Friday, December 20, 2013

I've Created a Monster

I have for years been after Walt to get on Facebook.  I mainly wanted him to join Facebook because he always has questions and suppositions about how it works, since I'm on it so often, and I figured the best way for him to understand a lot of the questions he had was for him to actually do it himself.

He's been telling me for years that he is going to do it when he has time.  Walt is an engineer and he must study everything from every angle to make sure he's making the right decision, unlike me, who barrels through things like a bull in a china shop and worries about the consequences later.  For example, since I was on the internet toward the very beginning, when nobody else was on the Internet (that I knew anyway), it never even entered my head to protect my privacy.  To be cautious about letting my address or my phone number or even the city where I lived to known.

By the time that everybody was on the Internet and all anybody could talk about was internet privacy and protecting all of your information, heck, I was splashed all over everywhere, so what was the point in trying to be private now?

The difference between me and Walt on the Internet is like the difference in time between before and after Watergate.  Life changed after Watergate but for those who behaved in a certain way before Watergate, it was too late.  Not that there is necessarily anything wrong with that, of course.

ANYWAY, I was very sleepy last night and went to bed at 10 a.m., about 2 hours earlier than usual.  The way my sleep goes, I usually sleep about 4 hours on the couch and then move to the recliner and sleep until time to wake up.  So when I staggered off the couch and moved into the family room, I assumed it ws around 4 a.m.  But it wasn't.  I had slept my usual 4 hours--and it was only 2 a.m.

My recliner is by a bookcase on which rests my iPad and since I wasn't immediately ready to go back to sleep, I checked e-mail and Facebook.  When I opened Facebook, imagine my surprise when I had a friend request from Walt.   Apparently about an hour after I went to sleep he finally decided to join Facebook.
Well, that took care of sleep for the next two hours. I had to get up, come to my desktop, check out his page, see that he had only two friends -- me and a former co-worker, so I spent the next hour or so going through all 1,037 people on my friend list and check which ones he knew and might like to have as his friend.
When he checked his mail in the morning he had over 80 friend requests!  I kept checking his page to see if he added anybody, but each time I checked, he had not. He said he was afraid to log into Facebook because he didn't know what was going to happen.

I went off to lunch #3 for the week and figured he would surely do something while I was gone, but when I checked after I got home, he now had 3 friends.   He had added Jeri, but the other 80+ requests just sat there.

I took the iPad down to Logos with me today, now that I can use the downtown wifi to get on the internet, and though it must have been one of the busiest days we've had in a long time, I still found time to check Walt's Facebook page every now and then.  By the time I left the office, there were no new friends.  I told him that we would have Facebook 101 class after dinner.

So after dinner, he brought his computer downstairs and we started going through it, with me explaining everything.  

WFB1.jpg (44155 bytes)

He finally started confirming all the friend requests.  About 75 of them.  He's still nervous about all this, but he now has about 75 friends, and after awhile he began to understand how the whole "friend" thing worked and we moved on to other things.  I realized that I've been on Facebook so long that I can't even remember how I did such-and-such any more.  When I joined Facebook nobody I knew was on it and I actually joined a group called "am I the older person on Facebook?" and I was the oldest person in that group.  In the intervening years, of course, it's all changed and everybody is on Facebook (especially now that Walt is!) and I am that much older and that much less able to explain things clearly, so I'm hoping that the engineer in Walt is going to help him figure out the things he wants to learn about it.

I knew that things were going better when he asked me something and then wailed, "I'm trying to stop!"
Ah yes, those gremlins have started penetrating his soul.  He will never be as addicted to it as I am because he is the sensible one and someone in this family has to be, but I can see that he will soon "understand" and will begin to build his own world.  He's already initiated a chat (I never use chat any more) with someone that he knows better than I do.

I feel like I've just helped him take the training wheels off.

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