So I've had a Facebook account for a couple of years now. I signed up for it when it was only supposed to be for college students, by using my Caltech alumni email address, and telling them I had graduated in 2000, which was the earliest year you could select (!). I didn't do much with it - used it to leave a note for my brother, who was in college at the time, and maybe my cousin, too, but at that time I didn't have a lot of friends still in college or with Facebook accounts.
Of course, now that they've opened up their platform to the world, I got sucked into that whole business and have gussied up my profile and added everyone I could possibly think of, just like with my LinkedIn account.
These sites are becoming my television. And by that, I mean that this is how I waste my free time. I barely watch TV anymore - just a few hours a week, but time in front of the LCD monitor? Probably more than I want to think about.
But somehow they really appeal to me, because they allow me to easily find and keep (loosely) in touch with old friends, classmates and work colleagues. I've got a ton of contact information in a few places in case I need to find someone in my circle who's been to law school, or might know a guy who knows the hiring manager of a job I'm interested in, or can remember the restaurant we ate at in Philadelphia when we were there for work training 5 years ago.
My Outlook (now Entourage) address book might not be that extensive, but with an easy search and a click, I can add someone to Facebook or LinkedIn. And of course, there are the random surprise 'adds' I get from other people. Like the girl I went to high school with, who shared an unnatural love of Def Leppard. Turns out she still lives in Pittsburgh but is now married to a member of a fairly popular rock band, *who I've actually seen live*. (And no, it's not Def Leppard. Quite a different style of music.) That's just so interesting to me - both hearing from her after 17 years, and the fact that her husband is actually a rock star. Craziness.
Since I didn't grow up in the generation (Y?) that had the Internet all through their childhood, or at least as teenagers, and regularly use IM and text messages without thinking about it, some of this stuff is still slightly unnatural to me. But wow, when you figure out what it can do for your relationships, it really is kind of cool. Staying in touch no longer means digging up an outdated address or old phone number. It's as easy as clicking a link and sending a quick message, nearly whenever you feel like it. Pretty awesome, huh?
So feel free to add me as a contact or a friend, or both. I'd love to hear from you and maybe in 3 years you can remind me about that fabulous sushi place we tried once in Bellevue. And maybe I can get you an interview for that job you've been drooling over.