Social networking pays off with my kindergarten connection | Rudi Alcott

The invention of social networking is a game changer.

There, I said it. And I am an old guy. At 41, I am considered on the outside of the generation that is supposed to use social networking as an integral part of their lives. Times have changed.

When I was a youngster way back in the early 1980s, as my boys constantly remind me, my definition of social networking was bloodying someone else’s knuckles with my face. Sadly, I became pretty adept at this. Today, Boomers and, yes, me as a (de)Generation Y’er, invade their space through social networking sites like MySpace, Twitter and Facebook. Recently, I saw some stats on Wikipedia on social networking, and if this heavily percentage and number laden entry is correct, social networking is of paramount importance to us as a society and to each of us individually.

I was at a luncheon a few days ago and while networking the old-fashioned way (by actually talking to someone), a lawyer sitting at the same table deadpanned that 47 percent of all statistics are made up. I lobbed back that 99 percent of all lawyers give the rest of them a bad name. While my sardonic humor was apparently lost on him, the fact is that the percentages of numbers can and are often skewed to make one’s point equally or more impressively weighted. Don’t believe me? Ask a politician. Where else can spending $829 billion on health care actually save $81 billion? With that in mind, here are some of the highlights of social networking culled through Wikipedia — another socially produced site:

• Social sites have over taken porn sites as the most visited. This seems a bit skewed to me, as who is going to cop to visiting a porn site? I never have.

• One in eight married couples met through a social networking site. I’m not sure if this means they met other married couples, or met and then got married through a social site. Seems like there are a couple of conjunctions possibly missing here. I would think you might want to clarify this or the next stop could be

• Years it took to reach 50 million users: Radio, 38. TV, 13. Internet, 4. iPod, 3. Facebook, 100 million users in nine months.

• If Facebook were a country, it would be the fourth-largest behind only China, India and the U.S.

• Fastest growing segment on Facebook is the 55-65-year-old female.

So, what does this mean? I’ll open up myself as a very real interpretation. Facebook claims that I have 80 friends. While that may not sound like a lot compared to Ashton Kutcher, it is as many as I can handle complaining about me at once. I’ve had to cap it there, though. A couple of these friends are still pending and have been for a few months. That’s probably not good.

However, this is where it gets interesting. A few of these friends are F-Dub socialites, many are from my Indiana high school days, some are from all over Western Washington, one is my wife (presumably to keep me honest), and a good portion are from my grade school days in Colorado. Grade school. These are folks that I haven’t seen in 30-plus years. Yet they are all there, and we converse like it was yesterday.

Think about that. Ten years ago, had you friended your kindergarten girlfriend as I have on Facebook, and you are male, you would have gotten 10 to 20 years. Possibly more. Further to this, a few months ago, I sent her son some electronic games that my kids had spares of. Her son was having a tough time getting them to work, so I called her to work out the issues. When she answered, an oddity struck me that had it occurred at any other point in my life, I would have thought was completely surreal. I had no idea who it was I was talking to, as I had never heard her voice as an adult. Yet because of our social networking connection, there were no pregnant pauses or any creepiness about it. At least not from my end. Perhaps she blocked my number. I’ll have to Facebook chat her and ask.

So where does it all go and where does it all end? I have no idea, but it does aid in satisfying our socialistic appetite as humans. Before, we got together during business hours and occasionally at after-hour events over a drink or two in what seems like, by today’s standards, a very structured environment. Now, can’t sleep? No problem. Start up your electronic vehicle of choice and one of your friends in a different time zone, or with a like malady, is undoubtedly having the same issue. Strike up a conversation, and before you know it, your friend list has grown exponentially and your available free time has shrunk inversely proportionally.

Mirror publisher Rudi Alcott:

Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Life

Well-fed at the Federal Way Farmers Market: Cran-Apple Butter

Join in on an apple-theme scavenger hunt this weekend at the market (ages 12 and under)

Well-fed at the Federal Way Farmers Market: Cauliflower curry soup and naan bread

Recipe of the Week includes ingredients found at the Federal Way Farmers Market.

Courtesy photo
Centerstage Theatre tickets now on sale for 2020-2021 season

Options for live streaming and virtual performances.

Federal Way PAEC offers livestream comedy special Aug. 29

Tickets now available for Yakov Smirnoff’s “United We Laugh” virtual comedy special.

SKFR firefighter lives at station for six weeks during pandemic to protect family

Setting up his trailer in the parking lot of Station 66, Chris and Justine Mathis knew it was the right decision in order to protect their son.

Well-fed from the Federal Way Farmers Market: Summer Medley Salsa

Recipe includes fresh corn, tomatoes, cilantro, and more from the Federal Way Farmers Market.

Siblings 9-year-old Ava Guerrier, left, and 8-year-old August Guerrier show off their blueberry findings on Aug. 13, 2019. Olivia Sullivan/staff photo
There’s still time to visit u-pick blueberry farms in Federal Way

So many berries in just one city. While in Federal Way, visit… Continue reading

Well-fed from the Federal Way Farmers Market: Berry Delicious French Toast

Recipe of the Week includes fresh berries from the Federal Way Farmers Market.

Three drive-in films set for Kent’s ShoWare Center Aug. 12-16

‘The Lion King,’ ‘Ghostbusters’ and ‘Gremlins’

Drive-thru Salmon Bake nets more than $15K

Last week’s take-away Salmon Bake fundraiser, hosted by the Kiwanis Club of… Continue reading

2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid. Courtesy photo
2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid | Car review

There’s a reason Honda’s CR-V has been America’s top-selling crossover vehicle over… Continue reading