I’ve been hearing a lot lately, both in real life and online, about how evil Facebook is. I hear a lot of “I’m just deleting my whole account.” I know people who have and they are happier for it. I know people who have and they are sadder for it. I know people who like to say they are going to do it and then go and update their status to tell everyone about it.
Personally, I like Facebook. Yes, there are things that are annoying about it. Yes, there are times when I feel like everyone on my FB has a better life than me; that they have better-behaved children, more fulfilling jobs, exciting vacations, gigantic homes. Those are the times I have to remind myself of my blessings and take a break.
But I have had some really beautiful experiences via Facebook. Because of FB I have seen the children of friends I haven’t seen in years and years, grow and change. Because of FB I know that a college friend of mine is moving to our area soon and I may get to see her in real life again. Because of FB I have gotten great advice. Because of FB, I have a wonderful group of mommy-friends whom I have never met face-to-face, but whom I consider an important part of my life.
Most of all, because of Facebook, I got to have a wonderful friend in my life again for a brief period of time. Although we were never all that close, she was a person I really liked. She was great to be around, a person who just exuded warmth. We connected via Facebook and when she became a mom, we started to talk again. She was a big breastfeeding advocate and we had some great discussions. I got to see her little boy grow. And then she died, suddenly and tragically, leaving behind her husband and her young son. I only found out about her death via FB. Because of her FB page, friends of hers from all over the world, got together to remember her life. Because of her FB page, I still get to watch her little boy grow. Because of her FB page, friends of hers from all over the world can still remember her together.
So I think, for me, I can tolerate the ads and the odd friend suggestions and the sometimes feeling inferior to the perfect status updates, to be able to connect with some wonderful people who might otherwise never have been in my life. To me, that is the beauty of social media and that is why I keep my profile up.