Friend – noun – a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard; a person who is on good terms with another; a person who is not hostile
Friend – verb – to add someone to your Facebook community.
Facebook is a free website used to network people by various factors such as location, school or workplace among others. Members can add friends, send them messages, post about themselves and create photo albums to share. Facebook was founded in 2004 by a Harvard student. Membership was initially limited to Harvard students, but later expanded to include other Boston and Ivy League colleges as well as Stanford University. It later expanded again to include any university student, then brought in high school students and now is open pretty much worldwide to anyone over the age of 13. Today Facebook has 150 million active users.
It has been blocked from time to time in Syria and Iran, and is blocked by many workplaces to increase worker productivity. Duh. If I were the boss, I'd block it too.
I joined Facebook on September 8, 2008 and to date I have 284 friends. I have a few requests outstanding so maybe I'll hit 300 soon. I tried to find out who has the most friends on Facebook but couldn't find anything definitive. I mean, it's not like "He who has the most Facebook friends wins" or anything. I also belong to some groups including one for the elementary school I attended, I have a corkboard with some Flair and I enjoy playing 52 Pickup to help Save the Planet.
I started thinking about my Facebook friends and came up with ten kinds of friends on my list:
1. My husband
2. My boys and daughter-in-law
3. Family such as nieces and nephews and my daughter-in-law's mother and sister
4. People I went to school with in elementary and high school and in college
5. Writers and their friends -- we're a very friendly lot
6. Former business associates
7. People from message boards and Yahoo loops I belong to
8. Friends' spouses
9. Small world friends
10. Friends who are the result of keen detective work
I'll tell stories about 9 and 10. A while back I added the mother of one of the groomsmen in my son's wedding. Mostly we just see what's going on in each other's lives. But yesterday a woman with a very familiar name commented on groomsman's mother's site. I messaged her and asked if she was so and so, and she was. Our boys all attended the same elementary school and were in Cub Scouts together. She knows groomsman's mom through club work. And interestingly enough, the familiar name moved a number of years ago and lives within two miles of me now. Small world, huh?
In the keen detective work arena, one day I was just typing in surnames of people I'd known and got a hit on a woman I believed was the daughter of a high school chum. I messaged her and asked if she was so-and-so's daughter and if so, would she pass my email to her mother. A couple days later I got an email from the mother who just signed up for Facebook a day or so ago.
I typed in another name of a couple we were in Germany with. They had twin girls names X and Y. I got a hit on a young woman named X and in her friends list was a woman named Y. I messaged her, explained who I was and she emailed me back with her mother's email address but with the caveat her mother was out of the country for ten days. I honestly forgot about emailing her until I wrote this blog yesterday afternoon. I dashed off an email and two hours later she replied with "Hi Marilyn!!! How exciting to hear from you after all these years! I must get on Facebook, clearly it's THE thing to do." She filled me in on what has happened with her and her family in the 28 years since we've seen each other.
Sometimes you have to dig a little, but if you're lucky, you can find the daughter of someone from your childhood neighborhood, the girl who trimmed you hair in the dorm at college and catch up with the boy you took to the Sadie Hawkins dance in ninth grade who now owns a large pharmaceutical company and got an $8,000,000 salary package in 2007.
Of course, I should be working on the WIP, and I have been, but one particular chapter has been a real bear and while I'm sorting through plot points and POV in my head, I'm dabbling with Facebook. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
Do you use Facebook? Have you had any small world or keen detective experiences?
P.S. I am nearly finished with chapter 10 of the WIP, which leaves one chapter to go. Yay!