In 2004, a much younger fellow reporter showed me her Facebook profile photo and told me about the new interactive website that her college friends were using. The photo was just of Nicoleís eye, and I thought she was pretty sly.
Thereafter, my interest in social media piqued whenever I realized I was missing something big going on. But I drudged on in anonymity, assuring myself that I not only had college friends, but actually saw them in person and spoke to them on the phone every now and then.
My how things have changed! These days Iím waking up to see who said what the night before on my own Facebook newsfeed and Iím looking for people to Ďfriend.í Iíve even posted photos and tagged one of them.
The truth is I was forced into cyber space by default. Sometime in 2008 I bargained with my daughter that she could have a Facebook account if she permitted me access to monitor any crazies who might show up on her page. So, I had been seeing pictures of Lane with her friends and staying in tune with her life, and through her, too, my son, since they were Ďfriends.í My fateful error was critiquing this 19-year-oldís outfits on a couple of occasions last fall, after which time she promptly changed her password and cut me right off.
Iím not sure where my college friends are on Facebook yet; instead, I find myself reconnected with classmates in Ohio where I grew up. I can think of no other place except for a class reunion where I might learn whatever happened to so and so, and even there I canít be certain of seeing family photos and piecing together life stories.
I see that a kindergarten friend who played Batman with me during recess has become a car salesman. With another boy as Robin, I was Batwoman, of course. But I remember heated debates about this, and on some days I ended up the villain Catwoman. You can bet Batman - using his Pow! Bam! and Zonk! - always made the persuasive decision.
Facebook has compelled me to sift back through the chapters of my life and tie up some loose ends. Indeed, checking Wikipedia, I discover that Batwoman was eliminated from the comic book series when I was exactly 5, which interestingly was the same school year when sex discrimination was outlawed by the Civil Rights Act and the National Organization for Women was created.
To my horror, I also read that the Supreme Court struck down a law banning contraceptives for married couples in 1965. And because my Batman and Robin were both African Americans, Iím sure a groundbreaking article that year which compared sex discrimination with Jim Crow laws said something subliminal about our playground confusion.
With the Obamas in the White House and family planning commonplace, I canít help but say, Weíve Come A Long Way Baby. I canít wait to see where social media and Facebook sends me back to next.