I’ve just “discovered” facebook. Last year invitations from high school friends flooded my yahoo inbox. I even got invites from family members, but I refused to join. I wasn’t ready to take on the social pressures that came with an account on Facebook. You know, the kind where you have to look into other peoples’ lives through their photo albums, and respond to all of their messages so that no one felt slighted.
I finally relented and set up my account, and can honestly say that I love Facebook. I not only connected with old friends and colleagues, but got the opportunity to really get to know people whom I interact with face-to-face on a daily basis.
During the course of the day, I’m so busy accomplishing tasks that I don’t stop to really get to know those whom I work with–their interests, life’s journey, challenges, joys, sorrows. Through Facebook, I see and hear what interests them; they come alive through their photo albums, through their comments. Facebook makes these folks real; it gives them an authentic voice, because I see them as more than just professionals. They are living, feeling human beings.
Today my colleague O lost her cat. I have known her for a few years, but never knew that she had a cat. Yesterday a group of dogs chewed it up; today it died. I heard her anguish; and, as a fellow animal-lover, I felt her pain. She asked for some advice, and I could give it to her.
I learned too, that my best friend who went to prep and high school and boarding school with me died two years ago from cancer. That was truly devasting news. After high school we lost touch, but over the years I googled her name, hoping to at least find where she was. Nothing came up. It wasn’t until I connected with another classmate that I got the terrible news.
Then to my great joy, I found my old college roommate, V.S., whom I haven’t spoken to in like six years. I was so happy to find her on Facebook and reconnect with her. So in the space of one evening I experienced incredible joy, and had my heart broken! Such are the pressures of Facebook, but it’s worth it.