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This Phoenix Speaks

Seven years in the making, my first published book, This Phoenix Speaks , is now a reality. The tireless and tiring work invested to ma...

How Facebook is Changing Our World

I am one of those individuals who resisted Facebook--up until nearly a year ago. And I can honestly say I enjoy the connections and newly renewed friendships. It does have it's problems though, doesn't it?

One keen observation I have been pondering is how people can only LIKE people to their FACE and the feature for blocking posts of a particular FRIEND enables and fosters passive-aggressive behaviors. I know it is a lot stickier than that, but that also proves how powerful Facebook has become in our social circles.

I suggest we try to be brave! If what your family member or old buddy has to say from day to day bugs the junk out of you, un-friend them. (me especially, please unfriend me if I bug you). I suggest pondering on a considerate way to talk with anyone with whom you have first-hand interactions about it first, but I think it would be better to have quality, authentic communication than so much fake forbearance and friendship.

And another tangent on only having a LIKE function--

Can you imagine if there was a THAT WAS RUDE or WHERE ARE YOUR MANNERS button on Facebook? You can't, right? Most people don't want to hear how their comments might be insensitive or even anything negative. We are culturally pressured into setting aside the importance of decency, manners and, oftentimes, who we really are in trade for putting on a persona of being funny, cool, or even the high-schoolish word POPULAR! No one would want to be called out by their mom, aunt, or whoever on how they are going against what they know is right, being embarrassing or acting ridiculous. Also, adding in a less agreeable with the crowd comment is quite taboo. It is an inconceivable notion, though the reason I write this now gives away the fact that I wish I could say more than I do (on Facebook), but old codes of conduct have been made just that-- old.

The other day I joined in a thread where the chat focused on the misuse of food stamps. I got an email with a comment I didn't see in the thread, so I referenced it and added my two cents agreeing with her more compassionate perspective. Well, then I remembered that Facebook has this handy-dandy function that sends an email of comments as soon as they are entered (even if it gets deleted almost right directly afterward). I thought maybe the author of the comment changed her mind, but no! I followed the thread a day later when someone else commented and my comment was gone, too! I do not even pretend to understand why someone would censor out kindness toward others. We all know there exists welfare abusers, but there are also genuinely needy people who used to be well off and even better than comfortable. This economy has really changed the face of the welfare recipient drastically. I say that is why we have a welfare system--to help those in need to get back on their feet. It is shameful when citizens and illegal immigrants abuse the system, but we do not know who is who. just my two cents.

This Facebook rant is probably not very politically correct or maybe it is. I do not know, but what I do know is that it does not hurt anything to take a step back from popular things and take stock in what we engage in and how we do it. If facebooking is going to be one of my hobbies, I want authentic interactions. I want to be a real friend, even if I never see my friend I once knew well ever again in person due to geography.

In order to end on a high note, I will share a most positive event that happened to me last night all because of Facebook:

I received a message from an unknown woman. She introduced herself by explaining her family relationship to a dear friend of mine who passed away a few years ago due to brain cancer. She conveyed how much she missed my friend and how valuable it was to have spent some of those last days surfing the TV channels with her. Then, she told me that her mother was getting put into hospice care and that she loves the poem I wrote My Hope For Eternity, thanking me for sharing it. I could hear her suffering because I know that suffering.  I could also hear her gratitude because many others' words, found within the webs of threads on Facebook, have lifted and supported me.

I put a post on my friend's widower's page in an effort to encourage and uplift. him. I did not think about how someone indirectly connected with me could find it, read it, and be uplifted by it. I instantly felt a sisterly bond with her--bonded by family ties and friendship through my sweet, funny friend.  Thank you, Tomilyn, for introducing me to a new friend.

And that, my friends, is exactly why I keep on joining in the conversations on Facebook.

And writing blog posts just like this one.

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