I know all of the things people hate about it. I know all the issues that everybody complains about. I know that it's a tremendous time suck. In fact...
That was the sound of me being sucked in by the giant, swirling vortex that is Facebook.
But you know what? I don't care.
I love it.
There, I said it. I love Facebook. I look forward to checking in with it throughout my day. Seeing what's going on in the world. Sharing something funny. In fact, I'd be willing to say that it has definitely changed my world for the better. I have found...
Oh sorry. I just heard that little "boink" sound which meant that somebody "liked" something I'd posted so I rushed over to see who it was and what it was that they liked but it ended up just being someone sending me a Farm Heroes Saga request but then I ended up reading an article that somebody linked to and then I "shared" it. But I'm back now. Um...where was I...
I have found that I'm more connected to the world around me than ever before.
Why do I like Facebook so much? Do I have a desperate need to be liked? Or rather, "Like"d? Well, yeah, kind of. I mean, if I post a picture of myself on an old tv show from the '90s and 115 people click "Like" it does make me feel sort of...popular. But I think I have a fairly healthy sense of well-being and don't really need the "like"ing to feel good about myself. [Though I must admit that my psychiatric knowledge is based solely on one semester of Psych 101, for which I received an Incomplete because I was far too busy doing plays and drinking beer and juggling several boyfriends at once to actually attend a class that took place waaaaaay over in the Psychology building, so what the hell do I know.] And it takes a fairly healthy ego to assume that anyone would be interested in pictures of your child eating.
But I think that the joys of Facebook go far beyond ego-boosting or self-aggrandizement. Here are the top reasons I ♥ Facebook...
- The Reunions. I have reconnected with SO many old friends. Friends who I really, genuinely adore, but time and/or location drove us apart. Friends who are fascinating people. Friends who I thought I'd never see or hear from again. And now, suddenly, we are part of each others lives on a daily basis. We don't simply keep up with each others lives, we contribute. The contribution might just be a "Like", but it can still feel like a hug. We are once again part of each others lives.
- The Surprises. Okay, yes, I know. We all have those people who we kinda/sorta/maybe knew in high school who send us Friend Requests and we don't know what to do because they are people who we never ever wanted or needed to communicate with ever again ever. I hear people say this ALL the time when explaining why they don't like Facebook, or don't want to join Facebook. And yes, I am "Friends" with some of these people, and wish I wasn't. However...for every one of those folks, I have found three people who totally surprised me. People who I never really knew or cared to know, either because they were simply off my radar or because I deemed them too redneck/jockish/dorky/popular to be interesting. But I have been proven wrong over and over. Some of my favorite people on Facebook are random folks I barely knew from high school who are nothing like what I thought they were like. Who are funny and interesting and we get each others sense of humor and I'm always eager to see what's going on in their lives. I'm thinking this should teach me a lesson
- The News. Okay, not the real news, like politics and such, but the...scoop. What's going on where/when/with who. I actually like knowing whose kids won what awards and whose mom is in the hospital and who's gone on what fabulous vacation. [Okay, maybe not the vacation thing. There's nothing worse than spending your 3 week summer vacation at your in-laws house in the suburbs while seeing photos of your "Friends" 3 week vacations in the Caribbean.]
- The Other Half. Alright, I feel pretty sure that I will eat these words come the next presidential election, but...I think it's a good thing to step out of our little bubble worlds and see how the other half lives. Or maybe I should say the other side. I have a particularly eclectic group of Facebook "Friends". They run the gamut from left-wing/bleeding-heart/gay-loving/Commies to right-wing/redneck Texas/bible-thumping/fascists. From wacky/artist/actors/free-spirits to rich/tennis club/Lexus SUV driving/mommies from school. And I have to say, I enjoy getting a glimpse of everybody's lives. On one day I might see pictures of one friend's trip to Europe and another friend's husband feeding their cows, read one friend's pro-vegan/anti-animal cruelty rant and another friend's pro-NRA rant complete with pictures of himself with his stockpile of automatic weapons. It's all real.
- The Village. If you need to reach out, someone is always there. This could be if you need a recommendation for a reasonably priced upholsterer or the next tv show you need to Netflix binge. But it's also there when you need a little sympathy. Try posting "I have a cold. Boohoo!" and see if you don't get a landslide of chicken soup offers. And it's a nice feeling to know that if you ever seriously needed something, ever had a time of genuine crisis, you woud have a means of reaching out and making contact. Of...
Oh, sorry. I just heard that little "boink" again and everybody's posting funny Throwback Thursday pictures and one "Friend" posted this amazing picture of himself in high school with long hair and so I had to comment on that and then I thought "Oh, I should post something for TBT!" so I dug out an old picture of Jimmy and me and posted it because Jimmy and I had kind of a screaming match yesterday and I thought he'd accept my tagging a picture of him when he was much younger as a kind of olive branch and guess what the picture already has 80 "Likes". Um...where was I?
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