I confess, I am a Facebook Junkie.
When I moved away from my home of 25 years about 10 years ago, I left my job and my friends to lead a new life as caregiver to my granddaughter while her parents worked. It took awhile, but eventually I found that as much as I LOVED what I was doing, I was pretty lonely. Yikes! I hope that doesn’t sound like regret, because I don’t regret it AT ALL! What I’m doing is the most important stuff I’ve ever done in my life!
But it did take some adjustment.
I took an on-line class that came with a Facebook group, and the rest is history. Quickly, I was hooked. I could have friends that I could “chat” with, all over the world, at all hours of the day and night, whenever I was able.
Some of my friends are fellow artists (most of whom I’ve never met in real life) and fellow political bloggers (most of whom I’ve never met in real life.) Others are real world friends from where I used to live, some are people I’ve met on trips, some are family members (close AND extended) and a very few are real world friends from where I live now.
Additionally, I “follow” a number of artists I admire, “causes” that are near and dear to my heart – politics, religion – my favorite veggie restaurants and cookbook authors, shops I like, scrapbook businesses…It makes for a very interesting newsfeed.
I can read most of the important news of the day, keep up on friend’s lives, find amazing-looking recipes, do a little shopping, a little dreaming, get artistically inspired, do a little Bible study, take a class, and even jump onto my soapbox, all on the same platform. It has become my portal to the world, and I love it!
It’s the soapbox part that I’m wrestling with at the moment.
I am VERY passionate about my “causes.” And because I have so few real world friends, I find my soapbox on Facebook my favorite. I can share articles (which have been shared with me) lobby support for a variety of things, and try to provoke deeper thought on a variety of subjects. I have few illusions that I’ll be making a wholesale change in hearts and minds, but I would hope that I can at least get people thinking and talking about the issues I find important.
It’s possible I do no more than annoy people, but that’s something I’m willing to chance.
I read nearly all the articles that come across my feed. Some of them give me aha! moments. Some of them disgust me. Some of them I have to go and check out to see if they are true, and very often, they are NOT. So, I generally call them out as being false. I like to think that by doing that, I form my opinions based on reality, not what someone else wants me to think. I ENJOY challenging my beliefs. And SOMETIMES, I even change my opinion.
Not everyone does that, and I can feel the tension from time to time.
But my newsfeed is a pro-discussion platform, as long as opinions are given respectfully, and discussions are civil.
Man, have I found out the hard way that not all people feel that way. If they share an article, it’s because they believe it, and no one need give a contrary opinion, no matter how reasoned it is, and how courteously it is offered. “Don’t confuse me with facts!” is my take-away.
I’ve “lost” some friends along the way. Well, reasonable people don’t ditch “friendships” because of disagreements on much of anything, which tells me they weren’t really friends. Doesn’t make it hurt any less, but it’s better to know, isn’t it?
Oh, and in the interest of full-disclosure, I now care for four grandchildren! And the flexibility of on-line friends and a 24 hour portal to the world is even MORE important! Heeheehee!
So how about you? How do you use your Facebook Wall? Is it all fun and games, or do you use it as your platform in the world? Feel free to share your stories, frustrations and advice!