The Cool Tool

So as a bit of a follow-up to yesterday’s post, it has occurred to me that this is also just about the one year anniversary of my joining Facebook, which really seems to slam home the fact that February is my “climbing out of hibernation” month. Since I don’t want to blow my streak, I’m thinking I need to join something new this year. What should it be, My Space or Scientology? Hmmm… decisions, decisions.

I’ve also gotta say, after a year at it, I think I’ve finally got a handle on Facebook to the degree that I can see it’s usefulness. The first couple of months it was a waste of bandwidth that seemed to serve no real function for me. I had a couple of friends linked, and every now and then out of sheer boredom I’d post something on their wall or poke them. But really, it wasn’t worth having at that point. Then about three months in a couple of other people linked to me and then my friend list kinda boomed, at which point I started getting inundated with all sorts of silly requests. I was bitten by werewolves, hounded by pirates, asked to rate people on any number of superficial categories, and just generally bombarded with various random applications. I found myself sending drinks to people on a daily basis, not because I had some important message I needed to convey, but because I had this sick desire to increase my various drink options. Looking back, it was all rather sad, but then again so is sitting at my desk in the late afternoon with nothing to do, so I guess for a time it served a purpose.

Over the last month or two the furor has died down, as most of us who participated in that mad frenzy of useless application tossing have mellowed. I’ve managed to delete most of the completely useless “tools” (I mean really… what use do I have for a virtual fish tank?) and streamlined my profile so that all that’s left is stuff that serves an actual function, even if said function is for my general amusement. I’ve also discovered that there are in fact a few things that the damn thing is actually quite good for. Pimping shows is a hell of a lot more effective when you can simply create an event, send it out to everyone, and then not worry about it. I always hated putting email pimps together because I don’t really update my email address book all that often and invariably I’d have to deal with a handful of bouncebacks, followed by responses by people telling me whether or not they planned on making it. Much like Evite, with the Facebook Event they can just click “yes”, “no” or “maybe” and perhaps leave a comment without filling up my email inbox. Probably not a huge deal in the grand scheme of things, but it’s something.

The other cool side-effect is that I’m starting to get in touch with people who I haven’t heard from since high school (junior high, really). I don’t imagine I’m going to suddenly become all buddy-buddy with people who I haven’t seen since the days when pimples were my biggest concern, but it’s interesting to hear what they’re up to and how their lives have turned out. As a “connecting tool”, I hafta say, it’s pretty cool.

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