My sister invited me to "be her friend" on Facebook, the social networking website which in 3 years has become the 7th most visited web site and the #1 site for photos in the US.
I joined, explored and soon became fascinated with Facebook affinity groups. You join a group because you connect in some way with the group's premise, and then you can talk about the premise in discussion boards, private messages, or public postings.
A startling number of people -- hundreds of thousands -- have joined these often irreverent Facebook groups, which range in tone from the self-deprecatingly tongue-in-cheek to the comically angry. Here are some groups I (and hundreds of other people) liked :
When I was your age, Pluto was a planet, with 1,045,667 (yes, over a million) members, is "dedicated to the kids who were taught that Pluto was the 9th planet from the sun!!!! "
The "outlandish statement" groups delineate small quirky habits that strike a cord in people, like the I Flip My Pillow Over to Get to the Cold Side group, which has close to 250,000 members.
I Use my Cell Phone to See in the Dark has 264,359 members, and Why Yes, I Do Frequently Burst Out in Song boasts 239,291 members (this scares me).
I Will Go Slightly Out of My Way To Step On That Crunchy-looking Leaf has a mere 269,783 members, but that figure is misleading because there are several similarly-named groups which are nearly as populous. Everybody is into crushing leaves these days, apparently. Who knew?
It's a bit more surprising that 103,962 people have joined Good Grammar is Hot with its image of Strunk & White's Elements of Style. A smaller but still sizable contingent -- 61,548 members – are fanatical enough to join the group If You Can't Differentiate Between "Your" and "You're" You Deserve To Die.
The rules of cyber-citizenship are naturally a hot topic. No, I Don't Care If I Die At , I Refuse To Pass On Your Chain Letter has 284,462 members and cautions readers that the ubiquitous "Join our group" posts are just as bad as chain letters and will be deleted.
The Drunken Text Appreciation Society, "dedicated to all those who feel it necessary to send unnecessary and highly embarrassing drunken texts (messages) in the wee small hours" has 208,330 devotees.
- I still say "What?" even if I heard you the first time (Tagline: When polled 43% of Americans over 18 said, "What?") – 32,321 members
- Honestly, I Write "LOL" and I'm not Even Laughing – over 45,000 members
- It Wasn't Awkward Until You Said "Well, This Is Awkward." Now It's Awkward – 53,994 members
- I Wish My Homework Was Asexual So It Would Do Itself – 146,431 members
- I Am Fluent in Sarcasm (Tagline: Like We Need Your Support?) – 249,995 members
I enjoyed perusing these FaceBook groups, but I wasn't tempted to join them. Until one seemed to call out just to me (and 204,430 other people): People Who Always Have To Spell Their Names For Other People.
If you check out Facebook, look me up: Facebook me!