Well, I was all set to write something about Facebook, but then Chuck beat me to it. I agree with some of what he says. But while I do see lots of problems with this virtual age we live in, I think Facebook gets an unfair rap. So here's what I love about FB:
1) It lets me connect with old friends. Not non-friends, but those friends I really enjoyed in high school but would not otherwise have reconnected with. I have 200-something friends on FB, so I'm not willy-nilly about my friendships there; most of them are real friends, whether or not I see them in person.
2) It keeps me in touch with friends I see often, but not every day. I love knowing a little bit about what they are doing and having something to talk about when I see them. Sometimes I even find out something I didn't know about my husband's activities on FB!
3) It gives me a chance to be real. Yes, FB is a breeding ground for bragging. But if you're not a bragging type, it also allows you to be real. To share about the funny things your kids do that show you (and they) are not perfect. I'm not into sharing my kids' brilliance (usually), but I do enjoy sharing their quirky take on the world, even if it occasionally reflects poorly on their parents.
4) It keeps me abreast of events at home and abroad. I usually find my news there first, then check out Fox News to get the whole story. Or I learn of fun events to take my kids to from parents who are more on top of these things than I am. Just last week we took the kids to Chili's because a cousin linked to a "kids eat free" coupon from her FB page.
5) It's a way to encourage people. Someone once told me that my FB posts always made her feel better about her parenting, and then assured me that she meant that in a good way. At first I was a little bit offended, and then I realized that that's a good thing. If my parenting quirks are a pick-me-up to someone else, that's great!
6) It helps me to pray for people. Those shout-outs for prayer help unite the pray-ers, and that's powerful stuff.
7) The pictures. Kids, grandkids, vacations . . . love it.
8) If you're at home a lot, it connects you to others. Being a stay-at-home mom can be very isolating. When done in moderation, checking FB is a healthy social outlet. And it keeps me from calling my husband while he's at work just to chat. Now, checking every hour to the neglect of my other responsibilities isn't good, so I do try to keep it under control.
9) Advice! Need a good book recommendation? Tips for cleaning permanent marker off the wall? Ideas for where to go or what to do on vacation? Encouragement for how to deal with a two-year-old? Need to know which lice treatment works best? FB is your place. It also fills in the gaps of information your kids may neglect to tell you. I've found out information on when my kid was supposed to be somewhere and I've seen people find white shirts to borrow for an orchestra concert that night.
10) It allows me to rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep. I often find out about the joys and hardships of people I wouldn't otherwise hear about those things from.
Your turn . . . what do you love and hate about FB?