I’ve now been a Facebooker for a couple of months, a certified page-pushing member of a social medium I once decried as a totally bogus alternate reality for people with nothing else to do.
And now, well… mea culpa. I humbly apologize, especially to the scores of people who have friended me in very short order and who have made me feel like a complete heel for doubting the value of their forum.
Having lived in relative isolation for the last decade, I am not unhappy having so many people to listen to or speak to (when I feel like it, of course) without having to buy drinks for any of them. I leap out of bed each morning, and while the coffee brews and I organize my pens and notebooks for the day’s writing effort, I scroll down to see what’s up with the old and new friends to whom I’ve connected. It’s a pleasant piece of my day.
But with a platform on Facebook come some awful responsibilities – like realizing that declining a friend request or having one of my requests declined or ignored can be hurtful, or like learning (from my wife, who is a Facebook veteran and who is all-knowing about such things) how to wield the power of unfollowing or snoozing otherwise well-meaning folks who insist on showing me every single dog and cat up for adoption in rural Alabama, or folks who fancy themselves as political pundits when we already have far too many of them.
Perhaps the best thing about my Facebook experience has been the discovery that so many people still have a great sense of humor. Every day there is a joke, a photo or a video that makes me smile, sometimes laugh out loud. It’s a welcome relief from the news of the main stream media, a brightness in what otherwise might be a darker day.
One of the first people I connected with, a writer/environmentalist I hadn’t had contact with in many years, welcomed me to the Facebook fold and said he hoped that I would be able to manage my presence there better than he did. After two months of reading all of his posts, I think he manages his Facebook page with enviable style and compassion.
As for me, I suppose I manage and I do enjoy it, though I cringe when my good wife gives me one of those ‘I told you so’ looks from the other side of the breakfast table.
I still haven’t decided whether I am evolving or devolving, but I’m having fun with it. Maybe an old dog can’t learn new tricks – but he can learn to roll over.