In the seven years that I have been on Facebook, I have discovered several things about myself, my friends, and the world I live in. Here is a sampling of the lessons I have learned:
THINGS AREN’T ALWAYS WHAT THEY SEEM:
Most people I know only post their good stuff. The last post I wrote was about this, and how I think this is totally okay, and even my preference. The lesson I have taken away from this is that I needn’t be too concerned about measuring up to anyone on Facebook. It’s just not realistic, and it’s just not worth my time or energy to try. Facebook is what it is: a highlights reel, not the whole game. I realize I’m missing a bunch of the facts, and that’s okay.
ARGUMENTS ARE BETTER LEFT OFF-LINE:
Has anyone ever been convinced to switch their political and/or religious views based on something online? I am not saying you shouldn’t post things you find inspiring or uplifting on these two topics, but what I don’t understand is when people post things putting down someone else’s views or beliefs. I’ve only seen hateful comments divide, not change anyone else’s opinions.
IT’S EASY TO SLIP INTO A TIME WARP:
Time management is always a bit of a struggle for me. I have read quite a few articles about the science behind why this is more difficult for some and not others. It seems that the part of my brain that gages about how long a task will take is a bit “off.” And interestingly enough, multitaskers like me tend to have this issue. It’s something I am always aware of and constantly working on so that my kids will see me modeling appropriate use of my time and a healthy balance of technology in my life.
IT’S NICE TO BELONG IN A GROUP:
I don’t know about you, but Facebook Groups is a feature I use A LOT. I have a couple single moms groups, a church group, high school friends, blog friends… you get the picture. It becomes really easy to communicate among these different groups when I use Facebook’s Group feature. I love how it streamlines conversations and how it makes life just a little bit easier.
FRIENDSHIP LOOKS DIFFERENT NOW:
Oh, my gosh, letters. Actual send-in-the-mail letters. Do you remember those? Not so long ago, I was going through boxes for a move and found a whole big box of these precious handwritten notes written on honest-to-goodness paper and stationary (what-what?). Do my kids even know that the word “stationary” can mean a type of paper product? Back in the day, this is how we used to keep in touch with our long-distance friends. But these days, we just don’t have the time to communicate via “snail mail.” (I still try to, because I love it, but sadly not near as much as I’d like.) Also, those long-lost friends from days past are so accessible I almost feel like I know them, even when I haven’t actually seen them in ages. I kinda like that. Don’t get me wrong, I still think actually getting together with your friends is a must, but admit it, sometimes that is a lot easier said than done.
A LOT OF MY FRIENDS ARE SELLING SOMETHING:
For real! But in reality, it’s really not all that bad, is it? I mean, I can’t think of people who I’d want to support more than my friends. If you can afford it, and want it, why not buy from them? Most people I know who have their own direct sales businesses do so because they want to contribute to their home income while staying home with their kids. That’s something I respect very much and will do what I can to support (within my financial abilities, that is!).
IT’S A SMALL WORLD AFTER ALL:
I knew this before Facebook, but now the interesting connections are more and more frequent and super fun to figure out. It’s a good thing when worlds collide — at least for me it is. I guess I can’t say that it is for everyone. But it makes me realize that there is still a great big world I haven’t experienced, and when I can connect with friends and family near and far with a few little taps on my phone or clicks on my computer, anything seems possible. Well, almost anything.
I’ve learned these and other valuable lessons while navigating through this exciting, scary, and vast world of technology and information now available at our fingertips. I love it, but what is very clear to me is that I love the actual friendships I have more than the Facebook friendships I have. Nothing can replace girls’ nights or getting together with family and friends, but Facebook does make managing all of it and keeping up a whole lot easier. And for that, I am grateful.