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I entered the land of facebook on January 1, 2009. How do I remember that date? D2 had just gotten married over the 2008 Christmas holidays and word was out that photos of the wedding were on fb. What? We had contracted a photographer, but his photos wouldn’t be available for a few more weeks. I.just.couldn’t.wait. So Mama Sullins opened her account with thoughts of closing it after she could personally enjoy the candids taken by friends and family. All that coverage. All those marvelous photos gave me a chance to savor the moments and see the ones I had missed.

I just couldn't wait.

I just couldn’t wait. I think Uncle Phil took this one.

And then, something unexpected happened. Family, high school friends, college friends, acquaintances and co-workers were friending ME. Well, I had to reciprocate.

I quickly learned what was going on in the lives of so many. The world doesn’t just revolve around me.

Some memorable moments…

1. A tornado blew through an old high school friend’s community. I wouldn’t have known at all about the personal role she played as hero in her community of transporting folks from devastation to safe zones. I’m honored to know her.

2. Nieces and nephews graduated from college or got married. Photos and updates poured in on their respective days.

3. GS1 and D1 had just moved to CA. Photos and updates about their weeks came across the screen routinely.

4. And then all those birthdays! Everyone has a birthday, and I have tried to acknowledge each one as my birthday calendar reminds me. I was virtually blown over when so many remembered mine!

5. Generosity. When I appealed on facebook for a fail proof cookie recipe that would make Christmas shapes and not Christmas blobs, a local cookie store merchant shared with me her recipe.

Christmas shapes not Christmas blobs

Christmas shapes not Christmas blobs

6. When real life drama played out in the lives of friends, we were there. D2 had just been married. A lifelong friend of hers married in August after D2 and SIL were married. By December this young bride just a few months married who I had known since she was six, was facing becoming a widow when her husband was stricken by a life-threatening illness. Many friends and acquaintances from our neighborhood who had over the years relocated, united as an fb community and prayed together. We logged on constantly anxious for updates. It was a Christmas I will never forget. All we wanted was good news and then we got our Christmas wish. One has to wonder if all those prayers helped realize his recovery and a healthy outcome.

Twenty months after logging into fb, I started this blog. I linked the blog to fb and lo! another audience of readers commented at fb if not at the blog.

Sometimes, I hear someone wanting to renounce their membership, and yes, some have disappeared. Some posts are as my husband says, “About as messed up as a soup sandwich.” A whole array of life scrolls past me. Political views. (Note to self – do not engage.) Not so flattering photos. (tmi?) The restaurant and photo of what someone is about to eat. (We’re all human. We all eat.) I have found you can post as much as you want or as little as you wish. When I read, I check for life events: an engagement, a marriage, a birth, a move, an illness, a birthday or sadly the passing of a family member, friend or co-worker. I check in almost daily. Count me present. But, I read about 6 – 10 posts deep, like, comment or ignore and then I log out.

I don’t think I’ll be deleting my account.

1. Facebook has helped me place my fingers on the keys to feel the pulse of so many. It has helped me feel the texture of lives. What is the commercial about cotton? (♪The Touch, The Feel, The Fabric Of Our Lives…plays in the background.) Photos, one liners, conversation threads, greetings, congrats and condolences are all threads of the fabric. It may be smooth, bumpy, vibrant, tightly or loosely woven.

2. One thing fb has done is portray things as they are. Is it gossip when you hear it from the source?

3. Some posts can be frustrating though. “If you support X, make this your status for an hour, a day, a week (insert time).” hmmmmm…my calendar hours do not include hourly fb postings or log-ins. If I don’t see this, does that mean I don’t support it or I have no opinion? Mental note to self: I have to ignore these time sensitive pleas, but I do respect this is important to you.

4. The fabric may not even be cotton. It could be sheer nylon with all those selfies. It could be polyester as someone posts their latest jaunt in excess. It could be wool out of season in the summer. What were you thinking when you wore/posted that? Or, it could be wool warm in winter. Perfect. I smile and nod in agreement. It could be silk with a thought, image or share so pure, I might message them to tell them so. Or, the fabric could be an exotic weave, a little known fact that gives dimension to the person.

5. Facebook helps keep me organized. If I don’t have an e-mail, I will message someone. If I don’t remember a date, I can look it up. If I forget a detail, there it is.

Yes, it’s a bit like high school when we walked through the halls changing classes, waving quickly or saying “Hi” to all we met. We can leave virtual footprints and waves on this web, or not.

Paul Simon’s song comes to mind. Still crazy after all these years. Crazy good. Crazy sentimental. Crazy for connections. Crazy impatient. Crazy curious.

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