So, I know that we all whine about Facebook and the drama it can create. Remember when our real-time conversations didn’t include discussions about who posted what about who and what she said in her comment, or when so-and-so tagged so-and-so and in their picture at that bar? Amazingly, it wasn’t that long ago. But, annoying as it can be, I’m glad I can look at the pictures and status updates of my 444 closest friends.
Since connecting with my cousins and their teenaged kids (my second cousins), who live on the east coast, I’ve been able to keep up with their daily lives. When all of us do get together, we have real conversations, about each other’s lives, because we have an idea of what’s going on with each other.
Last July, most of my 8th grade class of 1998 attended a reunion party. As I’m sure happens in many cases, most of us had lost touch over the course of high school, college, and entering the real world. Because we “found” each other on Facebook, I have rekindled friendships with people that I would never have been able to contact.
Then there are the random occurrences that simply allow for information to be passed quickly. This week, I found out a friend’s grandfather had passed away, and that my friend was able to be there for him. I congratulated another friend on her purchase of a new home. Tonight, I read a friend’s check-in at an emergency veterinary hospital, and posted my encouragement. She ended up calling me for my opinion about what the vet told her, and I was able to share a little bit of my own experience with her. These events are ones that I otherwise wouldn’t have heard about until much, much later, without the convenience of Facebook.
Would I make it a point to maintain friendships with all 444 people if without the convenience of a social network? Many of them, no. And I’m sure that would go both ways–our paths simply don’t cross often enough. I have noticed, interestingly, that I pay a lot more attention to people I’m close to who are NOT on Facebook. For instance, one of my good friends (who refuses to use a computer, period) has a birthday today, and because I couldn’t type it onto a FB Wall, I made sure to go out to lunch with her to tell her happy birthday.
Facebook can cause a slew of problems and irritations, but I have to admit, it has its benefits.
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