Social Media: Costco or Lost in Space?

By Piper Bayard

I took the plunge into FaceBook and Twitter this week. You computer savvy folks might well ask, “So what?” To that I would answer that when I was growing up, technology was a dishwasher that didn’t have two feet and answer to “Junior.” This was a big deal to me. So let me tell you what I found as an alien on my own planet. . . .

In the beginning, Facebook was like my first trip to Costco. So much stuff! So many people! There’s the buddy who got me into social media over by that stack of self-help books, the extended family who probably don’t remember me next to the mashed potatoes, and the “Is she really still alive?” on the chair in the pharmacy section. How cool is that? I was like a kid stumbling with wonder through Toyland.

Then it happened. I tripped over that friend of a friend I hadn’t spoken to in twenty years. The one who knows too much. The warning went off in my head. “Danger, Will Robinson!” That’s when I realized that my jaunt through surreal surprises of seemingly endless stacks of stuff might be more like one of those sci fi shows where you think you’re in paradise, only to find you’re really Lost in Space.

Allow me to explain. If you think about it, everything that ever happened is still happening if you just look from the right vantage point. For example. Anyone 20 light years out in space can look back and see exactly what you were doing twenty years ago. Sort of a creepy thought, huh? Someone could still see you TP-ing their prized, new truck on a damp night so that it would set into a “body cast,” or tying your college suitemate’s door shut to make her boyfriend have to climb out the second story window. *whistles innocently* Anyway, though such things are long past in our awareness, they’re still happening if you’re looking from the right spot in the time/space continuum.

Facebook is the same way. Sure enough. There’s Truck Boy. Wonder how long that TP stuck in the crannies between the cab and the topper? And Suitemate. Has Hell frozen over yet for her to forgive me? (That was her timeline, not mine.) I pause with trepidation. To friend request, or not to friend request? Will the memories of stolen kisses, wild road trips, and shared losses be enough renew the latent bonds of ages past? Or are there still good reasons we didn’t keep in touch? . . . What the hell? Space is supposed to be an adventure, right?