People seem to be all over the map when it comes to Facebook. There are those who say they couldn’t possibly live their lives ‘out in the open’ on the Internet and think the whole thing rather silly, so they claim they will never join. Others don’t understand (nor wish to understand) what social media is – especially leading-edge Baby Boomers who just got the hang of using email and learning how to Google.
Then there are those that belong to Facebook, post the briefest of profiles and accept friends here and there but never tap any status updates onto their ‘walls.’ Instead, they just enjoy reading about what everyone else is doing. Others use it purely for business posting links to their web sites, some are in it for pleasure only (I do hate the games and some of the sillier requests), and others do both.
I am in the final category—posting links to articles I write, but using Facebook more often than not just for the social fun of it. I am also a hopeless romantic as well as a happily nostalgic fool, reflecting often on my life so far and trying to find connections that led me to where I am today. By doing this, I am able to take stock in how people have come and gone throughout my existence, touching it in so many different ways. What Facebook has provided me, then, is a superhighway for my personal journey.
How far back have I gone? I have typed in names of people I have known since I was a toddler to rediscover childhood buddies, waxed nostalgic with ‘kids’ from high school, laughed with fellow button-fly bell-bottomed college comrades, reminisced with co-workers from former employers, and even gone to a reunion of fellow SFO airport agents with whom I donned ‘hot pants’ uniforms! Because of Facebook, there is now not one decade of my life that has not been filled in with updates — all for free.
Lately, I have been reuniting with many who, like me, felt it unfair that life took us all on such diverging paths that we might never see one another again. For us, this experience has been life-affirming, bringing things full circle by permitting us to express those 20/20 ‘hindsight’ thoughts we had of one another now that we’re all grown up and see things in a different perspective than when we were young and on our own missions. I have been able to apologize to someone I may have wronged, complimented someone else whose talents I never acknowledged, and even had a few paradigm shifts on the circumstances of misunderstandings from long ago. I am a period-at-the-end-of-a-sentence kind of chick. People who know me understand my need for closure.
So say what you’d like about the social media and especially about Facebook. As for me, I will remain loyal – until some corporate weenie somewhere figures out how to spoil it all for me. And I will not disrespect a medium that has brought so much joy back into myself by allowing me to connect so many dots along the way.