Thursday, November 05, 2015

Why this blogger likes Facebook

I was a blogger when it was cool. From about 2005-2009, blogging had hit its stride, and I happened to start this blog in 2005. I thought it was the greatest thing. I shared details of my everyday life, and occasionally wrote in depth essays. I made more than a few friends from around the world. I was part of a book group, "Whorled Leaves", that led to some great discussions. I hosted "I and the Bird", an aggregation of birding blog posts, more than once. 

Then, Facebook happened. I joined in 2009, after some initial misgivings. I joined primarily to keep in touch with news from my high school class. By the way, I am not very close with my high school class of 650 people. I did not know more than half of them, and I have never been to a reunion of the Cooper Class of '85.

I found a lot of my blogging friends on Facebook. I also found family members, ones I was not close enough with to keep in touch with by phone (dinosaur) or email (antique). I started sharing more of the things I would have shared on this blog, on Facebook. I started blogging less. We moved the PC back to the cabin, which meant in order to blog, I had to go out there, which was not worth it. I got an iPad in 2011. It took Blogger a while to catch up with mobile devices. All of which contributed to the near demise, but not death, of this blog. I noticed a lot of my blogging friends had gone a similar route. 

Blogging, meanwhile, somehow became a commercial enterprise.

Now, for my defense of Facebook.

1. I have many more LOCAL friends because of Facebook. We may have met up by chance, face to face, but the majority of my local friends are ones with whom the initial contact was via Facebook. I suspect most of these good friends have a Myers-Briggs personality type that begins with "I". We have a hard time initiating conversation at face to face events, but on Facebook the awkward factor is way less. Most of the dear friends who come to see me when I play at the Chickadee are friends whom I've met via FB. 

2. I have blogging friends from California to Alberta to Nunavut to Vermont to Florida to Alabama to Kansas (I'm sure I missed a few locations), who I now keep up with via Facebook. I met up with one of them at a highway exit in Georgia this spring (yes you, Jayne! Finally finished off the Chattanooga whiskey, but still loving the long sleeved Georgia T shirt!) Our blogs were all so nature based, so unpretentious, that we connected, and I consider these people REAL friends. I mourned the loss of Jim from Big Bear Lake, California, as if he and I were neighbors.

3. I have connected with family. Facebook is now the official way to announce holiday get togethers. With the exception of a few cantankerous holdouts (Telstad clan, yes you), I now have daily reminders of the people I am related to. And yes, some of them are cooler than I ever imagined. :)

4. I hear big family news first hand. Like the passing, a few days ago, of my first cousin Brad. I had not seen him since my teens, but I recently got in touch with his sister, and his stepmother, through Facebook. My great aunt, his stepmother, is one of my dearest friends on FB, and in real life since our  Florida trip in March. She has shared all of the pain and sorrow with me, and I am grateful she trusts me with that.

5. Related to that, I just heard the great news that another of my first cousins will be moving from South Africa to Maine! I have not seen her since I was about seventeen, but we share so many interests. And I have never been to Maine. Road trip!

So, all in all, Facebook has been good to me. And it has been much better since I started using the "I don't want to see this" button. Shut out a lot of useless memes. :)