Wednesday, August 22, 2012


I opened a Facebook account today.

I have very mixed emotions about this decision. For years, I have avoided Facebook like I should've avoided the poison ivy at our new home. I avoided it even though just about everyone I know – family, friend, acquaintance, coworker, stranger – has an account. I avoided it despite the fact that there are 800 million regular users (800 million!) worldwide, according to Facebook.

No, I didn't avoid it because I think Facebook represents some nefarious plot by a stateless organization to take over the world or infiltrate our minds. I didn't avoid it because I'm adverse to social media. I do have a Twitter account, after all. (And, I like it.) I avoided Facebook, because, quite simply, my life is cluttered enough. It's complicated enough. I've got more going on in my life than I can keep track of, much less stay ahead. Also, I know who my friends are, and I certainly know my family. I can reach out to them in other ways.

Lastly, I have no burning desire to find out what friends of yore, long lost flames and people with whom I've had random encounters are doing.

I like things simple, more or less. Facebook makes things not simple. Therefore, I had no driving interest to join.

So, why the heck did I do it?

I've opened a professional account. It will display the stories my colleagues and I are producing describing the discoveries, findings and advances that are taking place at the University of Iowa. It is another means to communicate those stories for anyone who's interested.

You will find precious little information about me on my page. You'll find one picture – my profile pic – which is more of a tongue-in-cheek shot than anything else. You won't find pictures of my family, and you won't find dispatches of our lives. That's what this blog is for.

So, if you're interested in what I'm writing about, take a look. If you're not, then you probably won't be too interested.

But now I guess I can look up all those people I had mildly wondered about. All 800 million of them.

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