I'm happy to say I've successfully avoided all those people. :) I've mainly used Facebook to connect with relatives, friends and writing peers. I recently set up a Facebook Fan Page focused on my books. I think social media can be powerful marketing tool, but one that takes time--time away from writing and time to work--just like any other kind of marketing.
Fortunately, on Facebook you can block messages from certain alleged "friends" without letting them know you've done it. I block people who send too many inane messages along the lines of "Just waking up" or "I could really use more coffee right now," as well as people who take endless quizzes and post the results.
You're right, Debbi. I hate the hearts, which they can send, or the flowers or the morning-greatings and than the lot of tests: Which kind of ... are you - and so on. But I use facebook for my marketing and there are a lot of writers too. So I've got several good contacts over facebook. It's up to you, how much time you'll spend them.
And ... I found in facebook someone of the family in Arizona. ;-))
I'm with you. I have had enough trouble handling one.
On the 19th, I head for my 50th year reunion from college, Pacific Univiersity in Forest Grove, Oregon--a 3-day bash, but I am going only on Friday.
I am taking a limo home--spendy, but I am worth it! (:- )...debatable, but I won't be around for my 100th. When my parents went to my mother's 50th reunion from high school, my father thought it hilarious that he had to stop on the way home (both high school grads only) so my mother could throw up as she had drunk too much at the party. There were fewer than 25 in the graduating class, and as I remember, all but two were alive to enjoy the festivities. She was a social drinker and he was a teetotaler.
One added note, I had an aunt who was a rum runner (no kidding and a great-grandfather who was county sheriff in Polk County, Dallas, OR when it was still the Territory of Washington in the latter 1800s. His name was George Washington Smith. He had a big bushy beard. His photoo is on the wall in the jail house foyer just 15 minutes from where Ii now live.
I read a book a couple of years ago--I'm sorry, I forget the title--where the killer was found by conducting much of the investigation through an online virtual world that was, in essence, Second Life, though that wasn't the name the author used. The book wasn't bad, though how the author tied the virtual killings to the real world climax was a bit of a reach.
I'm not at all involved in Second Life--as Debbi noted, one life is sometimes more than I cna handle--but I can see where someone who was into it and good at it could find to test character responses she might not think of on her own.
The series Dana may be referring to is the "Otherland" novels by Tad Williams. There is a detective called Calliope Skouros who is tracking a murderer who exists in both real life and the virtual world of "Otherland." It's a hefty four-volume series but great sci-fi.
Hope this helps. I write in Second Life but as a freelance journalist, not a novelist. Perhaps I could contact you for an interview on Second Life's MBC TV (Metaverse Broadcasting Company) - I am a news anchor ;) Or also a "profile piece" for SLentrepreneur Magazine.