I like to check in every day to see what some of my friends are up to. Some post daily on the minutiae of their lives and health conditions; some I suspect haven't logged in in months. I like knowing when my friends are ill, moving house, on holidays, better, pissed off. As they are spread around the globe, it makes me feel that I'm keeping up with their lives without having to spend time emailing details of my own. It sort of removes some of the guilt of not keeping in touch. And being a lapsed Irish Catholic, I've plenty of guilt to have removed. Short of a lobotomy, FB works well on the 'keeping in touch' section of my guilt complex.
So far, I have 71 FB friends. Piddling compared to most under-30s but respectable enough given that I am very, very fussy about who I am friends with. Ahem. And I left university before the personal computer was invented, or near enough.
So this morning I got a message to say that my step-sister-in-law thinks I should be friends with a name I, at first, failed to recognise. Given that for my generation, step sibings are virtually non-existent, you'll have guessed that this will be the Danish side of the family. A few seconds, and the name registered. It was my 13-year old niece. The child I first met when she was 2. The child who taught me my first Danish word which I found very useful in ordering scoops of ice-cream - jorbaer which means strawberry. The child who is now almost 6 foot tall and no doubt thinks that her aunt, who was born in the same year as her father, is tres un-cool. Too uncool to be seen in the company of on the world wide web probably. Still, I over-looked my ageism and quickly dispatched an invitation to her, asking her if she'd be my friend.
Thinking about it now, I'm not sure she should accept. Do I really want to be privy to her adolescent angst and navigation of the battlefield between childhood and supposed adulthood? No, I don't. But I didn't think of that then, and can't really withdraw the invitation without seeming rude. So here's hoping she's not an FB enthusiast, but rather a groaner who thinks FB is for old people like me. Here's hoping.