This morning I checked Facebook when I woke up. It’s become my morning tradition, my way of considering what’s happening around the world before I dare to stick my toes out of the covers and face what’s happening in my own home.
Sometimes I feel guilty for how I use Facebook, because, let’s face it – Facebook is a socially acceptable way of being a Peeping Tom. We show up, creep around on a newsfeed reading about other people’s lives, and often exit the conversation without saying a word.
Not a model of healthy relationships.
At about 6:23 a.m. I realized that while I’ve been posting stories of my three-year-old old surprise pooping in public, my caffeine addiction and lack of sleep… my friends have been using Facebook to privately message a prayer request as cancer spreads and financial burdens overwhelm; to mourn with a local family whose 8-year-old was killed in a boating accident; and announce an ER visit to treat a bullet wound. (I laughed, shook my head, and gave thanks that my friend was shot in the arm and relatively unharmed. And of course I responded, “It’s all fun and games until someone gets shot in the arm.”)
Real life. Not made up social blustering and preening.
I don’t see many stories of people bragging on my news feed when I go on Facebook. Most of my Facebook friends are vaguely well-balanced, authentic, and have a knack for fitting life into two-to-three sentences before they hit “post.”
I realize this isn’t the case for everyone. In fact, I’ll never forget the Yellow Pages salesman who, during a sales visit to our business, said we should keep our Yellow Pages ad because most people were like him and just used Facebook to “creep on hot chicks before bed.” I was appalled then and still stunned at his lack of professionalism now.
I realize Facebook can be a detriment, add covetousness to your life, and act as a phenomenal time waster.
This morning, however, I’m grateful for the ability social media has to mobilize the troops to help; to quickly communicate significant life events (always good to know your friend really is pregnant when she’s in that awkward “fluffly” stage of gestation); to provide access to experts in your area of interests; to provide a belly laugh when needed (still go back to the status update a friend posted about seeing a man sneeze in his car, hit his head on the steering wheel, and honk the horn! It’s been almost two years since she posted that and I still laugh out loud).
Thanks, friends. I appreciate you. And Facebook – I appreciate you, too.