Friends on a computer

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Join the (Digital) Mainstream
Some of us are addicted to Twit-book, and we know who we are. For those on the opposite side of the aisle, those who live in perpetual fear and suspicion of socializing on the interwebs, I'm here to say: Relax. Once upon a time, it may have been cool to resist the three-times-a-day invitations to join. Facebook and other social media won't replace actual, live, in-flesh human interaction. In fact, they can enhance your offline social life because nowadays that's how a lot of people are sharing important information. It's not just status: single, but "Mom's having surgery on Thursday, send flowers to County Hospital, Room 606." If you're shunning Facebook because you think it will kill your social life, you may be killing your social life.

Want to keep up with your closest friends and family on Facebook but don't want to expose yourself to people you didn't even talk to in high school but now want to friend you as part of a relentless campaign to get armies of friends? Make a Facebook page for your pet dog, your pet canary, your imaginary friend from childhood—so only people who really know you will be able to find you. (And don't forget to flip on all the appropriate privacy settings—ask a teenager for help, even if you think you don't need it.)

It's an easy way to just check in on old friends, and see what's going on in the world. On that note, Twitter is becoming a great way to check in with the latest news because so many news organizations and companies are issuing insta-messages through Twitter.

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