Sucked into social networking

Several years ago a couple of friends told me that I should seriously considering getting on “MySpace.” Social networking was the way of the future and I was going to be left behind if I did not create an account and join the fun! I had heard about the site, but at the time, I did not really see a need for it. It would just end up being another waste of time. But, to be fair, I thought about it.

Then I forgot about it. Considered it again and finally decided: maybe.

My curiosity eventually won out and I somewhat reluctantly, created an account and started connecting with friends and family in a way that was new and interesting. Obviously, our methods of communication have evolved greatly over our lifetimes, but never more rapidly than over the last few decades.

I remember when the thought of being able to physically see someone that you are talking to on the phone, regardless of where they were in the world, seemed so space age. But here we are with camera phones and programs like Skype, which enable us to do just that.

As my Grandpa Wellington always said, “what will they think of next?” Good question. It seems our abilities are endless and technology is changing all the time.

Anyway, back to the topic at hand, social networking. Whether we like it or not, it has taken over our lives in a big way. Well, most of our lives anyway. My wife has so far refused to join the craze. She never logged on to MySpace, she doesn’t use Twitter, has never texted and only uses Facebook when she looks at something on my account.

I juggled both Facebook and MySpace for a while because some of my friends were on one and not the other and I just couldn’t leave half of them hanging. I finally cut MySpace loose as Facebook took off in a way that MySpace didn’t.

For me, Facebook is a way to keep in touch with people that I do not get to see on a regular basis. See how they are doing, view pictures of their family and communicate with those on my “friends list” in a quick and easy manner. Facebook is also a great way to announce events such as the birth of a child or the fact that you joined Relay for Life and ask your friends to support you. Yes, that was a hint to all my friends and family out there, all the information can be found on my page!

There is a downside of Facebook, however. Some people like to use it as a way to get back at others, complain about their lives and tell vivid, almost disturbing parts of their lives that are better left unsaid. You sometimes have to take the good with the bad, as we do with everything in life.

While I use Facebook often, I vowed never to become addicted to the many games that it offers. I never understood the fascination with “Farmville” and all the others. In fact, I would often get annoyed when I would receive a request to help build a barn or plant the crops.

Sadly I broke my own vow about two months ago. As a lifelong fan of The Price is Right, when I saw that I could play it on Facebook, I jumped at the chance to give it a try. That led to Press Your Luck, Wheel of Fortune, Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader, and Who Wants to be a Millionaire.

I became addicted, much to my own personal disappointment. I let myself down.

But the games are so fun!

Words With Friends is my new obsession and that is more addictive than all the others. I welcome a challenge from anyone, so bring it on.

What have I done to myself? Facebook … what have you done to me?

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