I recently joined Facebook. I think, all in all, that this is a plus.
Let me elaborate. One by one, a selection of my buddies sent me a Facebook invitation. I avoided the invitations, not really intentionally, but because I hadn't found a really good picture of me to use as my Facebook pic. R-i-g-h-t. But that's my story and I'm sticking to it. Somewhere in the middle of August, I decided to take the plunge and set up an account.
Oh. My. Goodness.
I find my friend from homeroom in high school (who happens to be the sister of my first boyfriend). I find some stitching buddies who I don't get to see often, though I wish I could. I find some scrapbooking friends, and work friends, and more people I hung out with in high school and some of the parents from my daughter's school, and then I hook up with some more folk I know at work and now I have this HUGE list of friends and potential friends and friends-in-waiting. If this all sounds a little breathless, well, it is.
Now the Facebook pros will look at my list of friends and think it is paltry. And perhaps it is. But it is mine, and it gives me joy to think I know all these people and now can keep up with those who will post now and then, and can ping those who are too busy or harried. It is always a little painful to me to lose track of someone; I actually enjoy the yearly Christmas Newsletters I get from some of my friends (even if I don't know most of the people mentioned in it) just because I see what the folk I know are up to.
In some ways, this makes me a small town girl at heart. I don't live in a small town, by any means. I live in Los Angeles, the city that exemplifies the soulless and unconnected. With the Internet reaching everywhere, and sites like Facebook opening up social connections, people like me can start making those connections and forming their own small online "towns" with connections to the wider world.
Lately, Facebook has eaten time that could have been spent paying bills or washing dishes (or writing blog entries). I will get all this under control, I'm sure. (Well, if I don't I won't be posting anymore, will I?) But I will also be able to stop wondering what happened to...? Because I may be able to find them out in cyber space, among the friends of my friends.
And in the end, an essential part of balance is how you are connected. How you link to your support system, how you find your path, how you get by (with a little help from your friends).