Finding Facebook
by Jennifer Cohron
Nov 13, 2010 | 2250 views | 0 0 comments | 30 30 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Jennifer Cohron
Jennifer Cohron
The most frequently asked question of my generation might be “Are you on Facebook?”

Actually, I don’t think people ask that much anymore because it’s hard to find someone who isn’t on Facebook. Even Queen Elizabeth II joined last week.

I first heard about Facebook while I was at UAB. I wasn’t interested because I understood what it was — a social network.

Back then, users had to have a college e-mail address to sign up. It was great for people who wanted to reconnect with high school friends and be part of the college “in crowd.”

My circle of friends has never been larger than me, myself and I. I didn’t have to keep up with the people I graduated with, and I never got to know that many students at UAB, either.

I’ve never been accused of being a social butterfly. Which makes my choice of career a little interesting, but let’s save that for another column.

Fast forward a few years. I’m working at the Daily Mountain Eagle and Jasper’s one-woman hurricane, Jennifer Williams Smith, is always bugging me about Facebook.

Jennifer wanted me to join so that I could access pictures she had posted on the site that went along with whatever story I was writing.

Finally, I gave in and became a part of more than 500 million people who are on Facebook. In real life, I now have a handful of friends, but on Facebook I have 110.

I’m pretty selective when accepting friend requests. My rule is that I have to have met the person.

That’s true for all on my current list except three suggested by Jennifer because they are contacts for local groups and one woman who gets a pass because she’s from Cordova.

I don’t always add everybody that I know. Every now and then, someone who never spoke to me while we were in school together will ask to be my friend. I know it’s probably because they’re as tired of my profile coming up in the “People You May Know” section as I am of theirs.

One of Zac’s ex-girlfriends tried to add me as a friend. I wish I could say that I was a mature adult and accepted the request. It actually took me about two seconds to hit the “ignore” button.

I’m also a little ashamed to admit that I have gone through Zac’s friends list once to see how many lovely ladies I didn’t know. I questioned some of his choices, but I wasn’t jealous enough to ask him to delete them.

Although I use Facebook to help me with story ideas, I’ve also found plenty of personal reasons to be on it.

My friend Mary, who used to work with me, moved back home to Boaz while I was on maternity leave. I haven’t seen her for months, but we keep up with each other through Facebook and semi-frequent text messages.

Family members in other states get to see plenty of pictures of Wyatt that I post. I also publish my columns on my Facebook page, which is neat because I can provide illustrations with them.

For example, when I ran the column about Wyatt’s first bloody nose, I posted a picture of the baby smiling and showing off his tiny scratch.

Zac and I have both been guilty of wasting too much time on some of the Facebook games like Farmville and Cafe World. When I got a Mafia Wars invite that said “Zachary Cohron wants you to join him in a life of organized crime,” I nearly fell out of my chair laughing.

Although I am not obsessed with Facebook, I must say that it has unexpectedly become a part of my life. As silly as it sounds, changing my name and status from “engaged” to “married” was one of many highlights from the weeks after the wedding.

Zac is mentioned frequently in my status updates, but I don’t air our dirty laundry on Facebook like I’ve seen some people do.

The quarreling couple have even had it out online a few times. These days, your Facebook friends know your marriage is in trouble before you do if they read your posts carefully.

I prefer for my updates to display my deep-seated sarcasm and offbeat humor that is easily misinterpreted in print but I enjoy it too much to stop.

So that’s the story of how a very unsocial person joined the most popular social network of the century.

Darn you, Mark Zuckerberg.