A few months ago, one of my high school friends goaded me into opening an account on faceboook. I'm really not socially aware enough to know the difference between facebook and myspace, so I assumed facebook was just another venue to make your own personal billboard of hedonism. When I learned it was actually a place to go find the people you went to high school with and learn who now makes more money than you, is fatter than you, married his best friend's little sister, or otherwise re-live all the social anxiety of high school as an adult, I of course immediately signed up.
The weird thing is that there were two or three people who had sent me friend requests before I ever had an account. I found this a little odd and ignored the requests. Then, when I created an account, these requests were right there. For those that went to BYU, it's like the guys who sign up to be EFY counselors so they could scope out the incoming meat for the following school year. Then, when the EFY attendees enroll the next fall and arrive on campus, suddenly the counselor, a 4th year senior, "randomly" shows up to help them move in. Weird, disturbing, but thankfully no requests from anyone who would have made it just plain gross.
The fact that I had friend requests before I was even a member is either an indication that I am way more popular and likeable than even I realize or else just a preview of the herd mentality that is modern life. As much as I'd like to convince myself otherwise, it was the latter. Within hours of creating the account, the friend requests came pouring in. It was a deluge, a virulent disease that was spreading rapidly, almost an epidemic. Every evening, I would check my email and find more friend requests. Almost all of them were from people I went to high school with. And probably 20% of them were from people I had forgotten even existed.
Which is not to say that it's been all bad. Through facebook, I have reconnected with some people that I actually like but just sort of accidentally lost track of. In fact, I created an account in hopes of tracking a few of them down, knowing there would be some bad with the good. I talked with one of those friends for about half an hour last night. We've been reading each other's blogs for a few months now, but it had been over 15 years since we'd actually spoken. It was nice to catch up.
Nevertheless, when I got a completely random email from a guy my parents' age who lived in the neighborhood where I grew up and was preparing the soft sell that comes before the hard sell of any lame business opportunity, I decided the forum was still a bit too public. I took down my email address and other contact information. I won't be posting pictures of my kids. Anyone who doesn't know that I'm married doesn't care anyway. Or else I don't care that they care.
I'm somewhat neurotic about closing the blinds in my house when it gets dark. I don't know if it came before or after the night I was bringing the garbage cans in from the curb, and as I was walking into the garage, looked at the neighbors' house to discover their 15-year-old girl removing her shirt in front of her bedroom window. With the blinds open. I don't know if she had a bra on underneath or not, because I didn't wait to find out. But I wondered afterward whether it was with intent or naivete that she was undressing in front of the window.
There are certain things I don't care who knows about me. Many of them are on this blog. There are other things I'd just as soon keep to myself. And then there are the things that I wish people would keep to themselves, but they don't. Apparently it just never occurs to some people to close the blinds. Probably the same people who go around having unprotected sex but act surprised when they're pregnant or diagnosed with a STD.