You know FB has finally hooked you when

you think about updating your status with an insight before writing about it in your journal or talking about it with anyone else.

I signed up with Facebook in 2006 after some students at Alabama A&M invited me and told me I needed to be on Facebook. Some students preferred MySpace, so I may have had a MySpace account first. No matter — I rarely used either.

And, until about a week ago, I still didn’t *get* Facebook. Really not. Did not get the appeal. Didn’t get how folks logged on several times a day. Didn’t get the FB games with farm animals and fairies. Just did not get FB. A utilitarian FB user, I considered myself above the hoi polloi because I logged on only after I’d gotten a Gmail message alerting me to a new post in one of the groups I belonged to. I used FB for information — not personal aggrandizement.

Then, after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings, I *shared* a poster with a quote by John Oliver about shoe-bombs, airport security, and gun laws. And I watched the poster get re-posted by several people. And I thought, “Wow. That’s almost a meme, eh?” Then I shared a photo of young Angela Davis and Toni Morrison walking side-by-side and wearing huge afros. Several people commented. Nieces, former colleagues, old friends I haven’t seen in many years. And I was finally hooked. I finally got FB. What did I get? The serendipity and idiosyncrasy of information and sharing it. Echoes. The comfort of like minds. Appreciation.

Now, I log on to FB, and I often spend five to ten minutes scrolling through all the updates. I enjoy FB community — which is a curious sort of community. I won’t call it elusive or illusionary, although I want to. I feel a connection to people with whom I have not spoken in many years — sometimes decades. I know personal preferences and incidents in the lives of people whom I know only cursorily in face-to-face interactions. And I bump up against people I’ve never met but discover through other FB friends — and I appreciate their writing or their events or their politics.

I finally touched down on Planet Facebook.

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