I love it because it keeps me connected to my community at home. I think my friend Paindexter said it best when she saw me last summer and said, "You know because of facebook and your blog it never felt like you were really that far away."
It's true. My community of people is never THAT far away. I still get to celebrate with them, laugh with them, grieve with them and be part of their life even if its from 7000 kms away and through a computer screen. They're never to far away.
It's been amazing when I've needed instant input on something to be bombarded with thoughts, ideas, suggestions and advice. Facebook allowed me to celebrate my victory of being published for the first time with people who have known since we crossed paths that writing was my everlasting love. It's offered me a means to market my blog, derby bouts, fundraisers, all manner of events that have a marketing budget of zero.
Lets not forget the reconnection capabilities! It's put me in contact with friends I made when I was a kid. I moved a lot so this has been incredibly awesome that we can still play a part in each others lives.
Then there is a scratchy side of facebook. We all know it.
Dirty laundry aired out for all the see. Vaguebooking. Over sharing. To much information. Marketing overload. Drama!! It's high school all over again on display for all the world. And don't even get me started on the ambiguity of the "like" button. But for the most part all the stuff that typically annoys people about facebook is just a bit of schadenfreude for me. "Hahahaha Posty von Posterson was totally passive aggressive to their sister-in-law Gossipy Gertrude. Won't the next family event be fun!!" Or "teehee So-and-So posted a drunk picture of whathisname and tagged him in it. HAHA he needs new friends!!" I don't have to deal with the real life fallout from these sorts of facebook antic so really it doesn't register on my annoyance meter.
What I hate though is that it reminds me of everything I'm missing. Wow that sucks. In the days before facebook (wow that just made me sound old.) I knew I was missing stuff. I spent a summer living in England before I got hitched and I would get emails from John, my family, my best friend all telling me about what I was missing at home. I was cool with that. Even when I was a kid after I had moved my friends would write me letters (you know with pen and paper...old fashioned email.) telling me about what was happening without me. I was cool with that too. The visual aspect of facebook though makes me cringe. Seeing what you're missing and hearing about what you're missing are two entirely different things.
The visual nature has also skewed our view of family. I'm not kidding. Last year right before we went home to Canada for our visit one of Johnathan's cousins got married. So there were family pictures online. We saw one of Johnathans siblings and parents with the caption, "Almost the whole family. We'll get one with all of them in it next weekend." Or something to that affect. Here's the thing, we looked at it and one of us said out loud, "What does she mean by that? Everyone is there!" Yeah, we've gotten WAY to use to not seeing ourselves in family pictures. Oops.
So what's the point of this all this rambliness? There isn't one really. It's not a "oh whoa to me and my expat life of living in Switzerland!"Not at all. I know there are people who are equally annoyed by my pictures of our adventures here on facebook (I even had someone tell me to stop showing off that I live in Europe.)
I guess really this is my way of saying I miss my family and friends...a lot. And probably a lot more than people realize thanks to the wonders of the interweb.
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