My Love-Hate Relationship with Facebook and Gratitude

Opinions about this social media venue – Facebook – can be mixed, confused, conflicted, or very strong in one clear direction or the other. For business, I see its purpose, its reach and value. It’s an advertising venue that you buy media time in like days of old with magazine and newspaper ads, and radio or television spots. 

The personal side is where my greatest appreciation comes in. I realize for my daughter and her peers that started out with devices and being connected online from birth, they think Facebook is old-fashioned, passe and just not cool most of the time. I don’t really care. Being almost 50 and having moved from my hometown and state 10 years ago, I think it’s VERY cool to have the ability to trackdown people that cross your mind from time to time, catch up, support them in the place they are today, healing old wounds, and strengthening friendships that had become a bit dusty on the shelf. 

As I visited with my daughter about bullies, cyber meanness, in-person meanness, I thought back to my middle school. We were not all innocent, but with the exception of the occasional quad fight between a gang member or two, or a stoner chick and Chicana, I don’t recall the mean-spirited jibes, jabs and slams. I brought out my yearbooks from those three precious years and smiled as I turned every page. Thanks to Facebook being our 30 year high school reunion gathering spot, I’m able to count over 130 people I’m still checking in with on Facebook from middle school. 70+ of those I’ve known since elementary school. The fierce support we have for each other, genuine love and acceptance has been built over the past years because of Facebook and the ability to stay current, support, chime in, laugh and cry together from afar. We put together impromptu events spanning several years of graduates because we all come from the same hometown, La Palma, CA.

As for the hate portion; it varies from the trolls, fakers, ranters, and those who haven’t learned to put the social media away when they drink or use recreational substances. Manners, filters and common decency still need to prevail. I also tire of the constant pitching by some brands, friends and companies that I frequent or choose to support. I handle most of that with add-ons to Facebook that thin it out to what is real and relevant to me.

Through personal trials in our family with health, we came through with strength and love partly because of the outpouring of support from friends and family on Facebook. On this Throwback-Thursday – I am grateful to you, Mark Zuckerberg, and your money-making empire dream come true. I benefit. Yes, I give up my data and weird likes, but for me – it’s worth that trade off of assembled data profiling.