In Defence Of Facebook

January 12, 2019

Credit: Sue Csendes

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As I opened up Facebook on the phone last night, Facebook had a question for me, you know, if I could spare a few minutes.

Facebook wanted me to take a quick survey.  After a few multiple-choice questions, they hit me the essay question,  "What is your favorite part of Facebook?"

While I know FB has been taking a few hard hits as of late, and I also am well aware of the overall weird atmosphere of Facebook in these heated/combative/political/etc times., I have to say I still love Facebook for all of the good things it has done, and continues to do. 

My first test of the power of connecting friends was early in 2009 when I was relatively new to Facebook, and a friend had unexpectedly passed away.  By the end of the day, friends literally all over the world knew that Mark was no longer with us.  We exchanged stories and laughs, and probably within that week had commandeered a local club, and a memorial get together was underway.  No need to dig out phone numbers, and track down addresses.  Or even remember email addresses at that point, it was instantaneous and easy to spread the sad news.  

Over the holidays I sat at dinner with a group of friends at our relatively new holiday hook up.  While I knew all of the ladies except one from different area of my life, before I got the idea to start a secret, closed group on Facebook, they didn't know each other.  We initially bonded over a television show, that morphed into monthly hikes, then get togethers at various houses.  We've shared happy and we've shared sad.  Most of all we've supported each other, and our bonds grew deeper. 

Speaking of those secret, closed groups, there are a few of them that were not started over lightweight things like television, but from weightier issues like taking care of elderly parents, then that other group no one wants to be in, adult orphans, sadly and slowly moving through this new phase of life that really no one prepared us for.  There two places are comfort zones of friends, some who know each other, sone who do not, but are bonded by life experiences.  A place to go without judgement to exchange ideas, to rage, to cry, to have the comfort of knowing that someone out there knows exactly what we are going though.

There is no way on Earth any of this could have happened as easily as it has without this thing called Facebook.  The politics, the rude comments, the arguments, I scroll past them.  We all have the freedom to do what we want with our pages, and barring things like abuse in any form, it's not my place to cry foul.  And I will not let those posts enter my zone.  Just scroll past.  See the page of Cleveland cats, and the food blogs, and things from your old home town.  And most importantly friends and family.  Make it what you want it to be. 

I am sure Facebook is probably using my glowing comments as material to start charging me at some point, and if the price is right I might consider it, it's wormed its way into my life to the point, not only do I want it, I need it.

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