Facebook for Moms, 101

I’m not 100% sure what prompted me to register, but on Sunday, I took the plunge and created a Facebook page. My first “wall post” was from infant Facebooker, Susan C., at 11:37 p.m. central.

“LOL You should go to bed, before you know it we will be twittering to one another. I joined tonight.”

I listed “trying out Web 2.0 with Susan C.” as one of my activities on my Facebook profile. The twitter reference (www.twitter.com) was a joke (I think). I do have a twitter account, in the spirit of trying out some of these ideas. And, as you see here, I’ve created a blog page.

I’m trying out Facebook, Twitter, Jott (www.jott.com), bloggling, feed readers, texting, webcasting and new things to come, I’m sure, because experience, in this instance, is by far the best teacher. Reading about other kids’ Facebook and MySpace pages was tedious and technical or scary and sensationalized. How will I ever know if jotting works or if I want a twitter network of people to “shout out to” during the day? Why does my son use texting instead of email and his cell phone?

(Reading a little helps. Try Anne Reed’s “A Trial Lawyer’s Guide to Social Networking Sites.” It’s readable and more general than the title suggests. Look in the right hand column of the blog.)

Social networking tools (that’s what these are collectively called) promise to enhance social interaction. Of course, some worry that it can also inhibit social interaction. Yesterday’s NYTimes took issue with the promise. “Compared with other forms of human interaction, online social networking is really not all that social.”

“People visit each other’s MySpace pages and Facebook profiles at various hours of the day, posting messages and sending e-mail back and forth across the digital void. It’s like an endless party where everybody shows up at a different time and slaps a yellow Post-it note on the refrigerator.”

LOL.

That was my precise experience in the twenty-four hours I’d had a Facebook account. In addition to Susan C. I had Post-its from fellow hockey moms Christine K. and Nikki L. I read their posts to each other and learned that Notre Dame was going to the Frozen Four (and that Nikki’s son was disappointed he couldn’t play because of an injury). I heard from fellow MRA board members Reggie M. and Kim S. You can see that Reggie and I posted on each other’s walls about the upcoming State Supreme Court race (he supports Louis Butler). You’d also see a post from childhood friend, Mary Pat H., whose step-daughters set up a Facebook page for her a year ago.

Silicon Valley is bringing back ‘live’ socializing to social networking. I’m not one to question the product development folks in the Valley, but my first impulse is that I won’t have much use for 3-D virtual chat rooms in my virtual social life.

What I like about these tools is that I don’t have to schedule one more face-to-face interaction. Like most moms around me, I’m already juggling my own professional calendar as well as my three children’s and my husband’s time outside of work. I hate scheduling more than matching socks, which I put off until no one has any socks to wear.

Instead, Susan C. and I can have a “LOL” across time and space. Christine K. can tell me that my photos made her “homesick” four hours after I’ve posted them. For my busy friends and colleagues, it’s already turning out to be a nice way to keep in touch. Come join us!

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