Facebook, Everyone!

I’m all for technology and all the new devices and programs that make living in this century exciting and challenging. However, there are a few things that I have been reluctant to embrace and some have taken me a long time to even tackle. For instance blogging bores me and I wonder about the people who constantly blog, day and night, night and day, every little factoid about their lives dribbled on text for the world to read. I figure if anyone wants to know what I do every second of the day, they can either pay me for the information or just come right out and marry my ass.

Another new age phenomenon is Twitter, I must admit I don’t know much about it, and until now I have not been that excited about learning any more about it. What I do know is that it seems like Ashton Kushner owns the site or at least will own the site if he reaches just one more user (and well I do like him), so maybe I will give it a shot.

All these social networking sites, baffle me a bit, don’t get me wrong, in early 2002 I tried the gay social networking sites, the ones that seemed to explode on the internet overnite and connect gay men all over the planet, those sites however have had less than sterling reputations in the cyber world. Accused of simply being hookup sites for sex between lonely horny gay men and of course the “ rumor” that the rise of new age drugs for gay men like Crystal Meth, found their common ground in these sites as well.

I wont mention them by name, but I’m sure you can all guess which ones they are. I mean you’ll never find your kindergarten teacher on any of these sites. Other sites like MySpace never intrigued me much, I mean after hearing my teenage niece and her bff’s talk about it incessantly, I figured what the hell do I need to be doing on a site with my niece and five million other juvenile delinquents (sorry sis) talking about makeup and sextexting.

A recent survey suggest that I may not be alone, recent high-profile media coverage suggests that a large percentage of the US population participates in online social networking and microblogging, more than half of Americans (51%) do not use Twitter or participate in either of the two largest social networking sites – MySpace and Facebook -according to a recent Harris Poll from Harris Interactive.

However a funny thing happened recently, I was checking my email as usual and I found an email from an old lover asking me to join this thing called Facebook. I had briefly heard about it but did not know anything about it. To my amazement it has turned out to be a great resource for contacting people I lost track of and for reconnecting and rebuilding some bridges I thought I had burned.

Who by and when Facebook was founded is under dispute in Federal Court, the common story is that it was founded by Mark Zuckerberg and the site is estimated to be worth up to $1 billion, yes that’s billion with a B. Over the past year, Facebook has gained a huge amount of popularity and is now considered to be the second most popular site in the US competing with MySpace neck and neck.

In the U.S. alone, total minutes spent on social networking sites has increased 83 percent year-over-year. In fact, total minutes spent on Facebook increased nearly 700 percent year-over-year, growing from 1.7 billion minutes in April 2008 to 13.9 billion in April 2009, making it the No. 1 social networking site when ranked by total minutes for the month.

For the gay community it can represent many different ideas and serve in many different functions. For example, Social networks keep gay people from having the same, uncomfortable conversation over and over again by coming out on Facebook. For others in the gay social web connections, facebook is just for your friends and close associates. The other is that it’s an online Pokegay and that you should collect as many as possible. Both are valid, but only one will help you get laid. The whole pokegay thing is a bit weird to me, the whole ‘poking’ thing is useless, unless you know, its in person. Why not just go to Adam4Adam if you wana get laid.

One aspect of Facebook that is a bit depressing is the aspect of asking someone to be your friend or sending an invitation and no one shows up -ouch! There are new protocols and etiquette that one must adhere to, however these do’s and don’ts I believe just kinda slow down the purpose of finding some long lost lover or friend. Of course there is the question to be posed, what if you don’t want to be found. Well then my dear don’t post your info or picture on the net, Everything on the internet is public. If you don’t want your mother seeing that photo of you in drag, then do not post it my dear. All in all, I love the site and I have reunited with so many people, my 5th grade best friend (he’s still oblivious as to how cute he is), my high school drama teacher, cousins I hate, cousins I love and old lovers I look up just to see if there fat.

Well its the truth, I enjoy the idea of scanning the depths of your memories for people you wish you could connect with again and then having the ability to do so.

By: Rey Torres