By Kathy | January 23, 2009
I’ve become mildly obsessed with Facebook. I really didn’t see the point to it when I first heard about it — it seemed like a supreme time-waster for teens to indulge in. But a few of my friends kept sending me those annoying e-mails that say, “I joined Facebook! Why don’t you?”
So I finally gave in to the peer pressure and signed up.
Now I’m checking a few times a day to see who’s on (out of my current 31 friends), what everyone’s doing, and to see if there are messages or updates. And there almost always are.
The great thing about Facebook is that it gives you a quick ‘n’ easy way to see what your friends are up to. It is also very simple to show people you’re thinking about them.
For instance, last week my friend Ernie lost his job. He made note of it on his page, and immediately started getting an outpouring of support from his online friends. I added mine to about 15 others. It was a small thing, but I know if I lost my job, it would be a little bit of consolation to have all those people reaching out to me.
Likewise, my friend Kathy broke up with her significant other, and wrote about it. I sent her a “hug” through something called SuperPoke (you can send people all kinds of virtual things — hot cocoa, cake, whatever — or throw things at them, from sheep to kisses). She appreciated the hug. Several other of her friends wrote encouraging notes on her Facebook “wall.”
These are people who I’ve been close to in the past, and now feel close to again because of Facebook and how they share parts of their lives with me through this medium. What a fabulous invention.
Of course, there are hazards as well. There’s the danger of sharing too much. You do have to be cautious about what you put out there and who you invite in as friends.But there is the potential for it to be a wonderful link with the people who matter. I am really enjoying it.
Being on Facebook has also led to some nice phone calls and re-establishing ties that had been neglected for a while. And it’s great fun seeking out people that I used to work with or knew in some other way.
Facebook. It’s not just for teenagers anymore.