My wife convinced (forced) me to get on facebook.
OK I think I get it now.
I've never understood Myspace, and I've always lumped Facebook right in there with it. I always figured these tools were a way for narcissists to have shallow online interactions with their so called friends.
Turns out, I was right! And that is why it works.
Now that is obviously a gross exaggeration, for sure. But Since I've been on Facebook for a grand total of 3 days, I now have over 20 friends (and rising!), most of which I have not spoken with since highschool. And I still haven't spoken with them! But we have had some interaction online - which is cool, and required the exact right level of effort to allow me to have some kind of relationship with most of these folks.
You see, the reason I have (unfortunately) lost contact with most of these people, is that I've been focusing on my family and career pretty much exlusively for the last 10 years. I've always hated it when you hear people complaining that life just is too busy, and there is never enough time to do everything. I think that there are just so many more options for activities in life now, it is easy to feel as though you can't do everything that you might want to. For myself, I've made choices with my time, and I'm comfortable with those decisions - but there are oportunity costs...
The reality is that trying to keep up real, deep relationships with people is really a lot of work. Especially when your social skills are as terrible as mine. Friendships have always been hard for me. I used to say that I hate everyone, until I get to know them. The only way I could be someone's friend is to be GOOD friends with them, and that takes a lot of time...
But now I don't need to do any of that any more! Facebook allows me to keep tabs on my friends, and lets them keep tabs on me, with a minimum of any sort of real interaction. Which is actually a good thing, even though it sounds terrible. Bottom line is, I suck at being a friend, so now I don't really have to do it anymore!
So I say, welcome to our shallow-social-interaction-web-site overlords!
But if I EVER get a twitter account, please come and shoot me.