Although I don’t post on it often, I am quite a fan of Facebook. It’s allowed me to get back in touch with a bunch of people from my past, which is always an iffy proposition.
I sent a personal message to a guy who lived on the same college dormitory floor as me back in 1967. I’d had zero contact with him for almost 44 years. “Hey, Chuck, what’s happening? I don’t know if you remember me, but you and I lived on the third floor of Toad Hall back in ’67,” I wrote. He replied, “Of course I remember you… and your show on WLFM (the campus radio station). In fact, I remember when you did the sound effects of me walking down the hall with my corduroy pants legs rubbing together. I remember thinking it was pretty funny!” Chuck was right. Although I had long forgotten doing that bit, his mentioning it triggered a personal blast from the past…when men wore corduroy jeans!
A couple of years ago I sent a personal message to Marcia, a woman whom I thought might be the gal who was my first “serious” girlfriend (I’d even saved her life once). Expecting her to gush over reconnecting with me, her tepid reply stated, “Yes, I am Marcia. We dated for a while when I lived in Arlington Heights, Illinois. Yes, we graduated together.” Wow.
Most galling, though, was when I contacted Nancy, a woman I went to school with from the third grade all the way through high school. We were in dozens of classes together. She was one of the really popular, cheerleader types. I wasn’t, but Nancy used to say hello in the hallways and call me by my first name.
“Hi, Nancy. How ya doing after all these years?” I wrote.
Weeks later came a response, “I am sorry but I have no idea who you are. You have obviously mistaken me for someone else. Good luck.”
As I write this I have 1,149 Facebook friends, 900 of whom I have probably never met. They can be divided into four basic groups. The first includes my family, personal friends, and past and current co-workers. The second, and by far the largest, bunch comprises those who listened to me on San Diego rock radio between 1973 and 2002. Lots of parents used to tune in with their kids. Cool! Another big chunk of my friends are musicians, mostly from San Diego, although some are “aliens.” Finally, many of my newest Facebook friends are listeners of 760 KFMB’s “Rick Roberts Show,” where I’m heard on weekday afternoons. These folks are hard-working conservative Republican Christians. That’s a nice contrast to my crazy, left-wing atheist musician friends.
As much fun as Facebook is, it still lost millions of members over the past year. There’s probably a new Facebook-like invention out there, and IT’s probably already obsolete.
Friend me at facebook.som/jim.mcinnes.