Back in the day, my friends were a part of my daily, if not weekly life. My children lived at home and I was out and about town. BITD, I worked in a social justice store front and hung out with those of like mind while listening to the latest trance ambient, singer songwriters, and politically significant mediums – CD or radio. My entire life revolved around changing my world, expanding my life and my love. And I did!
Then one day, many jobs later, less “friends” and family moving, shifting, changing and scattering, I was out of the loop. I met new people at the occasional gathering or forum only to have them up and move away. But that’s how it is in a college town. I have stayed here. Built my home. Established a foundation. For many this is merely a weight station to collect their designated form and letters then move on. When I asked, “How shall I find you?” the response was to always check MySpace. And so it began.
My initial account was opened to follow my friends as they traveled onward. It became the opportunity to stay in contact with my children as well. Not only to send and receive messages, but to follow their lives, interests, and exploits. (Though honestly, there were times I had more information that I needed.)
Many years have passed and all my children have journey into the world. All my friends are scattered across the country to be re-membered in my heart. Still, I am thankful for the virtual gathering afforded those of us separated by distance in the form of FaceBook. Whether it is a message, poke, or brief note on the wall, we acknowledge the continued presence until we meet again. FB also gives us a brief glimpse into each other’s lives through pictures posted, friends added and “likes.” My profile is not bloated with extras but streamlined to those with whom I have an active connection with in my heart/mind.
Most recently, I “liked” a collection of large body yoga pages. I have been searching for years for this connection, even writing for blogs that held that claim and direction, only to find interest dwindling after a few posts. Imagine my excitement when I realized there are so many other women out there reaching and writing about teaching and practicing yoga in a round body.
FB has become a way for me to organize my interests in one location. Yes, I could follow their blogs and post through email or even as a part of this blog, but with FB this is already done and I find that I can track more easily whether I want to continue “liking” a page or if it was just a few ideas that attracted me. It’s like dating without giving out your contact info. If this is really someone you like, then you can subscribe by email. When you are ready to share the connection, post to your blog. I like FB as a filter.
I like the up to date photo posting and ability to review videos, ideas, places with “friends.” This opens the discussion that others may share their opinions or views. Can I make an inference from the discussion? Am I willing to support an opposing view? Social networking has taken the coffeehouse banter on the road and into virtual space. We can join in wherever we are, and as we choose (preferably with some forethought).
Of course, I know I am writing about high ideas and not about who is online at what time and who just “friended” who. I will skip the drama of what was said and how that drama unfolded, in public, no less. Then there are the privacy issues and adverts that seem to be marketed to your very thoughts. What of who is looking at your profile and making incorrect judgments about your life? All very possible and probably issues, but none of them mine.
I read, write, work, play, garden, think, and spend time being. I notice when my friends take a break from FaceBook. I notice, but that is no matter. My friends live in love, in the most sacred place – in my heart.