Uh-Oh... Terry's on Facebook


The following essay was produced as part of my 2013 effort for the November National Novel Writing Month effort. As such, please understand that while I did give it a quick review, it has not gone through the same proofreading and editing I normally try to give all of the material posted on this site.

I always make some mistakes. There are errors to be found throughout this web site, and many exist despite dozens of attempts to correct problems. That said, ask that you approach this material in the spirit intended – a basic thought, slightly worked out and very informally researched, delivered in the hopes of writing more than 50,000 words by the end of November.

Thank you.

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Within minutes… no, make that seconds… she had reclaimed my profile picture, asked about a shot she wanted for her cover photo of both of us, and was on her way making some initial friend requests. Within hours, she had raced past ninety friends and was cruising to one hundred and beyond. I wasn’t logging in for her again, so I have no clue what requests, messages, or other surprises awaited her next visit.

All I know is that the day had arrived.


Terry had begun using her Facebook account.

The fact that Terry actually has a Facebook account isn’t new or exciting news. Unknown to many… and never really used… she’s actually had one for some time. A couple of years in fact. Funny story that…

For a long time, I avoided Facebook. I was having enough problems keeping my nose pointed in the direction of my homework without the distraction of social networking. My Space… then Facebook… then Twitter… I would occasionally look at them, shake my head often when I didn’t get how they worked, and then move on to other projects. (I never did figure out My Space. I suppose that doesn’t matter now.)

Then opportunity came knocking.

I had been introduced to some fantastic people through Legends in Concert. This led to that led to -- along with some incredible friendships and wonderful experiences -- a request to use some of my pictures. One or two ended up on their main web site. Several were placed on their Facebook page.

As some of you know there are places on Facebook where, in order to view a photograph, you need to have an active account and be logged in.

I wanted to see some of my pictures getting posted.

So… I created an account.

And I logged in.

The thing is, even with it running and somewhat active, I never really used the account in those early days. I sent out no friend requests. I told no one I had signed up. And a decision not to use pictures -- meaning my Facebook profile was a shot of Molly and Gus -- had this strange result. Many people later told me that even when they did come across my profile, the picture of the dogs and not some image of me created an uncertainty for them. No picture… no location… they weren’t going to take a chance on sending a request to the wrong person.

All was quiet.

Then it happened… knowing our dogs and having the information from Terry that I did in fact have an account… a friend did find me, and sent a friend request along. I stepped through the door, accepted the invitation, and moved into the world of social networking and added my first friend.

There was no stopping me after that. And I suppose we’ve all gone through similar waves as we got started.

The “people you may know” feature actually did occasionally bring about some names of people I knew. And I clicked to send out friend requests.

Connecting with a few people led to exchanges of messages and e-mails and texts, often with suggestions to look for this person or that person that both of us knew.

Some people found me… and some people I found… and through one method or another, there I was, on Facebook.

Initially I made it a point not to post any pictures of family, friends, or myself. (No obvious selfie for me as a profile option.) I figured the dogs would be great… and maybe some stuff I found every so often. And I would be willing to share items that others had shared.

Really basic stuff.

No pictures of people though. No funny admissions about family, friends or work that might get misunderstood, misinterpreted, or in some way become a glossy photograph with circles and arrows to be used as evidence against me.

The thing is, I also began adding some additional pages. I wanted something for my main web site. I wanted something for my published writing. I added a page for ComplemenTerry Designs. I developed some material focusing on our puppies (and their friends). And eventually even Local Friends for Local Business had a page.

Ah… but even when they tell you that you can view a page as so-and-so or just-like-setting-such-and-such, I wanted to see what those pages really looked like. The reality is very easy to understand… nothing works quite like truly seeing it from a different perspective. Step outside and look back in. No bells or whistles or side-bar reminders of what settings are in place.

I talked to Terry… and she gave me the green light to begin a Facebook page for her. There was a big consideration though. See, if I truly wanted to see things as a blind and unbiased perspective, that meant keeping things as clean as possible for her account. No identifying marks… no friend connections… and so on.

And for something like two years, that’s the way things stayed.

Terry has been working on several projects since mid-August. Last week she looked at me and asked if her Facebook account still existed, and if so, would I show her how to log in and use it.

So I did.

I was her first friend on Facebook. By doing that with her by my side, she saw that I was using a picture of Molly and Gus that she had taken. She wanted to use it. So I changed things on my end and freed up the picture.

And… saving the details on a few other items… it is here that our little essay moves into an open letter to our family and friends. Why? Because after she sent out some friend requests and got started… she logged off, went down the stairs, and to my knowledge hasn’t stepped back into the room with the computer.

So… here we go… an open letter to those that may be interested.

Hi –

A few of you have noticed that Terry is on Facebook. Some of you have extended friend offers… many have posted comments and messages... and in general, I have to say the reaction has been great.

The thing is… I need you to know that Terry isn’t going to be a daily visitor to Facebook. At least not yet. So if you don’t hear from her, please don’t be surprised. I honestly have no clue when she’ll be back. And that means she may not send out more friend requests for a bit, may not respond to messages or posts for days or weeks (or whatever-s), and just in general may seem to have disappeared as quickly as she appeared.

Don’t be surprised by this. And don’t take it personally. She is almost certainly not ignoring you. (Though it could be argued, and likely quite successfully defended, that she is ignoring everyone.) She’s new to Facebook, and likely doesn’t even know you found her.

Give her some time. Eventually she’ll be liking and sharing and commenting and messaging, just like the rest of us.

She’ll be annoyed by game recommendations. She’ll chuckle at pictures and posters. She’ll wonder why anyone needs to know what you had for breakfast. She’ll check in from a restaurant, theme park, or attraction.

But you need to give her some time. Right now, she just hasn’t walked around enough to know the neighborhood.

I don’t know if that helps. As I mentioned, I haven’t checked out her account since that first day, so I couldn’t tell you. But I have a funny feeling that a few people are pretty happy to see her around -- which is awesome -- and yet it’s distinctly possible she may go a couple of weeks before she even knows someone is looking for her.


It took her all of 15 seconds to completely change my Facebook presence. (And actually less.) And by the time she returns, chances are things may change again.


If you have any comments or questions, please e-mail me at Bob@inmybackpack.com