My children were the “gateway drug” to my presence on Facebook. They would tell me to look at this or that on Facebook. Finally I caved in and signed up. I wouldn’t call it an addiction, but isn’t that what all addicts say?
Facebook is an easy way to keep up with people, and it’s allowed me to re-connect with old friends I’d lost touch with. Facebook can bring people together and make the world feel like a smaller place. I enjoy the updates and postings from people in far-flung places. I get a kick out of seeing candid shots of parties, babies, and events. With children on either side of the continent, I can take part in their lives in ways that were impossible a decade ago.
This is not to say that Facebook doesn’t have its negative aspects. Anyone can tell you that reading endless posts of extravagant vacations, perfect children, and beautiful decor is almost like getting a daily dose of those dreadful self-congratulatory Christmas letters.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, there are the attention-seekers who post status updates cryptically saying “Worst. Day. Ever.” And then wait for the inevitable comments. Don’t enable the pity-party. If it’s really their worst day ever, it is unlikely they could have the time or energy to post it on Facebook!
Facebook makes instant celebrity out of the mundane. Last week when I heard about the death of the great pianist, Van Cliburn, the announcer said “He was a big deal, when things like this were a big deal.” And a part of me mourned a little. Now, you are a big deal if the YouTube video of your cat you posted on Facebook garners a million hits.