Facebook is an absolutely wonderful thing! Having lived everywhere and seeing no one recently, my friend Gerry Claytor sent me an e-mail inviting me to Facebook. In the short time that I’ve been there, I have reconnected to Youth Group people (no longer kids), renewed a friendship in California (after not really knowing what to say), felt supported by more than a few dear friends and been listened to in this blog. Pastors without pulpits have a lot to say, I guess, and I have felt like George Harrison after the Beatles making a three album set when people didn’t know he could write one.
I have come to realize that community’s a really big thing to me, but my life doesn’t really allow more than kids, kids, kids, wife, kids after work. Virtual community is so much better than no community at all and knowing what my friends are doing makes me feel part of a larger world — one that also knows I exist. There’s nothing quite like (re-) finding my voice and having people listen. It’s an incredible gift.
The other nifty thing I find is that I can have long, deep conversations with people I thought I knew and discover a depth or caring or complexity in them I never knew before. I have a client who met her new boyfriend on line and I remember that two of my dearest friends also met on line. They now have two children and a great marraige — one of the best I know.
On-line community has brought back writing — not quite letters, but chats anyway and nobody has to have sex until they actually “know” the person. Yes, I know there are perverts out there who pretend to be someone else, but for regular people, it’s the renewal of courtship and talk as the best kind of well, intercourse, at least for awhile. I can’t imagine a better use of technology than creating human relationships and reminding us of the treasures that friendships really are.
I used to avoid “the new big thing” until I could see what it was, cynic that I was. I still don’t neccessarily like technology for the sake of technology. But Facebook is a great thing, even if it only turns out to be a fad. I nearly instantly felt comfortable with it. Every once in a while, we get it right.
So, here’s to Facebook — and my wonderful friends.