This is gonna sound weird, but I really love growing up on Facebook. I love watching my friends grow up (not old!) with me. I love seeing their smiling faces on Facebook every day (ok, sometimes every couple of hours. what?) and knowing they are happy. Or not. Either way, I have the gift of knowing and being there, for the good and the bad. And honestly, without FB, it would be a heck of a lot harder to keep up with everyone. It's like a central memory bank/webcam/window into the various parts of my life - past, present, future.
Also: my friends? The best looking group on earth. They are all so beautiful, and they get better looking all the time. The laugh lines, the sparkling eyes, the goofy smiles. The little girl I grew up with now thriving in her medical residency. The boys I rode BMX bikes with down to the 3-D Mart for candy and comics, now grown men with families. My college buddies who are spread out all over the world living out their dreams. It's all right there in front of me, beside me, whether they are down the street or on the other side of the world.
And it makes me so, so, so very happy to see all of them, anytime.
You see, I get quite attached to people. Sometimes too much. If you touched my life for the better in some way, even for 10 minutes, I will always remember you and be there for you. That's kinda how my silly heart works, and Facebook kinda feeds that silly heart til it's stuffed happy with good people updates, links, photos, crazy videos.
What an AMAZING bunch of human beings they are, my Facebook friends. Personally, I only friend folks that I have had some sort of personal contact with, either in person or online, or via mutual good friends. They're battling cancer, MS, severe food allergies, Celiac disease, bipolar disorder, alcoholism, drug addiction, OCD handwashing issues. They're single, divorced, married, gay, straight, bisexual, dazed & confused. They hate kids, have 1-6 kids, are dealing with recent miscarriage, IVF treatments, going through the adoption process. They are agnostic, Jewish, Protestant, Catholic, Mormon, atheist, Muslim, bow to the church of Whiffies (not in Portland? look it up).
You get the point. The diversity in their updates makes me smile. That they choose to share something -- anything -- with me in this cozy little nook of the web, is truly an honor.
And I'll be honest: I would not remember everyone's birthdays if it were not for Facebook. Not all 468 of you. And be honest: don't you love it when you get those birthday messages? Of course you do!
Because if you strip away all the potential drama and silly games associated with Facebook, what it comes down to is that even if you last spoke with so-and-so 20 years ago, you've decided to let them into a little part of your life for one reason or another...and they have allowed you into theirs. And that means something.
I love Facebook because of them. I can't tell all of them in person or even over the phone everyday, but in some small limited-character, funny, complaining, happy, tired way, I can reach out to these very important people and let them in.
For people who are outwardly-social-but-really-closet-loners like me, it means a lot. It means a lot.