Who are my friends on Facebook? I see thumbnail pictures -- small, usually in color, men and woman, occasionally a child's face that's probably the person's favorite picture of himself.
What are we doing on Facebook? Looking for real friends, possible lovers, someone to meet for coffee? Or promoting what we're doing?
I signed up because I wanted to find more readers for Em's Talkery, my daily blog. And, I'm finding them. I ask my new friends for comments on what I wrote about today, or yesterday, and sometimes mention what I'm working on for tomorrow.
I've been write-talking with one of my new friends -- a woman in mourning -- trying to comfort her like a mother, like a good friend -- she's sharing a little of herself with me.
I've bumped into a very energetic guy, political, passionate, knows what's real. Chatting back and forth, I see he's communicating with many different people. He's a leader. When he affirms something I've said in my blog, I feel as if I've won an award.
I've got people who are talking to me almost every day. It isn't like a phone call -- "Hello, how are you, how's the weather?" It's about me, the real me, or them, the real person responding, reacting to something I've said.
I love that.
I've got a gruff intellectual who barked at me for babbling. I barked back at him, and now we're talking about his Sci Fi stories and my novels. I have three fairly harsh dis-approvers, very real people who live on the other side of the fence. It makes me re-examine the issues and what I've said that infuriates them.
I have quite a few playwright friends. They have plays that I don't have time to read, but I see where they're heading, and comment briefly in a way that might be helpful.
I've got a rambling poetic writer pal, who's high on thoughts or wine or whatever -- it's fun, like looking out my window and watching a bird take off.
I like picking thumbnail faces of people who don't say who they are, or where they're going, or what they're doing, and asking -- often finding out more and more about them.
There's are a lot of thumbnails -- familiar faces -- show biz people I know whom I've "friended." They rarely respond, except to send me what they're promoting -- night club acts, DVds, albums, shows, parties, benefits. I usually click Facebook's RSVP box and reply -- "It sounds interesting, but I don't have time right now." Because they, like me, need an audience, and replies become an audience, and affirm what you're doing.
I answer every message, 15 ... 25 ... sometimes 40 a day.
As I'm falling asleep, I find myself reflecting on this person, that person as if they were relatives.
No doubt about it, I have a lot more readers, and a lot more friends in exactly
the way I need friends right now.