By Katherine Kiang
KaTsZoNe
KaTsZoNe Newsletters > KaTsZoNe - Issue 32 - Facebook Madness


1 Aug 2007

Hi everyone,

Well, another month has gone by which has been like a blur!  I wonder if it's from watching cars racing by at the Grand Prix!  I did email many of you about my adventures at the Grand Prix and included some pics.  That event seems like eons ago now.  Can't believe it's actually August! 

Honestly, I didn't really know what to tell you this month.  Other than the Grand Prix and going out for dinner with some of my friends during Toronto's Summerlicious at a restaurant on King Street West called "Fred's Not Here", I don't think there is much to tell.  So, the only thing I could think of is Facebook.

Remember how addicted I was to MySpace?  Well, I've been on Facebook for a few months and that has just become "madness". 

Facebook, an internet social networking site, is just booming!  "Booming" might be an understatement!  In the last two months, the site has grown by a third to 33 million members (see "Alarm Over Facebook Predators" - http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/4148940a28.html).  You can find various like-minded people in groups, update your friends via e-mail or posting pics & have them make comments on your pics, share videos (from youtube.com or from your personal collection), read your horoscopes every day, send someone a virtual margarita or beer, write graffiti on someone's wall, and even inform your friends what your mood is that day.  You can make public or keep private lots of information including your real name, relationship status, e-mail/websites, phone numbers, etc. 

On MySpace (which is much larger than Facebook), you become "friends" with strangers.  On Facebook, most likely, you have already met those people you want to add as friends - so, they are your actual friends, acquaintances, co-workers, or schoolmates.  I have added some musicians (whom I know from MySpace) as Facebook friends, however, there are less musicians on Facebook than on MySpace.  Most of the musicians I have added have become actual friends and so, we are able to share more personal information and send e-mails to one another.

One of things I did on Facebook, just recently, is creating my first group called "KK's Mutual Admiration Society".  My co-worker/friend, Alvin, and I used to refer to ourselves as members of the Mutual Admiration Society and became presidents of each other's "fan clubs" -- LOL.  One friend, Victoria (aka Tori at work), is on Facebook, so she wanted to become an "officer" on my Group site, so, I made her a Vice Prez and at her request, gave her the title, "Official Mutual Admirer of Katherine and Alvin"!  So, if you've ever thought about creating a group or club, it's very easy to do on Facebook.  One of my friends (Chuck), created a Robbie Burns fan club and when I invited another friend to join, now, the two of them are friends.

I have three nieces on Facebook.  I probably would not know what's going on in their lives except for the fact that they are posting photos and writing a bit on Facebook.  And, I doubt I would see any pics from some of my friends if they did not post them on their Facebook site.

There are advantages and disadvantages in joining any website or group.  An advantage of joining Facebook is to maintain connections with friends and family whom one may not see or have contact with very often.  Sometimes, you might even make new friends - just like my two friends who didn't know each other before, and now they do, through me.  A disadvantage of Facebook is that you can easily become addicted to it!  Yes, it is a bit mad!  If you have access from work and school, you may crave to know what's happening with your friends and need to chat with them.  And, if you really want to know instantly whether you received any messages or comments on Facebook, you can get text messages sent to your mobile phone.  If you want your friends to know what you're up to, you can also update your status from your mobile phone.  Wonder if everyone needed to know that I fell in love with Chapman's chocolate chunk ice cream?  My friends have sent updates that they were gardening, gone biking to clear their heads, they're tired and sleeping, they've got a bad sunburn from sailing -- well, I guess you would tell your closest friends, wouldn't you?

Why has Facebook become so popular?  It's not just for "the kids" -- believe me, my friends are not all kids/youth.  Maybe, we don't seem to have time or energy to stay in touch with all the people we want to keep in touch with.  Work, family, working out, church activities,  hobbies, etc. all require lots of investment of our time.  We need to schedule appointments with friends just to chat with them over a cup of coffee, have dinner together and maybe even call them on the phone - as though we were scheduling a doctor's appointment.  Yet, we still have a need to connect with people, even though we may feel divided - physically and mentally.  So, technology has provided a way -- Facebook is a way to socialize now.  If we are limited financially, the internet is a better use of our resources.  If we are limited physically because of distance and time, messages can still get through because it doesn't matter that you are asleep and I'm still awake and I'm writing an email to you or making comments about your photo on Facebook.

The main reason I started writing my KaTsZoNe newsletter and sending it out via email was because I was tired and probably quite forgetful of what I had told my friends.  I have 48 people on my KaTsZoNe distribution list.  If all of you were on Facebook, I think I can retire as editor of KaTsZoNe...LOL.  It doesn't mean I would stop writing because you would still be able to find my blurbs in the "Notes" section of Facebook.  So, if you're tired of reading my monthly newsletter, join Facebook -- just kidding!

If nothing else except for curiosity, I hope you read up about Facebook, MySpace and social networking sites in general.  I'm not trying to talk you into joining, but, find out more about them and maybe try and visit the sites.  These new trends are making an impact on our society -- for better or for worse, I'm not sure what to tell you.  Years ago, when I first signed up on an internet dating site, some of you probably thought I was crazy and quite a risk taker...lol.  Now, I actually have friends who met their mates on those internet dating sites, so, my friends, they do work!  And, if you told me ten years ago that I would be trading stocks at home using my computer instead of calling my broker, I may have laughed till my tummy hurt!

Have a great August!  See you in September -- especially my co-workers, whom I miss very much!

Love you all,
Katherine ("KK")

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