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Become a fan of clowns and cheeseburgers
May 11, 2009
by Jen Bakken

Where can die-hard clown lovers unite with others who love painted faces, red noses, and big shoes? I can tell you.

Is there a place for those who love cheeseburgers to come together and proclaim their love for a good burger? I have found it.

Have you ever wondered where one can go to become a fan of Saturdays or sleeping? Probably not, but none the less I know just the place – Facebook.

All you need to do is set up a profile page, add details about yourself, and then decide who can view it.

The next step is adding people to your friends list and uploading some pictures.

Then, all of the sudden, you will be addicted. You never thought it would happen to you, but it does, and you begin updating your status daily with posts like: “Just made some awesome goulash” and “Getting ready for a garage sale” or “Just decided I’m tired.”

People on your friends list will start sending you virtual drinks, gifts, and, oddly enough, sock monkeys.

Endless quizzes will be thrown your way and you will announce to your Facebook friends that your top five cereals of all time are: Boo Berry, Franken Berry, Crunch Berries, Reeses Puffs, and Banana Nut Crunch.

Does anyone actually care? Most likely no, but hooray – you’ve managed to kill some time on Facebook.

At some point, you may find yourself joining strange groups, with the most random subjects imaginable, such as “fans of knee hockey,” “addicted to Diet Coke,” “we need to stop dating losers,” and “I hate that McDonald’s fish commercial,” which I joined immediately.

The possibilities are endless as Facebook users can become a fan of not only clowns, cheeseburgers, Saturdays, or sleep, but Girl Scout cookies and hot baths as well.

What is the point to all this, I can’t begin to understand, but if you have some time to waste – it is definitely the place to be.

For those who aren’t already a part of this Internet world, Facebook is a free social networking web site. Users can join networks organized by city, workplace, school, and region to connect and interact with other people.

According to Wikipedia, (www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki.facebook), this networking web site is privately owned by Facebook, Inc.

Mark Zuckerberg founded Facebook with fellow computer science major students and his roommates Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes while he was a student at Harvard University.

Web site membership was initially limited to Harvard students, but was eventually expanded to other colleges and later to include high school students, and, finally, to anyone aged 13 and over.

Facebook currently has more than 200 million active users worldwide and is growing every day. It seems nearly everyone is on this site and I can honestly say I’m glad. I’ve been able to find so many people I’d previously lost contact with.

Before Delano, I attended school in St. Louis Park from kindergarten through ninth grades, and I have now found many former classmates. Saturday there was a gathering, all planned through Facebook, and it was fun to see people I haven’t seen for almost 24 years.

Also, over Memorial Day weekend, I’ll be visiting with someone who was my best friend from fifth grade through high school and beyond. Somehow we lost touch about eight years ago, and I have Facebook to thank for rekindling this friendship.

There are advantages to Facebook other than just killing time but one has to be careful, too. Potential employers have been said to check Facebook to find out about possible employees, and your profile is definitely something to keep private for many reasons.

My advice is to check your privacy settings because there are some things one just doesn’t need the world to know. You may even have to ask your friends to refrain from “tagging” embarrassing pictures of you.

Also, if you don’t want everyone to be aware of exactly how much time you are wasting online, click the button “Go offline.” Then not only will no one know you are there, but you won’t be annoyed with a bunch of people trying to chat or instant message you.

Be careful about mixing your personal profile with business. It’s kind of like allowing your bosses, co-workers, and customers into your closet.

And now I leave you with a status update: Jen Bakken has just finished another Tiny Tales column – whew!