Andrea's column: Hooking upIt has been six months since I accepted some friend requests on Facebook and got started as a member of social media.
By: Andrea Langworthy, Rosemount Town Pages
It has been six months since I accepted some friend requests on Facebook and got started as a member of social media. Six months since I began searching for former schoolmates and friends from long ago.
I located the daughter of a man who served during World War II with my father. She still lives in Nebraska. On many occasions, my family went to visit hers or they came to Minnesota to stay with us. All that ended when my parents were divorced but I never forgot the good times we had as kids and I wanted to relive them with her.
Not long after that, a boy with whom I went to grade school offered a friend request to me. He uses a nickname now so I wasn’t sure I knew him. I sent a behind-the-scenes message suggesting he had the wrong person. He responded with an apology but mentioned the name of our school. “It’s you! I wondered what happened to you,” I wrote back.
A short time later, I connected with another boy who attended the same school. I was able to see pictures of some of his other friends along the side of his page. Two had grown up in my old neighborhood. I wondered if it was akin to poaching if I clicked on their names and sent friend requests to them. I did it anyway.
I have become reacquainted with many of my chums from the Catholic all-girl high schools I attended. We are nearly 50 years older but it is amazing that everyone still has a glimmer of their teenage self. With some it’s the eyes. Others, the smile. Or the smart and witty way they pen their posts.
I used to dismiss Facebook as a way to keep an emotional arm’s length from those with whom we should have a more personal relationship. But getting together is hard. Especially, with someone in another state or country.
Finding people from our past can be difficult, too. But with Facebook membership estimated to reach one billion this year, our long-lost friend is probably only a quick click away.
Others may take a bit longer to find. Like the friend who came to mind last week. She and her family lived two doors away from my then-husband and me in New Jersey. In the nearly 40 years since, we lost touch but I wanted to change that.
Try as I might, I could not locate her. But one of her daughters, I reasoned, might have a page. No luck with the older of the two but the younger one did. As I clicked on her name, it hit me: I had become a Facebook stalker. I looked over my shoulders before scanning the list of the young woman’s friends.
When I saw her mother’s picture with a different last name, I wondered if what I was doing was against some social media law. Ignoring my guilty conscience, I clicked on my old friend’s picture. She was with her grandchildren. Her eyes still twinkle. So does her smile. I hope we can still be friends.