Posted April 18, 2014
I love Facebook. I really do. I know, I know, there are much better ways to spend my time. But I consider it my “water cooler” or perhaps my “break room.” I don’t commute into an office every day (yay!) and when I do leave home to work, I spend the time in low lighting with serene music focused on relieving someone else’s stress with no smart phone or computer at hand. (Just as it should be.) So when I’m working at home, I take e-breaks. (We can certainly argue how many breaks are too many, but honestly, who hasn’t had a day here and there when you leave your desk to fill up on coffee or tea or soda or a snack more times than you should?)
I stop in on Facebook to see what my friends are up to. I have my private page and then there’s my author page for anyone to view. I admit, I am selective on whose friend request I accept on my private page – 99 percent of my connections are people I have met in person at least once. I don’t spend much time playing games. I have a ridiculous number of game requests that mostly go unanswered.
What I love about Facebook are the friendships I’ve continued that likely would have fallen by the wayside as our lives changed over the years – former co-workers, old school mates. I’ve reconnected with friends I had as far back as primary school in the UK. I love to peek in on their lives and chat with them as if they were right there with me in the break room, sharing casual observations that allow us to share a “wow” moment – “Did you see that amazing video?” “Wasn’t that news item sad?” “Isn’t that interesting/crazy/fabulous/disgusting?” Posts can make me smile or bring a tear to my eye and some make me laugh out loud. For a moment I’m bonded with another on a topic or a feeling. I can let someone know that I agree, that what they shared touched my heart. A post may incite a spirited discussion and affirm a belief or open my thoughts to a way of thinking I hadn’t before considered.
Facebook, in its electronic way, can build community, lessen loneliness and celebrate a joy. (I’m sticking with the positives here… I know it can contribute to some negative situations. Maybe that’s another essay.)
While I love Facebook and what it can offer, I always say, “everything in balance.” Life has much to offer us, small moments we should savor – a firm embrace, cherry blossoms in your hair, the rough feel of a great oak, a river rushing over rocks, the moon rising through trees, lips on your cheek, and so many more. These are moments we should turn off the phone and the computer to soak into our skin –moments we don’t need to post on Facebook.
But if we do, maybe we’ll inspire someone, make them laugh, make them think while they take a mini break from work.