save the page so I could get ready to go to work, I managed to send an invitation to all those that I did know to be my Facebook "Friend." The page popped up right away, letting me know that my invitation to be a Facebook friend had been sent to - well, a whole boatload of people.

"Oh (insert explative! here)," I thought.

Then I quickly tried to remember who was on that list. Let's see:

Some in-laws: oh well, since you can't pick your family maybe they'll be flattered at being picked to be a friend.

My boss: well, he's a friend, I guess - we've been to parties together. I've been to his house and he's been to ours. He might come in to the office and tell me he'd rather be my boss than my friend, but regardless, he's sort of stuck with me, either way. I can explain what happened, though it may throw into question my administrative acumen ...

A couple of former co-workers/former vicars from the church where I work: Actually it might be kinda nice to keep up with them ...

My godmother: she's sorta stuck with me, too - but there's something strange about the implication that we need a Facebook friendship to stay in touch - I see her almost every week ...

A couple of people from church who sent recipes to me for our church cookbook ... well, they might as well be my Facebook friends, too. Why not? No harm done there, I don't think.

Then it came to mind that at least a couple of people - cyber-acquaintances with whom I have exchanged maybe one or two email messages - they might get a little squirmy about receiving my invitation - I know I would. At least two of these cyber-acquaintances are only casual visitors to this blog. So if you got one of these invitations from me (at least one of you accepted my invitation, which was sorta sweet, really) and it sort of skeeves you out, please know that my invitations were sent by mistake.

So now I'm on Facebook, where friendships are established - and verified - with the simple click of a mouse button. Wow.

All this to make contact with a former college roomate. She'd better write ... or I'll go and write something unseemly on her wall.


Mimi said...

Bwahhahahahahahaa, I love your last line.

I've not used the email finder thingie, and I'm ok with that. I tend to be friended verses friending.

usedtobewitty said...

I'm happy to accidentally be your Facebook friend! I wouldn't worry too much about how people will respond to your friend requests. Facebook is a funny thing...I'm Facebook friends with several coworkers and former coworkers, my former boss, old high school and college friends, relatives, and a boatload of people affiliated with the seminary. Consequently:
- I know more about my college age nieces and nephews than I really want to know
- my work life and church life, my present life and my past life, and my personal life and public life are are all smooshed together in an awkward sort of way.
Despite all that, I'm horribly addicted to Facebook and love being able to catch up with old friends and acquaintances. I use it almost as much as e-mail, if not more, for personal correspondence with people I see on a fairly regular basis. It's a sad substitute for real live interaction, but I'm cooped up at home with the kids a lot, so for me, it's a nice supplement to real life friendships.


Rosko said...

If you feel like being my friend, I'm findable!

Rosko (AKA Harry Reineke IV)

-C said...

Mimi -
I would have been happy to be a friendee and not a friender - but - I somehow must have told it to use the "find your friends" thingie. What a dork I am.

Gretchen -
Well, for what it's worth, I'm glad to be your Facebook friend, too. My reluctancy is not in friendship, of course - one can never have too many friends (or can they?) - it's just the method of "friending" which I find so weird...kinda impersonal if we're talking about friends, at least my own understanding of friendship. I'm old-school, I guess - in alot of ways.
But it's apparent that there's sort of a Facebook culture which I still have to learn about ... it's just that it's so public. But for what it's worth, I'm glad you are on my list, as I think of you and your family every time you all are mentioned in the prayers at church - which is about every time we pray together.

Rosko - give me some time and I'll go looking for you. I have to attend to real world matters at hand and get the hang of this thing, then I'll hunt you down!

Mimi said...

Did you find me? Maybe I should go find you?

-C said...

I don't think I know how to look for you - you not being in my email address book and all.

I'll go to your blog a little later this afternoon and see if I can find some searchable criteria ... maybe a mugshot out there somewhere. It'll be like a mystery to solve ... I love a mystery!!!!