Let's talk about facebook. I'm pretty sure I don't have anything original to say about it, but it is a tangible part of my life, so I do feel inclined to comment. I've been faithfully updating my status, posting and tagging photos, commenting and liking for quite some time now - maybe two and a half years? I've been with facebook through thick and thin - through a couple of redesigns... I've accumulated more than 600 friends from all walks of life, from all parts of the world. Since I work at home by myself all day long, the folks on FB have become my coworkers, sort of - my watercooler.
I love finding people I knew from my home town, from college, from the groovy 80s in Chapel Hill, from previous jobs... It is so great to find out what they are doing - how they "turned out" - to see photos of their spouses and kids, to see what they do for a living, what kind of music they like, how they spend their time and how they feel about things.
I love getting to know people better that I just sort of know now. I recently friended the wife of a first cousin. I've met her a few times, but she lives a ways away, so I don't really know her. I find that I "like" nearly everything she says! She posts inspiring Bible verses, and I love hearing about her son, the baseball player for the Tampa Yankees. Benji, a girl I barely knew in high school, is also a graphic designer and so exuberant and very sweet - I am sorry she's in Mexico and we can't have coffee sometimes.
And I love "meeting" people from far away - like Brian, the artist from California who throws out great questions that start great conversations. And there's Daigan, the Buddhist monk... and Rich the professional comic book artist... and Bill from DC - attorney by day/guitarist by night.
I have FB friends that are very conservative - Tony the biker posts quotes from Ayn Rand, and very liberal - Kit in New Zealand posts links to every liberal and feminist cause that crosses her path. Some are Christians - conservative, liberal and nominal... some are completely secular, some are wild pagans!
I know that some folks block posts from people that post political or religious stuff that bugs them, but it's fascinating to see what everyone is talking about and what the different views are. I mean, I know how I feel and why, so I think it's only fair to hear the other side. I have to say, the other side still mystifies me. Even though I read it, i still think, "What? How could they really think such a crazy thing?" But at least I gave them a chance, right?
If FB has a downside for me it's the "junior high" factor. Even though I'm a grownup, it still hurts my feelings when someone refuses to friend me or unfriends me. I wish I could say I don't care, but... well, I'd be lying! It's like I am still in the 8th grade! Not my favorite grade.
But in general, facebook has been a great friend to me. I've been through births and deaths, love and loss with some of these people. I am so proud to be part of their lives and call them friends. All thanks to Mark Zuckerberg, who, if the movie is accurate, is a complete jerk. *Like*