I don't recall how I ever came to sign up on facebook.
I've been finding myself going on there more and more lately and typing in names of old friends and acquaintances to see if they're on facebook.
It's become a bit addicting.
"Whatever happened to Gary?" I'd wonder. "Is Scott on facebook? Cindy? Nathan? Jennifer?" I would type in their names. Some friends I haven't seen in years. We were such close friends at one point in time, and then came moves across country or marriages and we lost touch. I look there to reconnect.
Most of the time, I don't find anyone on there, but on occasion when I do find them, I select Add Friends next to their name and wait for them to confirm and accept me as their friend. Sometimes they don't show their face in the facebook photo so I can only guess if it's them or not by their name and location only.
It's like I'm 9 years old! I sit there wiggling in my seat in anticipation for them to say, "yes, I confirm we are friends!"
I feel bashfully vulnerable.
Nearly everyone confirms yes, but then there are a few I haven't heard back from. And when after a fews days have slipped by without receiving confirmation from them, a bit of an uncomfortable anquish starts to stir in me.
It's silly to feel that way. I know that. Confirming or not confirming friends on facebook does not constitute real life. So I allow those silly feelings to quickly dispurse from me.
Maybe they're not online and haven't seen my invite yet. Or that wasn't them after all .. just someone who shares the same name.
I am reminded back in time when we moved across town into another house and into a different school. I was 9 years old.
I knew no one.
So one saturday morning, feeling bored and lonely without my old friends around, I walked down past our barn and through the apple orchard and carefully climbed through the barb wire fence at the end of our property and entered the new residential neighborhood. I was determined to meet and make new friends that day.
"Do you have any kids my age?" I would ask parents door to door.
Ya wanna play? I would ask whenever a kid answered the door.
Ya wanna be friends? I'd ask another.
And they always said, yes and that was that.
When I was 9, I hadn't learned that deep, all-encompassing inner space of feeling self-conscious that I feel even now.
There was never any second guessing. I simply asked and we were instant friends..
On facebook... in some sort of small way, reconnecting with friends is sorta like being 9 all over again. You can't be friends without first extending the invitation and without the other party confirming they want that, too.
By the way, this is not an advertisement. It's just me chatting nervously and squirming around while waiting back to hear from some old friends from long ago. If you'll excuse me ... I'm gonna get back online and see if they connected.
And who knows, maybe I'll see you in there, too! I hope so.