I’ve Been Friended

By Ferida Wolff

I’ve Been Friended

Okay, okay, I am finally on facebook. I was not inclined to join, but I was shamed into it by my two-year-old grandson. No, he has not been allowed to sign up quite yet. He can’t work the keypad properly, though he does pretend to.

Here is how it happened. This tiny kid, who until recently thought watching the ceiling fan spin the greatest thing in the world, was walking around with his father’s travel brush, the kind that folds in half and has soft bristles on one side and a mirror on the other. He had been observing me talk on my cell phone (yes, I have one, but don’t ask me how to use all the apps), and I could almost see him thinking. He opened the brush part way to an “L” and placed it next to his ear.

“What are you doing?” I said.

“I’m talking to Grandpa,” he said. He listened briefly, then shut the “phone” and said, “No one was home.”

My daughter asked, “Did you leave a message?”

“No,” my grandson said, and immediately put the brush back up to his ear and “dialed” again. This time, with a little prompting from his mother, he left a message: “Hello, Grandpa. This is Adam. Call me.”

He hung up but then opened the brush again and started to dial once more.

“Who are you calling now?” his mother said.

“Grandma.”

“But she’s right here,” she said. “Why are you calling?”

“Grandma is my friend,” he said.

After my daughter stopped laughing, she turned to me and said, “You’ve been friended.” My grown kids tell me I’m a dinosaur. They can’t believe that compared to several of my colleagues I am actually high tech. One of them calls to ask me to explain how to do the simplest things, like change the font on a manuscript or add a symbol to the text. I can do that. Another wondered how she could use emoticons in her emails. I told her. Small stuff, I admit, but they didn’t know how to do it, and I did.

No one as yet can follow me on Twitter. The only tweeting I do is to my pet cockatiel Eloise. I just started blogging because it is very close to my regular kind of writing. I write about my garden and the birds I love to watch in my backyard. I don’t always have someone around when an early morning neon goldfinch pops open my sleepy eyes so I share that experience on my blog. So far I only have a few comments but it doesn’t bother me; it is the sharing aspect that I like.

I am a member of some professional sites and have been asked to be an online friend to a variety of people on those. Sometimes I say yes, other times I decline.

I know it is important to network but this skill is not natural for me. I still like the idea of being a friend in person. I take the idea of friendship seriously. This online friending seems of a lighter quality. Maybe I would have less difficulty with the concept if we could “acquaintance” each other though I think, “You’ve been acquaintanced!” is a bit more cumbersome.

I know it is just a matter of time before I see an email from my grandson asking me to join him on facebook. I won’t have to think twice about it. I will press accept. And frankly, network-challenged as I am, I will look forward to connecting with him on whatever new possibility will arise by the time he is ready. He can teach me how to be his friend while I teach him about life.

About this writer

  • Ferida Wolff Ferida Wolff is author of 17 books for children and three essay books for adults. A frequent contributor to the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, she also writes for newspapers and magazines, online at www.grandparents.com and is a columnist for www.seniorwomen.com. Her website is www.feridawolff.com, and her newest book is Missed Perceptions: Challenge Your Thoughts Change Your Thinking (Pranava Books 2009).

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