Facebook. It scares me. I joined somewhat absent-mindedly today cos someone sent me a message. Next thing I know I am in contact with everyone I have ever met. OK, I accidentally emailed everyone on the global address list, including ex-Ministers of the Crown, a woman I did work experience with 8 years ago in the flower of my youth, and several ex-boyfriends who are very welcome NEVER to get in touch again. So it's not surprising that they were a wide and diverse bunch.
But the truly amazing thing about this Facebook is its reach. Just for the hell of it I typed in random people's names, people from all over the world. The next thing I knew, there we were, face to face...A guy I worked with in China, a girl I last saw on the Paris metro 5 years ago. Have now wasted much of my working afternoon - following a long lunch by the river - communicating with what were, til today, the ghosts of Christmas past.
I can't decide whether I am excited or terrified by this technology. In a way, the world will never be the same again. The mystery of sending letters, to have them returned to sender, googling someone - and finding all kind of possibilities to guess at. Did the shy schoolboy you're trying to find end up an artist? A conman? The guy who got in the news for setting fire to his own hair? It's a matter of psychology, and finding the right language domain as much as anything else.
But facebook - it's all there just in front of you.
A word of warning though. My officemate tried to add his fiancee - next thing you know 600 Yolanda's pop-up asking him to add them! Shows that it's worth having a good photo to boot...