Michigan Radio's Political Analyst Jack Lessenberry has been spending time on Facebook and he's not so sure about how social social-networking is.
I have a theory about all these social networking sites. They are the real al-Qaeda plot to destroy western civilization, a brilliant one. No more inefficient blowing up of single buildings.
They have found a way, through Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Plaxo, LinkedIn and god knows whatever else there is, to paralyze virtually everyone under the age of thirty. Within a few years, they'll just be able to waltz in and finish us off.
Even if they are not a plot, I suspect these things are going to do us in anyway. Without any doubt they are the biggest time-wasters in history. If you aren't of the Facebook generation, fear not.
Don't worry if you don't understand this stuff. I am not of that generation either, but have fearlessly taken a Facebook safari to explain it to you. Actually, I got into Facebook only because I wanted to read something, and the only way to do that was to sign up.
I put down my name and date of birth because I thought I had to. Within no time, I was deluged by notices that people wanted to be my Facebook friend. I ignored these, until someone's feelings were hurt. Okay. I pressed the button. I had my first Facebook friend. Then I got another. And another. I wrote a column about how silly this was, and got more. Finally I decided, okay. Since this doesn't mean anything to me, anybody who wants to can be my "friend."
So once a week, I would add on all these people. I did hear from two old enough to know better whom I had lost touch with and was happy to hear from. "Send me a e-mail," I told them. I don't want to "write on your wall." I did write on a wall once, telling a fellow middle-aged person that a close mutual friend was ill.
She thanked me, and told me, "Do you know everyone in the world can see what you write on someone's wall?" That was that.
Next, kids started complaining I didn't have any pictures of myself on Facebook. Darn right. I already knew that my best friend's daughter, who is unable to find the time to get it together for nursing school, had pasted 82 pictures of herself on Facebook.
I don't know how to put a picture of myself on Facebook and refuse to learn. So I called someone who did.
Thanks to her, the official World War II portrait of Joseph Stalin is on my Facebook page. A Presbyterian minister in California said that he liked the mustache, but thought I had gained weight.
However, all this went too far when boatloads of strangers wished me Happy Birthday. Big Brother Facebook had reminded them to do that. So I fixed my profile to conform more closely with Uncle Joe's. My birthday is now Dec. 21, 1879, thank you very much.
And to all my 428 Facebook friends who made this column possible, I'd just like to say this: Don't ever ask me to twitter. In my world, middle-aged men don't "tweet."
And that isn't about to change.