I can’t keep up with Facebook. For one thing, I don’t really try: it takes enough energy to keep up with the people I can see, without frequently checking to see who’s online and what they’ve been up to.

Facebook used to send me an email when someone “wrote on my wall,” sent me a message, or asked to be my friend. I’d usually click on the link to take care of business (unless it had anything to do with Farmville, which is apparently a game some people play), and that’s about the only time I’d visit Facebook.

Somewhere along the way, I stopped getting the emails, so I visited more rarely. When I just happened to check it early this morning, I noticed that I had 22 friend requests waiting. I don’t know how long they had been waiting, so some of them probably think I’ve been unfriendly. In any case, I ran down the list and approved 21 of the 22, even though I didn’t know several of the folks on the list. If we had mutual friends, and they want to be my friend, that’s good enough for me. I chose not to approve one friend request, but it came from a building rather than a person, so I didn’t feel too badly about that.

I had a bunch of invitations waiting, as well. There were six event invitations, one group invitation, seven page invitations, one “family link,” and a rabbit from Farmville that expired on May 20. I clicked to accept the family link and chose “ignore” for everything else.

When I signed up for Facebook, I thought it might be a good way to touch base, periodically, with friends I rarely see. I didn’t know I’d wind up with 545 online friends, many of whom I don’t really know. Even so, I’m happy to make new friends — as long as I don’t have to trade imaginary animals with them, and they understand that Facebook is a place I occasionally visit, not where I live.

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