When it comes to Facebook, the world seems to be divided into two camps: those who love it and those who think it’s an intrusive time-waster. I’m of the former group. I love Facebook fun, think it’s diverting and a great way to connect with people and find out what they’re thinking about any issue. It’s also a wonderful source of recipes if you’re friends with me, but more on that later.
A few years ago I went to my high school reunion. For the most part we women (I went to an all girls school), hadn’t seen each other in over forty years. The reunion was a great success. We all spoke to old friends, made new ones and tearfully (in a good way) shared memories and remembered those no longer with us.
When the reunion was over many of us “friended” each other on Facebook. By doing so, we continue to be in touch. Now, when I have a new book coming out, have a book that’s being promoted, or write a blog, these old and new friends from high school are the first ones to like and share my page and urge others to read the blog or the book. More significantly, they’re also the ones who reach out when someone is sick or in need. A grandchild needs a specialist? My classmates and I are on the problem and making it our own to solve. Someone is sick and needs prayers and good thoughts? We’re there for that too. Because of that reunion I’ve acquired new friends and Facebook has kept those friendships alive.
Facebook also helps me with keep up with our large and widespread family. As I’ve posted before, I am part of a very large family. My children have 30 first cousins. To make it even more interesting those cousins and the second cousins and sometimes even the third and fourth cousins keep in touch. But how can that be managed? Last Saturday night I was at a wedding party and was talking to one of my husband’s cousins. We were able to quickly move from greeting one another to real conversation, avoiding politics when we realized we didn’t agree. But we didn’t need small talk to get reacquainted or dwell on what was new. I already knew one of her sons just got married, the other recently started business school, and her daughter graduated from college this summer summa cum laude. I know that all from Facebook. Even though I hadn’t seen this cousin in several years, it didn’t feel like that. We’re regularly in touch because of social media.
Facebook is also an interesting forum for topical discussions. I’m not going to touch politics. In this climate and with the election on the near horizon, that’s too sensitive. But what about all the issues that we discuss with our family and friends and chew on trying to figure out what is right and where we stand. I read a post on Facebook criticizing all day kindergarten and the fact that kindergarten programs have become so academic. When I shared the post I got a deluge of responses on both sides of the argument. Those responses and observations kept me thinking for days.
Finally, there are those recipes. If you are my friend on Facebook, you know I share recipes. I started sharing them because I couldn’t figure out a better way to have access to them later. Then I found that people liked them as much as I did, like me, they were looking for healthy and delicious food. I also like the videos. I’m an amateur cook who has taken a few cooking classes. These cooking videos are, in my opinion, just as helpful in learning techniques.
So yes, Facebook can be a time sponge and time waster, but I think the benefits of Facebook far outweigh its disadvantages. To be able to connect with friends and loved ones no matter where they live, being the most positive of them.
Deborah Nolan is the author of SUDDENLY LILY and CONFLICT OF INTEREST, published by Montlake. She is also the author of SECOND ACT FOR CARRIE ARMSTRONG, published by Desert Breeze Publishing. Her latest romance, HELLO AGAIN, will be coming out in January, 2017 through Desert Breeze Publishing. In addition to writing and cooking, Deborah paints, visits her children and travels to the weddings of her many nieces and nephews