Posted: April 2, 2010
Most of the time, I am about a decade behind the trends. I wore calf-high white socks with shorts until just a few summers ago; I played 8-track tapes for at least six years after cassette tapes became the norm; and I even fought the idea of purchasing a cell phone until the second generation of the product was already the hottest gadget on the market in the early 1990s.
This time, though, I am only four years behind the curve with the newest rage in the social world. Facebook was established in 2006 and already has attracted more than 400 million users worldwide. Since anyone over the age of 13 with a valid e-mail address can become a Facebook user, I decided it was time for me to start my own Facebook page.
When I was 13 years old, my social networking tool was the Citizens Band (CB) radio. I would stay up for hours after telephone use was prohibited to communicate with buddies who lived about five miles away. Like Facebook, use of the CB radio had its privacy issues. Many of my personal conversations with my teenage friends were privvy to others. As a result, we would often change channel frequency so as to not attract local truck drivers into our discussions.
There was one time when my very personal conversation on the CB radio became more public than I had wished. In an effort to improve my broadcast coverage, I affixed the CB antenna on the roof of the house to the metal plate located at the base of the vent for the family stove. Unfortunately, most of the neighborhood was able to hear all of my conversations over the CB radio during the late-night news broadcast on the local NBC affiliate. After a few nights, my parents found out that I really wasn't going to bed at the prescribed time and my CB radio use was put on hold. Similarly, how many times have parents have cut off their child's use of Facebook?
As I began my foray into Facebook this week, the teenagers in the house were somewhat surprised that an "old guy " like me could attract as many as 40 friends within the first 48 hours of establishing my account. Since then, I have reconnected with numerous high school classmates, family members that I have not talked to for a number of years and many other individuals who want to be my "friend", but I have no idea who they are.
I still don't really know how to navigate the Facebook web site efficiently. But I have solace in the fact that I am on the cutting edge of something fairly new. Feel free to join my new venture as a new "friend "so I can show the teenagers that an "old guy " can be current.