Hooked On Facebook And Friends

Rick Hamada
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Wednesday - August 19, 2009

“Hi, my name is Rick and I am a Facebook addict.” Thus begins the latest session of Facebook Anonymous.

OK, I admit it. I love FB. Now, the extent of my computing knowledge can be poured into a thimble, and there would still be room for three beers, two Popsicles and a bag of chips. When God was handing out talent, he sent me over to the line marked “Make Enough Money So You Can Pay Someone Else To Do It.”

I was never into MySpace, YouTube or Twitter. If it wasn’t news, sports or online poker, I probably wasn’t too interested. But when Facebook showed up, I knew I would be in trouble.

My introduction to FB was with my radio show. We have a corporate directive to increase our visibility and participation on social-networking sites. My esteemed producer Joe set the whole thing up and, in less time than it takes to eat a plate lunch, we were up and running.

What started out as a professional obligation soon became a personal obsession.

FB is truly interactive with multiple media. You can access TV clips, music videos and pictures of your “friends.” It’s a great way to look for people you used to know. A simple name search will locate that high school buddy you lost track of or a co-worker from years ago.

Plus, you have total control over whom you see, who sees you and what they see about you. I also like the real-name aspect of Facebook. You don’t have to sift through names like “pocket rocket 411.” It’s just you and them, straight up.

Here’s the real reason FB is so popular. It’s a relatively innocent exercise in voyeurism and exhibitionism. People like to see and be seen. The compelling part about Facebook is you feel like you get to know other FBers because of their “profiles.” Therefore, a pseudo-relationship becomes established. There’s a reason Facebookers are called “friends.” Since they share personal information on their “profiles,” you tend to care about their postings. Once you sign up and log on, your “friend requests” will inevitably follow and, voila, you are socially networking online.

There are a few pitfalls to avoid. Don’t get carried away and give out too much information. Unless you have the proper filters on, just about anybody could see your postings and comments. It’s not a good idea to post your phone numbers, addresses, birthdate or other sensitive information. Obscene photos will always come back to haunt you, and vulgarity usually doesn’t play unless you are in prison or attending the Democratic National Convention (Oh, geesh, can’t you take a joke?).

This is a siren call to those who think they are too old or still believe the best way to get a message is to drive to the post office. Try Facebook. Try connecting with people outside your circle. Expand your horizons past the remote control.

Who knows? You might make some new “friends,” get hooked and soon be standing beside me at the next FA meeting.

Find Rick on Facebook at rickhamadaprogram@yahoo .com.

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