Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Facebooking

Last night as I was reading my facebook page and keeping up with old friends I was moved to post on my wall just how grateful I am that facebook was created and that so many people are taking advantage of the phenomenon.
I have close to 300 friends on my page. Now, of those 300 or so, probably 100 are people I have actually met and/or have had personal contact with away from the page. They include people that I went to high school with, people that I showed horses with growing up, people that I worked with at various racetracks over a 20 year span, people that I showed horses with as an adult after I was at the racetrack, people that I have run agility dogs with and people that I have done canine freestyle with. I have gotten back in touch with family members that I truly believed that I would never hear from again. Facebook has given me the opportunity of a number of 'do-overs' with people that I cared about but somehow lost track of over the years.
Why do we love Facebook so much? For me, it is the chance to reconnect and stay in touch with people without the fear of rejection. Oh sure, I can ask someone to be my 'friend' and they can ignore me- or even worse, choose to 'un-friend' me, but at least that is done in private and not out in front of other people.
I have gone thru life believing that I am a 'forgettable' person. That people I have met and have had a past relationship with would not even remember me without a number of specific facts that helped to jog their memory. I am surprised when people recognize my face or my name. I am especially surprised when they remember me without much prompting.
This fear has caused me many times to not approach people when I have seen them later in life- either in person or through the Internet. I worry that they will not want to acknowledge that we even know each other. I suppose that this causes a vicious circle of me coming across as unfriendly and aloof at times. I am afraid to be the first one to smile, or say hello, or approach others, and consequently they do the same and we never make the contact in the first place.
But facebook has resolved so much of these situations. I am friends with people that I barely knew, and that I know I would be afraid to approach in real life if I ran into them. But on facebook I can stay in touch, let people know what I am up to, see what others are doing with their lives and sometimes even live vicariously through each and every one of them.
It almost seems a bit sad to say that facebook has made me a less lonely adult. I know that in a perfect world I would be as active with others away from the computer, but what's true is that as I get older I miss more and more people from my past. And there are not enough hours in the day to stay in touch one on one with them. But facebook has given me the opportunity to find many of them, regain contact and feel as though once again they are part of my life.
Nothing will ever take the place of actually being up in the press box at Los Alamitos after the races with my friends, in the horse show ring with my fellow competitors, going to my high school reunions, spending the weekend with my dog friends or just sitting and catching up with old friends. But if it were not for facebook, I would not be in touch with any of those people. They are scattered across the country now and many have completely different lives than they had when we were together in person. And now we are back in touch and sharing our new lives along with reliving our old joys.
So Thank You Facebook. You have given me a part of my life that I believed was gone forever- that of my family, my old friends and colleagues. I am truly grateful for this gift.
Tomorrow is weigh in day...not sure how it will go as I have added more carbs this week, still keeping them as simple as possible. But no matter what, I know that I feel better eating this healthy style and it reflects in how I am living my every day life.
Thanks Everyone....talk to you tomorrow.

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