“You have a Facebook? Trevor sneers in that fourteen-year-old, you’ve got to be kidding tone laced with amusement. He sits at my computer prepared to sign into to the cyber social network.
“No.” I answered. “I just made an account to I could visit Jake’s memorial page. I don’t actually have a Facebook.” I answer, leaving the room.
“You have no profile!” he yells to me in the kitchen.
“Don't want one.” I yell back.
Facebook , like IM-ing and texting, is something that clearly draws the generational line. Even email seems to be for the elders and the telephone reserved for talking to girls. They much prefer to instant message and text message and now are writing on walls.
“You’re interested in men?” He asks.
“No!” I answer zipping back to my office. “Why would I be interested in men?”
“Okaay…” he says, “but if I check women everyone will think you’re gay. You have to pick one or the other.”
“No I don’t. I’m not interested in anything! Stop messing around with that.” I demand feeling panic surging.
“But your profile is blank and you have no friends.” He snickers.
“I have friends but we don’t make advertisements about ourselves or write on walls and… just leave it blank. I don’t want a….what did you do?” I shriek, seeing my picture beneath my name.
“I added the photo from your blog. Relax Mom. Do you want your birthday on here?” He does not seem to understand that grown-ups do not Facebook.
“Why would I want people reading about me? Identity thieves and…”
“Seriously Mom, no one can read this stuff unless you add them to your friend list. Besides, you can search for old friends from high school and stuff. I’ll show you, give me a name.” he says, fingers tapping the keys. I offer up the name of a college roommate that I haven't seen in more than twenty five years and in a click, there she is! Trevor explains that I can add her as a friend and she will get a message asking her to be my friend.
“No! Sign off. This is ridiculous.” I conjure up an image of a pathetic, lonely hermit with no real life, searching cyber space for play dates.
“Fine.” He signed off, “But you have no friends.” he mumbles.
One month later, I received an email that a friend on the west coast sent a request to add me to her “friend list” on her Facebook page. Soon thereafter, one from a mom here in town, and then another.
The subject came up at a party last night and low and behold, nearly half of the people admitted to Facebook-ing.
This morning, my Facebook suggested some “new friends” for me, no doubt taking pity on my tiny friend list and vacant profile. You have no friends it echos the page maker. Maybe I should step back into my own generation...
Then again...maybe writing on walls will be liberating.