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Tuesday, Jul. 22, 2014 — RUSSELL SPRINGS & JAMESTOWN, KENTUCKY — russellcounty.net
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Thoughts from the Lower 40: Face to Face(book)
In Aug. 22 Issue
Russell County News
By Wade Daffron, Columnist

Back in 1984, when I was a freshman at Western Kentucky University, I remember there was one room in one building on campus which housed something called "computers."

I remember a professor talking about how these "computers" would change the world.

They would be faster, easier, and more efficient to use than an electric typewriter (Yeah, right.), and soon people would even be able to send electronic "messages" to each other on things called "bulletin boards." (Sure.)

OK, so he was right.

A few years later, I attended a newspaper seminar where someone was talking about "digital photography."

There would be no "film" used-photographic images would be stored on a tiny "disc" or "card." (Uh-huh.)

I guess he was right, too.

Back a few weeks ago, my then coworker (and spiritual guru) Kim Taylor told me I should go on-line and sign up for "Facebook."

She said "just about everybody" is on it, and it's a great way to find old friends, schoolmates, keep in contact with family members, etc. (Whatever.)

On her lunch break, she would be laughing and smiling as she checked her Facebook.

"You really need to do this," she said. "I think you would enjoy it."

"No, never!" I stubbornly refused.

She leaned across my desk and spoke these prophetic words:

"You WILL end up on Facebook, Wade Daffron." (I knew she meant business whenever she spoke my full name.)

See, I'm kinda weird. (Kinda?)

The more "popular" something is, the more I tend to avoid it.

Like back in high school when "everybody" loved REO Speedwagon and Journey, and they all walked around in their three-quarter sleeved concert t-shirts (which are worth like, $200 now).

Me-I proudly wore a faded Beatles shirt.

Anarchy 'R Me.

More and more people kept saying, "You really ought to get on Facebook."

When I tried to defend myself by saying I was fully "hip and with-it" by having a Myspace account, my super-cool, scenester friend Holly (who always knows the next-best-thing before anybody else) explained that Facebook is "poppin'."

(That's a good thing, right? I've heard Bill O'Reilly use that term, so...)

I fully expected my grandmother to call and ask why I hadn't joined Facebook yet.

I even told someone I may create my own site called "(Insert word for rear end)book"-where people get on there and insult each other, or just say nasty things back and forth.

You know, kinda like topix.

Anyway, my wife Renee' came home one day and she had created a Facebook account.

"You should really try it," she said. "That way we can talk."

(Silly me-I thought maybe face-to-face conversation would be OK).

"What is up with this Facebook stuff?" I asked her. "Have you been talking to Kim Taylor?"

"YEAH!" Renee' said, "She's one of my friends on Facebook!"

Grrrrrrrr.

To my abject horror, Renee' had set up an account for me, but told me I would have to finish the procedure by verifying it.

Uh-uh, no way.

If I have avoided eating vegetables all my life, surely I could escape the Facebook phenomena.

I finally got on-line to verify it and you know, just kinda look around.

Three hours later, I was perched (literally) in a chair in front of the computer-frantically typing away.

"OH, MY GOSH!" I kept saying over and over.

There was an old friend from college.

There was a girl who broke my heart...twice.

There was a guy I used to play music with.

There was a former coworker.

There was a friend who lives just up the road.

EVERYBODY IS ON FACEBOOK!

I started telling people things like, "OH MY GOSH! Have you seen this Facebook thing? It's incredible!"

They would reply with something like, "Yeah, I've been on there for months."

I typed in the name of everyone I could think of, and just about every time, I would find them, "add" them, or send a message of desperation like, "Hey, are you the guy who used to steal everyone's towels from the shower in the dorm?" or "Are you the girl I stopped dating because you ate a raw tomato in front of me?"

(I don't think I've got a reply back from that one yet...)

I've even made up names like, "Sir Gilby McFoot-Foot"-searched for, found, and added them as a "friend."

It may sound odd, but I've even made a "goal' for myself to try to have 25 "friends" on Facebook.

I'm giving myself the somewhat reasonable goal of 48 years to get those 25 friends.

I'm thinking that even if I use family members, I can probably get at least 11 friends over the next seven years...if I beg.

Some people have like, 400 friends, and I'm wondering how they would remember that many.

At Christmas, do they send "Merry Christmas" greetings to 400 friends?

(I have WAY too much spare time on my hands because I sit and think/worry about things like that.)

And I don't mean to sound like a bad, TV preacher, but I fully intend to read, look over, or respond to every message I receive on Facebook.

(Like I'm going to get that many...)

If you know me, it may be a while before you get a response-which will either be one word, or four pages of rambling.

I'm trying to use Facebook "constructively."

Sure, it's great to talk about "wicked hot" peanuts (that's PEANUTS) and stuff, but I'm considering things like "Facebook Rants," or "Music/Movie Suggestions That No One But Me Would Appreciate."

Maybe I can sorta use Facebook as an "extension" of this column.

On-line, I may even be tempted to use colorful language such as "Darn," "Heck," and the popular, "Fudgesicles!" (When things go really bad.)

One of my Facebook friends described the social networking site as a "family."

That kinda makes sense.

At night (or as the sun is coming up) as I am "logging out," it's almost like a Walton's episode ("Goodnight, John Boy, Goodnight, Mary Ellen...") as we all bid each other adieu.

Or maybe it's like Cheers, where "everybody knows your name."

I'm sure Kim Taylor (and numerous others), and sitting back and saying, "SEE? I told you!"

Yes, I like Facebook (and pie), and I'm sorta (?) addicted.

Not that I would tell anyone..

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The Times Journal is a weekly newspaper issued on Thursdays. It was first published on October 13, 1949, by Andrew J. and Terry Norfleet.
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P.O. Box 190
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Russell Springs KY 42642
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Russell County News is a weekly newspaper issued on Saturdays, and is mailed free to every address in Russell County, Ky. It was first published on February 1, 1913.
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