A good friend is a connection to life - a tie to the past, a road to the future, the key to sanity in a totally insane world. ~Lois Wyse
I was talking to Gee the other day, saying that I felt I was spending too much time on Facebook and twitter and I really needed to focus on my Life. She gave me a stern look and commented that there were quite a few people saying such things recently. And how disappointed she was by that. I was a little surprised at her response, given she's not always the greatest supporter of technology. Gee went on to make some observations which I have since spent some time thinking about and will embellish and share.
Facebook is a fantastic tool to keep in touch with people who aren't sitting right next to you. It has become a friendship and relationship building tool. When I thought about that, I started thinking about how blogging became another part of my life when I started in 2006. Blogging enabled me to form amazing friendships with people all around the world; people I wouldn't have necessarily found in my normal day to day life. Facebook takes this to another level.
I have 313 friends on FB. I have family in London, Trinidad, Antigua and Vancouver (I'm sure that's not all the places, there are bound to be some stragglers). Through FB, I've reconnected with people from my childhood, who have pretty much scattered to the four corners of the globe. I maintain contact with people I've worked with, who I currently work with, who I studied with, who I hang out with, not to mention other bloggers. I have also made friends with friends of friends. Generally speaking, all of the people who I'm friends with, I consider friends. Doesn't matter if I've never clapped eyes on them before. It hasn't interfered in my enjoyment of their company, my concern for them when their going gets tough, my appreciation of their support and caring when times have been hard for me.
It seems I am all about communication and connection. I drink my first cup of coffee, wearing my pink fluffy dressing gown, hunched over my laptop as I catch up with what's happening in everyone's life. Yes, it might seem banal to go through Status Updates: Fred got no sleep. Alice is eating porridge for breakfast. But in these small details, I am part of their daily routine and vice versa. If Harry doesn't post an update in a couple of days, I send a message, find out if he's okay. I get to check on how the new baby is wrecking sleep; whether a broken-hearted friend found solace with the blind date; whether someone totally bonkers continues to see fairies. And I get to do this without spending a fortune on pens, paper, stamps or phone calls. Lets be honest here, if I spent the time physically writing to someone, I'd write to maybe one person a week. Actually, I lie. I wouldn't write to anyone at all. I hate writing letters long-hand. And as for typing...forget it, equally unlikely to happen. E-mails, well, you've got more than half a chance.
So, the easy time I spend dedicated to annoying my friends on Facebook actually reinforces my connections with them. Our Status Updates and cheerful banter, means we are part of each others lives, despite being in different houses/towns/counties/countries/continents. It's not all easy sailing. Friends still get grumpy, fall out and misunderstand each other. Heck, maintaining a virtual friendship can be equally fraught with difficulty as it is in real life. The forum is only thing that changes.
Ultimately, we're all in this together, alone. It boils down to the fact that I believe that Life is too Fucking Short. The questions NLP have asked of me focus around: does it work? Does it add value to my Life? Yes. A resounding yes! Not having a decent internet connection thanks to my laptop's aversion to coffee with milk and sugar, made me realise how much I love being part of the Facebook community and how much I love being part of the Blogging community.
I've really missed having a public blog. I'm so glad to be back. Yay! Did you miss me?