Breaking news: Washington Post media critic and CNN's Reliable Sources host Howard Kurtz has joined Facebook!

Okay, that isn't breaking news, but he chronicles his first venture into the social networking site in his column in the Post today titled "Searching for Friends." 

First off, he reveals that his college-age daughter "essentially indicated she would rather torch her computer than give me access to her page" by accepting his invitation to "friend."  Yikes!  Tricks are for kids, Howie, and I doubt you would like to see that computer, which you likely paid for, go up in flames.

Further, he states how he has waited and waited (and waited) for others to honor his friending requests with some people he actually knows while receiving random requests from people who simply wanted to see their friend totals burgeon. 

Thanks to Facebook's newsfeed — which I argue is a great marketing tool — he learned a lot about his new "friend" Kelly from Toronto as she joined highly focused groups that typically only comprise of a small set of her friends.  "Maybe this is the 21st-century equivalent of hanging out," Howie wonders.

While Howie is still trying to figure out Facebook along with an outright rejection from his daughter, he has 35 friends — including BuzzMachine's Jeff Jarvis, Portfolio's Matt Cooper, Time's Karen Tumulty, and Slate's Emily Yoffe — as of this posting (make that 36 if he accepts my friending request).  He's catching on. 

In fact, grown ups like Emily Yoffe have proven that Tricks aren't just for kids on sites like Facebook since she has over 1,000 "friends."  Perhaps that since she wrote "Facebook for Fiftysomethings" for Slate and enjoys the honor of a group dedicated to her.  Most importantly, she has played by the rules: join and accept random friend requests.  Granted, Yoffe probably has just a smidgen of what a 2008 Presidential hopeful has, but she's not doing that bad.  We'll see how Howie does.

Now joining a social network in the first place and accepting random friend requests might seem ridiculous for fiftysomethings on Facebook, but it is one way to be hip and cool like teenagers and twentysomethings.  On the other hand, this technique does diminish the social network's ability to aptly maintain your real world friendships. 

However, I wonder what happens when young Facebook friends want to make their social network relationships less trivial and actually meet and interact with their famous "friends."  Does anyone know of any such occurrence, or are high schoolers and twentysomethings simply content with on-line friendships?  If Facebook celebrities like Yoffee and Barack Obama honor such requests, good on em'!

Oh yeah, Howie, if you decide to accept my friend request, I would like to speak with you about one of your books…  Would that make our friending on Facebook more meaningful for you?