Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A Virtual Leap

Back in the middle of a brutal Chicago winter, I spent a good amount of time indoors and online for entertainment. Christy, one of my good friends from Memphis urged me to join Facebook to stay better connected with my friends spread far and wide. I was hesitant, but agreed to try it out.
Once I set up a profile for myself and started sending and receiving invitations, it was like being swept into a swift current of a river I hadn’t even known existed! Having moved four times since graduating college and joining the working world, I regretted losing track of some special friends. Suddenly, I was finding them and they were finding me through Facebook. Now I’m connected to 110 friends, which seems like a lot to me!

I’m delighted to have made FB connections with remote family members, some of whom with which we normally only exchanged Christmas cards. My younger sister, Althea, and I use the chat function to catch up with each other. Cousin Johnna posts photos of her girls Claire and Molly, and I plan to see them all (and finally meet their daddy) in Maine in September. I found Lauren Haropulos, a young cousin twice removed, that I did not know. She is a high school student in New York City. (I don’t understand a lot of what she posts, which is in texting lingo – but that’s cool.) Her school was the one in the news about the Swine Flu breakout, and her postings were interesting during that time. (Students at St Francis Prep were calling the school “Swine Prep”.)

I’m grateful to have reconnected with so many dear friends. Kathy, an elementary school friend, sent me an invitation (and sent me digging through boxes to find old class photos) – what a delightful surprise! Emily, a dear friend from Northwestern, is a treasure! Her humor and sweetness bring me a unique joy I had missed since we lost track of each other years ago. I hope to get to Seattle to see her in person. My lifelong friend, Debi and her partner Tim are building a new house in Maryland. She sent a link to a web site where I can see the progress on construction of their dream home. I get to see vacation photos from friends like Fernando & Michelle and Kevin & Jill that I might not otherwise have seen. There are so many more examples of the pleasure social networking has provided to me. It was well worth the virtual leap.

Is there a down side to this trend to online friendship? Not for me. Granted, I have “ignored” some friend requests from a few people who are only acquaintances or business associates, but not friends. (Sorry.) And I have friended a few people who post TMI, so I have hidden their posts. I have only unfriended one person, who shall remain nameless. It’s manageable.

So if you can’t get enough of your friends and family and/or have lost track of some good friends – try Facebook. It’s a perfect example of what’s really good about the internet.

1 comment:

  1. This wasn't supposed to post until Thursday (2 days from now). Blogger must have burped it up. Well, hope you enjoy!