I recently registered with the website Facebook, a social networking site that Wikipedia claims has more than 175 million users.
The website allows the user a page where they can provide details about themselves and upload pictures. Other people become 'friends' either by them asking the user to grant access or by the user asking them.
I signed up and soon I had friends from all over. I am now in contact with three people that I used to work with in Thailand. Two are Norwegian and one is Australian. Any trace of their e-mail addresses has long been lost so it was both surprising and convenient to see how easy it was to find them. You just type in their name and if they are members, they will show up.
Sometimes you have to navigate through several people to find the right one but patience is a virtue. I used to think that my name was rather unique but a quick search for me and it brings up several Corey Russells. Who knew?
Sometimes it's impossible to search them all. I knew a guy named Alfredo Nunez when I was in the Marines. A search for his name on Facebook and up came more than 500 possibilities. I would really like to chat with my old friend but I do not have the time to go through all of those people. Especially since he might not even be a member of the site.
But that aside, Facebook is great. I recently got an e-mail from an old Marine buddy that I had lost touch with over the years. He was my roommate for much of my enlistment and we spent several nights roaming Southern California getting into trouble. Without Facebook, I doubt I would have ever reconnected with him.
In my youth my family moved around quite a bit before we finally settled in Pasco. I spent the third, fourth and fifth grades living in Olympia and had a really good friend there named Son. Guess who contacted me on Facebook after about two weeks on the site.
You guessed it, Son. Now, after nearly 30 years of no contact, we speak at least twice a week. Or least chat online. Because you can upload pictures onto your own personal page, I have been able to see what he's been up to since I left, including his senior trip he took while in high school.
Several people that I went to high school and were friends with have contacted me. Twenty-two years is a long time and it has been nice to hook up with some of my old friends from those days.
The whole thing is really kind of cool. With today's technology the old saying is becoming truer by the moment. It really is a small world after all.