I can no longer go on the world wide web without feeling the pang of intrigue, wondering if I have a new message or a friend request or if I have been invited to an event. I cannot go a day without changing my status or updating my profile, and yes, I am embarrassed by how much I enjoy Facebook.
Facebook is a way of getting the attention we all crave. We want people to be interested in us and to care about what we have to say, and comment on our status updates. We want to receive messages in our inbox, as it gives us great pleasure to know that someone has been thinking of us, and took the time to type an entire sentence.
We want people to know how great our lives are, so we post photos of us laughing it up in an exotic location with an umbrella drink in our hand. Meanwhile, back home our Facebook friends are at work, secretly logging on to their Facebook account, hoping their boss doesn’t catch them. They see the photos and they shake their fist at the computer screen, and silently curse us for our freedom.
We put our lives on display, and we divulge personal information. We post our birth date and wait for the greetings to roll in. We update our status to let our friends know what we’re thinking, doing, saying, or viewing, and we wait for them to notice and comment. We update our profiles to show people our multi-faceted personalities with our movie and music preferences. We have a desire for people to know us, and we want to know others, without any actual physical interaction.
When I first joined Facebook about two years ago I was so excited to have a way to re-connect with friends and find out what people were doing. It was the equivalent of a high school reunion, without all the awkward face-to-face moments, messy sexual encounters, and drunken confessions.
In the early days of Facebook, when I would have several friend requests each day, I must admit, it gave me quite the ego boost. I was so happy and touched that people had found me, and were now requesting to be my friend. To date, I have 218 Facebook friends. I’m happy with that number. It’s not unreasonable or unmanageable, or unrealistic to maintain.
I feel insecure when I see people with 500 or more Facebook friends. I wonder how those people are able to maintain all those relationships, even if they are just “Facebook friends”. In reality that can mean anything from a best friend, to a husband, to a man you met on the bus, to a man that you found on Facebook with the last name Seinfeld (holla, Yuda!)
Thank you Facebook friends, for always being there.