Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Facing Facebook

A year or so ago my cousin began gently harassing me to get a profile on Facebook. She explained that many of my relatives, including my own brother, were already on and it made family communication very easy. I agreed to check it out and then promptly forgot. After a few more months and nudges I finally bit the bullet and signed on.

Facebook does make it easier to keep up with my family and even reconnect with some members whom I haven't seen in years. Like "six degrees of separation," it's fun to see who's found who from camp, college, and high school. I've even been found by the girl who was my neighbor when I was a toddler! However it also puts people who were a mere flicker in my memory back on the radar screen, and I'm not really sure how I feel about that. All sorts of emotions that have been dormant for decades come flooding back into the present. Feelings of bitterness, insecurity and one-up-manship that I thought were long gone surface a little too easily for my comfort.

So what's a girl (okay, a middle aged gal) to do? First, I'm standing firmly on the conviction that I am content with my life. I love my husband, my job, and my station in life, and I will not be concerned over things that didn't bother me last year let alone ten years ago. And second, I will not shy away from people who "knew me when" because, as Brandon Heath so aptly sings, I'm Not Who I Was. God has been in the process of changing me into the image of His Son Who is kind, merciful, and (thankfully) graciously forgetful. Is that not the best thing I have to offer, anyway?

4 comments:

Dave @ Home School Dad said...

What a good post. I find it very strange indeed, when boys who teased me 30 odd years ago want to be my friend now. Yet as you say, I am not who I was then, and have a great deal more to give than they could ever take.

anika said...

relating....

eurka said...

Be as selective as you want to be. I only "friend" people who were close enough to be invited to our wedding, exchange Christmas cards, etc. Just say no to the ancient past if you want.

I actually dropped a bunch of facebook contacts when I was moving because I didn't want it to leak before I announced at work. The people dropped do not get an announcement of the fact, and if they have 619 friends they won't notice anyway. Only a few of the ones I dropped bothered to come back. Business contacts I refer to my linkedin account instead.

Anyway, just use it the way you want to use it, keeping in mind that somewhere there is a possibly permanent record of everything posted online. I think our generation is more selective than the 20-somethings, so set your own standard.

eureka said...

Funny stuff. How facebook is for oldsters.
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1879169,00.html

I should add for those who may not realize it -- you can control who sees what, i.e., have more info available to family than for way old friends, if you like.

I admire your perspective; who knows whose life you can touch just by clicking "yes" and using the web to relay care through simply the existence of a strong personal testimony and a healthy family? :) I was able to find a few people from way-back-when and relay some long-overdue thank yous and apologies, which I hope was mutually beneficial.