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i heart facebook
by reem al-omari (@Reemawi)
9.12.07
pop culture

About a year ago, I got talked into creating a MySpace account.

I created it, put up a few pictures, added about four people as friends and left it at that.

I tried to personalize it the way the cool users of MySpace do, but I just didn't have the HTML skills to do so. Besides, I had a life. After a socially fruitless while, I decided to take the pictures down and change my favorite quote to just "yeah".

I was done with MySpace; it had done nothing for me. I didn't have any more friends than without it, and my social life hadn't been enriched in any way since creating the account. The people I cared enough to socialize with were just a phonecall away.

Through MySpace I'd found one friend from high school I'd lost touch with. The few times I tried to find other people I actually wanted to know again on MySpace, they weren't registered users.

So after a few months, I packed my bags and left MySpace... well... empty.

I'd heard of Facebook. I got a few invitations from people I barely talk to to join Facebook for quite some time but resisted the temptation if you wanna call it that. I did pretty good in keeping my opinion solid about cyber socializing despite the multiple requests to change my mind-- that it's a waste of time, and an activity that should be reserved for keg party group announcements and teenagers to communicate with each other in their texting lingo.

My thought was that I'd tried MySpace and knew all I needed to know about socializing in cyberspace. I wasn't interested in doing it through any other web site. If the people inviting me to sign up for Facebook really valued my presence in their lives, they'll just have to call me was my philosophy.

I had no idea that such web sites are like countries... each with its own culture and quirks, with some cooler than others.

Less than a week ago, I got an invitation from an old friend to join Facebook. I grew up with this friend, and though we hadn't really been in touch regularly since we hit puberty and I moved overseas, I decided to humor her and join Facebook for her sake. Also for the sake of the old days when we played Barbies and the time we shared a birthday party, dressed as twin princesses drenched in pink.

I had no idea what I was getting myself into.

In real life, I on average socialize with maybe eight people total in person. That includes BFF's, mere acquaintances, and even work friends. I'm obviously no social butterfly.

Since joining Facebook less than a week ago, I've gone from someone who hates the idea of making and keeping friends through lifeless and dry introductions, to someone who checks their Facebook account countless times throughout the day to see what each of my now 16-- and growing-- Facebook and real life friends are up to. I've found that most of the people I couldn't find on MySpace, were all just waiting for me to find them on Facebook.

I've found friends from elementary school, long lost relatives scattered in every corner of the world, a group dedicated to just the Al-Omari family, and the joy of having a cyber social life.

On Facebook I'm enjoying Walls, Super Walls and Fun Walls to write messages and post pictures on, along with daily quizzes, pictures and music videos. All that and more without the need for HTML smarts.

In just a shade under a week, I have obtained 16 names to call "friends" on Facebook. Though that's nothing compared to the numbers of friends these same people have on their lists, I still feel like I've enhanced my social life. I have gotten in touch with people I had lost through moving and lack of updated contact info, who shared parts of my life I had left behind, but hadn't forgotten.

I don't know if this friend list will grow much bigger than just a few more people. I'm realistic and know myself enough to know that I'll never be the person with more than one page of friends to sift through. Thanks to Facebook, however, my minuscule group of friends grew quite a bit for someone like me in record time.

I heart Facebook for bringing me together with the now grown up kids I grew up and played with along with the relatives too far away to know in any other way.

Now if I can just control the obssession that comes with a Facebook account, things will be quite awesome in cyberspace.


ABOUT REEM AL-OMARI

Reem lives and writes about it. She thinks that's what writers do, anyway. If it's not, then she also has a degree in journalism under her belt, along with the titles of reporter, editor (in chief, even) and, of course, opinion columnist.

more about reem al-omari

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COMMENTS

juli mccarthy
9.14.07 @ 11:22a

Something weird happened this last week, and everyone I know suddenly started or refreshed their Facebook accounts.

I like Facebook; it has some fun applications, though using them encourages you to spam your friends, an option that can be tricky to avoid. I still prefer LiveJournal for really keeping up with everyone, though.

alex b
9.15.07 @ 6:06p

I'm hideously addicted to Facebook. Especially the darn Pirates application. (Uh, it bribed me into throwing bombs at all my friends for level-ups).

reem al-omari
9.15.07 @ 11:14p

Oh my God! Those applications just add to the addiction! I'm in love with the music and music video applications... PLUS I'm in love with the soccer ones. I repeat, I absolutely heart facebook.



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