I have been on Facebook for about 5 years now and have a number of people that I have friended or been friended by. Most I had not spoken to or seen in many years. So connection was re-established with anticipation. We all wanted to know what everyone has been doing, where are you living, what are you doing and how many children do you have. It's quite easy and frankly very impersonal to catch up via a computer screen but it was done nonetheless. I have also met (virtually) many wonderful photographers with similar interest who are willing to help me on my journey to better my photography.
I was getting friend request from people I had not heard from in over 20 years. Friends were finding me that I was thrilled to re-connect with. There are pro's and con's to Facebook and I think most people know them and they don't need to be listed here. Some use it as a weapon, some use it to create an illusion of the happy life, some use it to beat others up verbally, some use it to life the spirits of others. I am lucky to have a few of the latter. I have also had people unfriend me and I have unfriended people as well. When people say awful things then I tend to think they shouldn't be on my friends list. However people have unfriended me without notice or explanation. Well I guess that was a friendship fallacy and wasn't the true meaning of friendship. I have also heard that people have said I don't know why she isn't talking to me anymore. Well here's a clue… you unfriend me I am presuming you don't want to talk to me.
Facebook has been wonderful to get information out as well as obtain information for local and national news. Some of the unfortunate aspects to Facebook is many of us become dependent on information we obtain through the news feed without actually picking up the phone. Tones and inflections of someones voice cannot be replaced by a status update. I believe the friend connection often gives people the illusion that they actually have that many friends. I think most of us would agree that we don't. I don't speak to these people on a regular basis but quite happy to know how they are doing
I am realizing that when I hear of some people's life changing events via a news feed that maybe it's a sign. It's actually quite sad when you find that someone that you have known for more than half your life is or recently went through a divorce and is now picking up the pieces and moving on. Being adaptable to change was always one characteristic of this person always had. For that reason I know she will land on her feet and move on successfully.
Having had a bad day recently I posted I needed a pick me up. A friend soon stopped by with wine and chocalates. She couldn't stay but she wanted me to know she read my feed and hope that everything would get better. Seeing her face showed that Facebook has a place and fulfills a need.
I hope that like many things the Facebook status updates does not substitute the need for friends to pick up the phone and chat. In in ever changing world people need to always find a way to connect and not just virtually. Though it is convenient it just doesn't have the same impact or meaning.