Facebook Is Cooler than You Think

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Facebook logoAs fashionable as it once was to join Facebook, it's becoming equally fashionable to trash talk Facebook. (I suspect many critics remain furtive users.)

Of course, I think I have one foot in the world of grandparents who've joined to keep up with their grandlings, and another foot across the divide into whatever thing the youth of the day think they are into. Probably not, but that is what I believe, and I cannot possibly stop believing what I believe without believing something else that I do not currently believe. (And what would that be?)

I M M O R T A L I T Y

IMMORTALITY is the appeal of Facebook. Yes, it's about interpersonal connections, finding your friends, catching up on their lives and giving them a thumbs up for what they are doing or thinking or saying.

It's also about restoring lost connections, like one of my brightest students in Freshman English when I was a Freshman teacher, only about 21 myself. She was so smart! If the student could out-argue my argument on how to diagram a sentence, I gave the student the point, and Ruth did it more than once. She was fierce and brilliant. I lost track of her. When she appeared in my Facebook feed, I didn't recognize her. She looked nothing like her 14 year old self, and I'd never learned her married name.

When she messaged me that she would be under two hours away on a business trip and would like to meet up because I'd meant so much to her as a teacher, I immediately accepted. Then wondered who she was.

Possibly a psychopath. Or a someone with borderline personality disorder—boundary issues—who will come into your house and never ever leave until you mercifully throw her out.

I scurried to research her, gather an inkling, and confirm with a mutual friend she was my long-lost brilliant Athena/Nike. Then I could barely contain myself until she arrived. We started talking and did not stop until she left after dinner, perhaps six hours later. Did not even show her our amazing house, grounds and views. It was so rich. I cannot tell you the blessing it has been to my life–well over a year ago now–to follow on Facebook as this woman, a medical doctor, has seen her mother die; husband, a tenured chemistry professor, sicken and die of cancer; her daughters bounce off to college; and continue to show up to work every day where everyone loves her, then go home and garden and can and freeze and cook and be resilient.

Legacy

We want to leave a legacy. For me, a writer, I've saved scraps and scraps of paper upon which I've written the most trite and banal poems and thoughts, since I was a wee child, hoping that posthumously I would be "discovered" and widely published. Probably because becoming a best-selling author in this life did not seem as attainable as it would be in heaven.

On Facebook, ones words are recorded forever and ever.

  • Published.
  • Recorded.
  • You were here.
  • You made a difference.
  • What you thought and said mattered.
  • And you connected.

Forever. Just ask Mark Zuckerberg.

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