Posted: Wednesday, September 29, 2010 8:01 pm
The founder of Facebook is a billionaire. Yes, billionaire with a “b.” I’m fine with that. He definitely built a better mouse trap and we all came running to eat the cheese. He found a way for me to host a party for friends and family every night without ever cleaning the bathroom. Genius. Pure genius.
For those of you unfamiliar with Facebook, here’s the country girl explanation. Facebook is a way of finding out what your friends and family are up to with the mere click of your computer mouse. Last night, I learned about a friend who is unsuccessfully potty training her toddler. Another friend who is vacationing in Scotland posted pictures of a man in a kilt. My friend in Texas can’t decide which cowboy boots to buy so she posted pictures of both pairs and asked her Facebook friends to help her choose. A friend in California was tearfully writing the eulogy for her grandma’s funeral. Through the magic of Facebook, I met up with a high school friend I hadn’t seen in 30 years. Another friend posted that she was unable to sleep because she’s nearing the end of her pregnancy. A college friend posted about the sheer wonderfulness of her new boyfriend. I know what some of you are thinking. You’re thinking, “Lisa, Lisa, Lisa, get a life. Turn off your computer and spend time with REAL people.”
I understand that there will always be technology naysayers. But there’s no need to worry. I do spend time with real people. Last week, 15 college students ate dinner at our house. This week we’re hosting a big party in our front yard. I love to be with people, friends. That’s why I love Facebook. I would have never known that my friend in California lost her grandma. I was able to share words of comfort through the keys of my computer. I wouldn’t have found my old high school friend in Connecticut had it not been for Facebook. We’ve now made plans to see each other at our 30th high school reunion in Texas. Friends share special needs, prayer requests and meaningful quotes.
Television asks us to watch people we don’t know doing things we’ll never do. It’s entertaining at times but it doesn’t usually move us to action. Facebook asks us to comment and care about what’s happening in other people’s lives. It asks us to be about someone other than ourselves. Maybe choosing cowboy boots for my friend in Texas isn’t as important as world peace. But it does cause me to feel like I’m with her. Even though miles separate us, we’re able to live life together. That’s a pretty precious gift.
If people have been asking you to join Facebook, take the leap of faith. No, it won’t cause you to be a recluse who eats cat food and rarely goes out in public. It may just mean you’ll spend less time watching people you don’t know on television and more time interacting with people you do know. What’s that? Oh, absolutely. Feel free to “friend” me on Facebook. I’ll be glad to show you the ropes. And if you need some encouragement for potty training, raising teenagers or choosing cowboy boots, I’m your girl!
For more information about Lisa Smartt, visit her website lisasmartt.com.
Published in The Messenger 9.29.10
Lisa Smartt, The Smartt View