Thursday, September 23, 2010

Do you smell something burning?

I love Facebook. I have used it to get in touch with people whom I thought I had lost. This is a big deal to me, because I am a really curious person, and I always want to know, What Happened Next? My friends, I want to know about your first job after college, how you met that special someone, how your priorities have changed and why. I want to hear the stories about your kids, cry with you over loss, listen to your dreams, and learn from your experiences. I really do. I Don't Get Bored. Ever. I have been wondering, supposing, and weaving little might-be stories in my head. I want to stay in touch, and if possible, develop (or restructure) a great friendship.

That's why I joined Facebook.

Then, a friend invited me to play a game. I resisted at first, thinking, this is a social tool, not a video game. Yeah. I started on the Lil' Green Patch game- the one where if you cultivated your garden and helped other gardeners, you could save x # of  feet of Rainforest. And I used the "slide the rainbow" function without knowing what it meant. I actually thought it would lead me to another cause, perhaps LGBT rights? I thought. Instead, what it did was randomly pick you another facebook user whose garden you could help tend. I met 3 great people that way. Maybe we all saved too much rainforest, or something, but in the past year Facebook fazed out the Lil Green Patch.

But the Lil' Green Patch introduced me to the wonderful world of Apps. I have a $10 phone that I "top up" the minutes with cards I buy at Target or the gas station. No Frills. No Apps. I'm lucky I even get coverage considering most of the cell carrier companies demanded a contract promising my organs, my soul, and my firstborn. I'd really like to meet the person who came up with those contracts, actually. Such deviousness is a true gift. Anyway, the world of "apps" was not a part of my life until a few friends "recruited" me to some of the ones available on Facebook.

I like the "I've Read" app, which lets you keep track of the books you've read. I started with great intentions, but, well, if you know me, you know I am a rabid reader, and it would take me way too long to find all of the books I've read. But it was a nice start.

Now, I have Fashion Wars, Fashion World  (a very different entity) and:
Where I've Been, Baking Life, Petville, Happy Pets, various Causes, Super Poke, Family Feud, Mahjongg, Which Wife of Henry VIII Are You?, Living Social, and Cafe World.
And I have just been invited to Frontierville and Texas Hold 'em Poker.

I'm only active in Cafe World, Fashion World, Happy Pets,  and my causes, and I will get into Frontierville & Poker enough to "help" my friends. Because the more "neighbors" one has in these games, the more rewards are available, plus I can send them cool (free) imaginary stuff. In fact, I'm looking forward to a virtual barn-raising.

Now I must admit:
I am a Cafe World addict.
In fact, although I am by nature a night person, I am only up this late to wait for my virtual Shrimp Cocktail to finish, so that I can hurry up and get it off the virtual stove so it doesn't spoil. Because I have a catering order to fill, and two of my Cafe World friends are also catering, so I'm helping them also.

Funny thing, though. With one exception, the people who are my "neighbors" in Cafe World are also friends with whom I got back in touch using Facebook. And I have learned a great deal more about all my Cafe World friends by the way they play. They share. They send gifts. They help with catering jobs. All with an open heart, an open hand, and a cheerful willingness to assist whenever needed.  As well as a sense of humor about app addiction. I am glad to know them. The experience has taught me that the word "Neighbor" has no geographical boundaries.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go check on my shrimp cocktail.

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