Columnist: “Then I saw your Face(book); now I'm a believer”
By: Jamie Miles: columnist
“Do I look old?” Planning to venture into today’s media world, I remembered a high school friend- vivacious, fun-loving Mary Gardner. Television, radio, author; she’s a mass communication maven. Wanting to tap her vast knowledge, we sat down for coffee. A lot has changed about communicating since I’ve been in the business world, but now there is one undeniable common denominator. The Internet. I needed help wading into the vast waters of the Net without becoming tangled. As Mary talked, I took notes, sighed and scratched my head. Web sites, blogs, LinkedIn, EzineArticles, Twitter, change my bio. Did I even have a bio?
“And of course, Facebook,” Mary mentioned, almost as an afterthought. At this point, my head was spinning and when my head spins I tend to say really stupid things, such as, “Facebook. I hear lots about it, but won’t there be something else in six months?”
Mary stared. “You’re not on Facebook?” No, I whispered, suddenly feeling very, very...I don’t know like a dog taking the most pleasant nap in the sunshine on his master’s $11,000 Chippendale chair. A very happy hound was he, until his master came through the door cloaked by super-stealth capabilities. Busted; the master staring down upon his beloved dog with such disappointment. Mary had that look. “Jamie, if you’re not on Facebook, people will think you are old?” Think that I’m old? This was bad.
For to be thought old is much worse than to be called old. If someone calls you old to your face, either they are jesting, a cranky sort or believe you are merely acting old and can surely snap out of it. But to be silently considered old, the thinker believes you are beyond the reaches of Botox, boot camp workouts and biofeedback.
I procrastinated. Well, I started working on some of her suggestions. A Web site, a blog, tried to Twitter. It was just the Facebook thing.
Then a friend’s email invited me to join. Now to turn down an invitation would be rude, and though I might be thought old, it would be far worse to be thought rude. So I signed on with the Facebook Nation.
WOW. How long has this party been going on? Within 24 hours, I’d become “friends” with long lost elementary school chums, sorority sisters, missionary friends in Africa, the girl (now woman) who braved cheerleading tryouts by my side and dragged me on my first head-over-heels steel roller coaster, along with the 14 year-old daughter of my dearest college friend.
Who said you can’t teach a slightly-aging dog new tricks? Am I old? Just look at my face…book. (That was just a rhetorical question, not to prompt any posts on such.)
Published in the January 29, 2009 edition.