Sunday, June 13, 2010

In defense of facebook

My dear friend Brittny posted a blog post recently about why she hates facebook. It's a great post and you should check it out if you have time.

All of her points are valid and I can absolutely see where she is coming from. However, I have been thinking about her post a lot and now I have decided to issue a facebook smackdown. Two friends, diametrically opposed, sharing opinions, and capping it off with a Mexican pizza and a power nap. (We used to be roomies. I know her habits. )

Before I start I will say that I am not on it that much. I don't do farmville or yoville or any of that stuff. I don't play games and my chat feature is permanently turned off so I rarely, if ever, chat with anyone. There is nothing wrong with any of those things, I just don't choose to do them.

But I use it to communicate. I e-mail, see what my friends are up to that day, share things about myself.... thing most people use facebook for. And here are the reasons I love it.

1. It is my address book. Of course I don't chat with that girl from middle school who I was in a play with, but it's nice to know that she's there. If anything ever happens that I would like to share with her, I don't have to wonder what happened to her. I have access to her if need be. I truly look at facebook as an electronic address book.

2. Not everyone has a blog. I (obviously) have one and it is a great way for folks to keep up with me and my fam. But most of my friends don't have a blog, so whereas there is a good way for them to keep in touch with me and my life, facebook allows me to connect with them.

3. You can spend as much or as little time as you want. It is only a time waster if you let it.

4. This is the main reason I love facebook and this is something that just cannot be obtained any other way. Friday night I was driving home from a play with a friend. My Mom called my cell phone at 10:15pm. It made me nervous because she never calls me that late. She wanted to know if I had been on facebook lately. I told her that I had not, and she proceeded to tell me that the daughter of a friend of mine in Alabama was on life support at Children's Hospital in Birmingham due to a drowning accident.

As soon as I got home I got on facebook. My home page was filled with updates on Lily's condition. So many of my friends from Alabama were posting prayers and concerns about Lily. A prayer group for her was already started and Rob and I immediately joined. Rob and I began to pray earnestly. When we joined the group it had 156 members. I knew most of them.

We stayed up late checking updates. We went outside and prayed more. I felt connected. I still felt a part of my church home even though I now live in Kansas.

The next morning the group had 700 members. My home page was still filled with updates. I felt such a part of this community even from 1000 miles away. We kept praying. Lily opened her eyes and we rejoiced along with all of our friends via facebook.

This morning the group has 2200 members. I have loved reading all of the prayers and bible verses headed sweet Lily's way. I would love more than anything to hug Lily's Mom, Heidi. But since I can't, I can post encouraging messages, let her know I am praying for her, see what everyone else is saying, and receive constant updates about her condition.

You couldn't do any of that without a social network such as facebook. It can be a wonderful networking and communication tool and that is exactly what it is for me.

Smackdown over. You can love it or hate it. My brother-in-law hates it as well and refuses to join, but Rob thinks it is because he had a mullet in high school and doesn't want his students to see pictures of him from the 80's. Hey, everyone has a reason.


Erin said...

You make a very good argument cousin! Way to go for defending your position with such an awesome testimony.

starnes family said...

You are such the perfect combination of sugar and spice. Love that you wrote all of this and then threw Rob under the bus.

I agree with your defense.....although it annoys me sometimes. When people use it as a resource to hurt people. I'm on it sparingly. Don't understand how people can be on for hours.

Stacy said...

This post made me laugh and laugh and laugh. Look for mullet pictures on our "Wouldn't it be cool if Frank joined FB" group soon.

And you know? I kind of love how often I get to check in with you guys through the FB. If we can't live across the street from each other, at least we can keep in touch through status updates! I like to know when Hazen is rooting for a team or when the ospreys are out at the rivah. I love knowing that you guys are gearing up for Lost or that you're ordering grits at a Cracker Barrel. These are the things that close friends know, and out-of-town family members miss out on too often.

That's my biggest "defense of Facebook," -- I think it's so awesome for families who live apart from one another. As a kid of divorced parents, I can't imagine how wonderful it would have been for my mom to be tuned in to my life as a teenager (maybe too tuned in, right?) and for me to be able ot log on and chat any time. It's a worthwhile timesuck, I'd say.

Lauren W said...

Love it, Stace!! Your response was better than my blog.

And I loved knowing that you were at Kerrville this weekend camping between a yellow school bus and a teepee. Only because of facebook. :-)