I was never big on remembering birthdays. Now, when I log on to my Facebook page, I’m prompted to send friends and family a quick Happy Birthday. It makes them feel special, and I’ve remembered their birthday. This is a minor thing, but I do enjoy that one small connection with each person at least once a year.
More important, Facebook has allowed me to reconnect with those I had totally lost touch with, likely forever. That’s mostly a good thing. I’ve also made friends and connections with other writers and people within my community who’ve become a great support.
But here’s the real deal: By observing the posts and behavior of others, I am reminded of the character traits and behaviors I want to emulate and those I don’t admire so much. These observations spur introspection and cause me to rethink how I view my interpersonal and public communications. Sometimes I see a post and think, They have no idea how stupid that sounds. And likely, until I see that on their status update, I have no idea how stupid that might appear. Lesson learned. But many of your posts are truly thought-provoking and make me better.
I have many friends whose posts are strongly religious, political, or hugely opinionated by nature. I don’t have a problem with any of it. Everyone should use their page to express themselves however they see fit. We all have the option to manage our settings accordingly. If you’re my friend, I won’t judge you, but I might turn off the game settings that I don’t subscribe to. Nothing personal.
I learn something from most of you. I find out about most celebrity deaths, weather disasters, political events, etc. on Facebook. I’m inspired by your uplifting posts and humbled when I read stories of great sacrifice. I’m saddened when I hear that you’ve lost a loved one or are worried and asking for prayers for a friend or family member. I worry with you. I celebrate your successes–really! I stalk your photos with a vengeance because I love looking at them.
I don’t play Farkle, Bejeweled Blitz, or Mafia, but am glad you enjoy them. I’m not especially interested in the boil on your butt, but I did recently post a nasty photo of an unidentified scary-looking dermatological foot mystery on my status update. Doing much better now, thanks.
So, go on, be yourself. If it’s too much for me, I might turn off your feed, but I’ll likely come visit and check up on you from time to time.
No matter what people say, Facebook does something for everyone. Those who haven’t tried it are likely the critics. The beauty lies in customizing your settings to fit your needs and enjoying the connections to the people you care about that it provides.
Have a great weekend!