In 1994, I was at a dinner party . . . Well, what passed for a dinner party in my life in 1994; a friend had made spaghetti and garlic bread, and spread a tablecloth on the floor.
And somebody — no, not just somebody, my old high school boyfriend — asked if I had an email address.
So I said . . . (Wait until you hear what I said. It's pretty epic.)
I said, "I don't need an email address. I have real friends."
That's what I said, all right. I think I was trying to sound cool. . . . It was probably all I could do in the moment to refrain from saying, "No, I don't have an email address, and neither does my new boyfriend who isn't anything like you. And also, whatever. I mean, whatever."
Anyway, I'm admitting this now because I want you to know that you shouldn't listen to me when I talk about social media. (Or boyfriends, probably.)
If I don't like something — if I get all patronizing and sneery about it — it's pretty much guaranteed to be a ginormous, civilization-changing success. The extent to which I roll my eyes over a new idea is probably the extent to which I'm going to love it later.
I was terrible about Facebook.
Not only did I not want to be on Facebook, I was insufferable to anyone who tried to recruit me.
I had a friend at work a few years ago who used to come in every morning, talking about the amazing things that were happening on Facebook. "If you were my friend on Facebook," he'd say, "you'd have seen the awesome photo I posted of a deer."
"I don't need to be your friend on Facebook," I shouted one day. (I think I actually shouted.) "I'm your friend in real life! I sit four feet away from you for eight hours a day! And also, I don't like deer. Thanks for giving me one more reason not to be on Facebook."
One day, I signed up for Facebook and friended him while he was lecturing me about how great it was.
I signed up for Facebook out of spite.
Love it. Kind of hate it. (For all the usual reasons: Religion, politics, pokes.) But mostly I love it.
Facebook has let me reconnect with so many people I never meant to lose track of in the first place. People from school. From old jobs. From before I had kids.
I like Twitter even more, and I was dead sure that it wasn't going to last.
I caved in and joined Twitter before Facebook, but I just couldn't see the point of it. . . . I remember saying, "It's like getting really short press releases from your friends. Press releases where they spell things wrong because they're running out of characters."
The thing that blew Twitter right open for me was not following my friends. Or not only following my friends. I like my friends enough to allow them more than 140 characters.
On Twitter, I like to follow complete strangers whom I respect or who make me laugh, mostly celebrities, authors and journalists who would never talk to me in real life.
I'm telling you all this because I wrote about Google+ on Sunday — about what a crushing bore it is. There's nobody on Google+, I said. It's pointless to start over if you're in Facebook. Who needs another social media habit, etc.
Well, don't listen to me.
The fact that I think Google+ is useless might be one of the best possible indicators that it's going to succeed.
I thought that email was for nerds with bad social skills. I thought Facebook was for people who never made friends after high school. That Twitter was for poseurs and wannabes.
Get yourself a Google+ account.
This thing's going to be huge.
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