It seems that my most effective tool for procrastinating on school assignments is social media. I’ve recently picked up playing on Twitter again. I use it to follow all sorts of library and archive organizations, about six teenage girls who are cousins, nieces, or friends of them, and a few college and high school friends. Mostly, I keep the college and high school friends to Facebook, though, because, well, I’m over 30. Seems the kids don’t hang on Facebook much, now that a bunch of us middle-aged folks (read: parents) have taken over. Nevermind that I joined Facebook when the earlier mentioned crop of young ladies from my family were entering middle school. Yes, they came into MY world, as far as I’m concerned. But yeah, I know I jumped into a younger world there, and whatever, I get it. I’m old, they aren’t, and now they hang out on Twitter.
So, anyway, I’ve been tweeting. Look for me there. I’m very boring.
But I have this new hobby on Facebook. Before I go into all the creepy stalker details, I should remind you of a few details of my story. So, I was born in Ohio, went to elementary school in North Carolina, moved to Georgia in middle school, and went to college in South Carolina. A few years after graduating, and bouncing back and forth between Georgia and South Carolina, I decided to pack it up and move to Ohio. Lots of extended family here, right? And I just felt a pull to come “home” even though I hadn’t lived here since I was four. All of that is just to tell you that I thought of all of these places as very distinct periods in my life. I had entirely separate groups of friends in each place, right? Well, sort of. I had friends through church in Georgia who knew a few friends from college. I went to a Lutheran school, that wasn’t too shocking. There had been youth gatherings, and meet-ups at the regional church camp in North Carolina, Lutheridge. Then some of my friends met other people I knew when we got old enough to be counselors. A little more overlap. Nothing major.
Then in 2007, I joined Facebook, as did a whole bunch of my mid-30s peers. I found a few more connections. Degrees of separation, I guess. I found out my pastor’s son from Georgia had once dated my pastor’s daughter from North Carolina. There was even a picture of them together on Facebook. Neat. Now, I differ from some people in my approach to social media. If I ever knew you, you can friend me, and I might friend you. I’m not picky. It is so easy to move someone to the “acquaintance” list, or just leave them off the accepted list. I follow the “if I wouldn’t want it on a billboard” approach to posting, and so I like having a large friends list. Besides, how else could I keep up with who YOU know, or who you friends know?
So, this brings me to my new hobby. I love to browse the friends lists of my friends looking for one and two degrees of separations that we didn’t know existed.
I know, it’s a tad creepy. I’m sorry. It’s really just a way for me to kill time when I should be doing homework, but at the same time, it’s fascinating. Turns out, a neighbor from when we first moved to North Carolina (I was FOUR!) later moved from that town to another and lived near a girl I’d later go to college with in South Carolina, and none of us would make the connection until Facebook. I’ve got friends from high school who are just one degree removed from friends from college, and even one friend I recently made here in Ohio, though she did her undergraduate work in Georgia. And another mom in the neighborhood grew up in a town north of here where my mother’s father’s family is from. Just discovered a couple one-degree connections there after friending a cousin at the family reunion today.
Now, don’t get all weirded out. Somewhere out there, some guy who had a crush on you in high school is blowing up your Facebook snapshots to some incredible magnification to see if you still have that one tiny mole under your chin. I have not reached that level of stalkerdom, yet. I just like to find the connections.