Monday, July 26, 2010

10 years of Facebook (unedited)

While watching co-workers/acquaintances question/debate the merits of a financial appeal via Facebook, I vowed to track the evolution of my relationships with 10 people during the next 10 years. Here were the rules I set three months ago, when I dreamed up this idea:

In the coming weeks I'll detail my experiences with Facebook and attempt to track 20 people I'm connected to via Facebook. Every spring I will compare and contrast my Facebook experiences and the acquaintances I have made, assuming:
A. doesn't crash and burn, taking my blog postings with it
B. Facebook doesn't become as passe as Myspace
C I live another 10 years
D. I don't get so lazy I stop blogging

I thought I wanted to track 20 people, but I changed my mind. I'm already getting lazy. Instead I will track 10 people, nine chosen by me, one at random, sort of. I won't track people I'm related to or close friends I've known for a long time. Here's the list, the first nine are alphabetical by first name. The random person is in position 10.

1. Anne: Chip's co-worker in Stinktown. We met once, in 2007, and it was a short meeting. She was dating another of Chip's co-workers at the time. Not sure why we connected via Facebook, other than she had to have initiated it. I almost never send friend requests. She is divorced, no children, in her mid 30s and no longer dating the co-worker. We trade occasional online quips.

2. Caleb: A former manager at the Halloween attraction I have worked at during the past four years, we cross paths a few times per year at group get togethers. He left the amusement park that operates the haunted attraction this year, so I won't see him this fall. He is in his late 20s, never married, no children and owns a home. He has political sensibilities and studied environmental issues in college. Despite his age, he isn't an internet junkie. He rarely posts updates or information on Facebook.

3. Chris: A newspaper colleague who is leaving my prestigious company at the end of the week, for a better gig at a small Florida newspaper. He digs journalism, use to work in construction and seems to like the "new media" facets of journalism. (I hate the term new media. It's bullshit.) Despite his love of new media, he doesn't seem to be a regular via Facebook. I predict I will see him again after he leaves for Florida, but maybe just once. He and his longtime girlfriend have a daughter.

4. Erin: my girlfriend's former neighbor, the two are friends. As I recall, they knew each other prior to being neighbors, so that's how they wound up living in the same duplex. Erin is a waitress/bartender, has career aspirations in the medical profession, is going to school to achieve those, is in her late 20s and never married, to the best of my knowledge. If she has children, that's news to me, too. I use to see her periodically, but that ain't happening now. She doesn't seem to be Facebooking as much these days.

5. Heidi: She was a colleague at the newspaper, in ad sales. I've written about her in this blog, most notably about her divorce during the past year. She has family in Minnesota, but lives in Los Angeles now. She's in her 40s and has no children. I was the lone editorial person on the big charter boat cruise she had five or so years ago to celebrate that 40th birthday. Man, time flies.

6. Natalie: I couldn't resist picking somebody I know through my old newspaper beat. She's a busy person, a bit of a socialite, married and a parent of three. She turns 40 in September. Her Facebook postings chronicle a busy, colorful life, and I wouldn't expect that to change in the next decade.

7. Rachel: She will represent my years at the bingo hall. She has worked there for several years, is in her mid 20s, is easy to get along with and liked by everybody. She has worked in banking in the past and took classes for nursing, but she's still not sure where her career path will lead her. She doesn't use Facebook a lot, so I may not be privy to many details of her life unless I continue to return to the bingo hall in the winters. Never married, no kids.

8. Scott: He's a young kid who loves photography, joined me at the haunted house last year, seemed to flake out on the job at the end of the season and is now pursuing some sort of photo/video career. In the meantime he's celebrating a new job he landed today, with Staples. He's quite young to be developing his own visual arts business, but if he's good enough at the craft, why not build his own business instead of working for someone else. Not sure if I'll be crossing paths with him again. Safe bet that he has never been married and has no children -- he's 21 years old -- but I can't guarantee it.

9. Taylor: He rose from the ranks of "actor" like me to become a manager at the haunted attraction. It's a demanding job that isn't nearly as much fun as screaming at teenage girls, but it probably pays better and you get to spend a lot of the night socializing when you're not putting out a metaphorical fire. He is in his late 20s, has never been married and has no children. He works in a warehouse, which is a bit disappointing, because he went to school for computer design or something like that and isn't using his degree for a paycheck, obviously. Perhaps he's happy with that, I don't know. He also loves photography and had or has a small photography business. I think he and an ex-girlfriend started a business. I'm not sure if he pursues gigs now. He has ties to Minnesota, but is not tied to Minnesota, it seems. He has a girlfriend at the moment, so maybe he is tied to Minnesota.

10. Larry: After my Facebook method randomly chose my niece and my cousin, it chose Larry, a classmate who I don't think I've seen since my high school days. If I saw him at the 10-year high school reunion, I don't remember it. If I saw him at the Catholic school five years later, I don't remember it. I didn't go to the 20-year reunion in 2008 and doubt I'm going to any further reunions. I'm bored with them. Larry recently got married. I'm not sure if it's his first marriage or not, but it appears both he and his wife have children from previous relationships. We were friends back in our school days, but not great friends, and he turned 40 earlier this year. I don't know what he does for a living.

There they are, my Facebook 10. There were a few interesting people that I would have liked to include, but 10 is enough.

Next summer I'll try to revisit the 10 of them and determine what has changed in their lives.

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