Monday, April 12, 2010

Day Eight - Use Facebook for Something Positive

     How many of you have a 'facebook' page?  I decided to get one a few years back when my kids were younger and I wanted the ability to monitor their online activities and watch for potential predators.  Within a few hours of developing my 'page,' I had many 'friend requests' and was so surprised that people were seeking me out!  I soon realized that facebook was a cyber black hole and was sucking me in deeper and deeper.  I found myself spending hours online catching up with old friends and watching the news feeds to see what everyone is doing.  I also noticed my kids were 'collecting' friends and all of the teenagers were having an unspoken competition to see who had more friends.  I watched my own friend numbers grow and was allowing anyone to 'friend me'--even if I had seen or spoken to them in 30 years!  I think the most bizarre friend request came from a friend of my older brother's who remembered me in junior high school - strange, huh?  It didn't take me long to realize facebook was eating valuable time and also I was uncomfortable with sharing my hour by hour activities during the day.  I was allowing people to violate my own privacy!  After I stepped away from this narcissistic practice for a while, I found I missed some of the people I had been reacquainted with and decide to continue--in moderation!
     So what does my ARK have to do with facebook?  I decided to use this vehicle today to reach out to a person who I was acquaintances with in high school and now am friends with on facebook.  You see, I have dozens and dozens of high school people on my friend's list, but I actually didn't know them well in high school and after thirty years, can't even imagine what we would have in common now.  I thought that was a sad fact.  I shouldn't have been so self-absorbed and shallow in high school--I should have taken the time to really get to know people and I should have stayed in touch with those I cared for.  Today, I decided to pick an obscure friend and post a comment to them remembering something significant and nice about them from school.  I thought it would be difficult, but when I got out my high school yearbook and looked at the pictures and things people had written to me, a lot of very happy memories came flooding in.  It was a nice trip down memory lane, and the person I wrote to on facebook seemed genuinely pleased that I had remembered these nice things about her.  I hope I made her feel good--I know it made me feel good and wish I had paid more attention to her thirty years ago!

     "Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless."
     ~ Mother Teresa

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