One interesting thing that has come from my accidental foray into the Facebook world (still blaming you, DAN), is that my devotion to the ideas of Joss Whedon and Dr. Who has grown. Sure, I could devote myself to quantum theory, but that’s not as much fun. (Let’s see Sherry and Andrew try to come down on one side or the other of THAT argument!)
You see, Facebook, as part of the morbid fascination I find in it, offers me proof that there are an infinite number of dimensions/universes/worlds out there. Proof that every decision or action creates forking paths, and that this me, and the me I was, and the me I will be, can only explore one path at a time.
Facebook gives me a glimpse into the other paths, too. Paths I was once part of, or paths of people I once knew. Sometimes what, where, and who those people are now makes sense; sometimes there are small surprises; and some of them have become what I never would have expected.
A lot of people I knew in high school have popped up, ranging from dear friends to people I never really liked. For the most part, I have lost touch with the friends, but some of them have remained close to each other. Hell, some of them have married each other. Diverging paths, certainly.
I get to see what kind of dynamics I might be involved in had we stayed close, or wonder what our friendships would be like now, how they would have evolved in the span of 15 years. I have wondered a bit, too, what it would be like to pick up a friendship with a 15-year break in the middle. It’s much harder to imagine that. What would we talk about? I guess because, if there was really that much there to support the friendship, and if our lives were really meant to remain intertwined, they would have done.
Facebook has also allowed me to plot out the path my life has taken in a nice, visual way. Here are friends, aquaintances, co-workers… And the people I can see remind me of the people who aren’t there (either because they don’t have Facebook profiles or for whatever reason). Man, my life has taken me in some interesting directions. LinkedIn has a bit of the same effect, but not in the same scope, I guess since, overall, my career hasn’t been that long yet, and because it’s only focused on one segment of my social sphere: co-workers.
Of course, that strangest of all social phenomena has occurred, too: the crossing of the streams. People I know who have met each other through me, or people I know who happen to know each other (or used to). I’m a lot more comfortable with that than I used to be, which is probably a good thing, since social networking makes it ever more likely to occur. The sticky issue that has replaced it is family. Specifically, how much access to what I consider my “real” life do I grant them. For now, there’s a reason I removed my website URL from my profile…