Tangent storyline of “What It Means to be a Facebook Friend” article.
I worked with a woman some years ago who was a little ill put together in her old age and did some suffering with daily tasks. She worked in the cubicle next to me for a year and a half at my first office job. Business cards! A phone, a desk and a computer system that I wasn’t completely familiar with yet. She was my “go-to”. I’d have to be like, “Mary, I can’t find this stupid document on the server”, and she’d tell me where to find it. We’d send emails back and forth, or race each other to the kitchen for leftovers. We had our little thing.
After my first year I changed departments and moved offices, but we’d still chat every now and then. Eventually I left the company and started working in the web department at Cars.com. Good company! If you’re looking, hit ’em up.
One day I found myself a little friend invitation from Mary on Facebook. She wanted to see what “kooky things” her old friend JoE was up to. She didn’t care what I posted, she’d like it. A post about my business, she’d like it. A funny picture, she’d like it. Even the stupid stuff, she liked, and I think it was because I was the only place she knew where to get that stuff from online.
I think we take for granted our capabilities sometimes and the basic knowledge we posses. I could be posting videos to Devour.com everyday on my Facebook page. Does that mean she’s going to GO to Devour.com to look at videos for herself? No! She doesn’t think like that. The only place she knows where to find them are on my Facebook page. So that’s where she’s going to look for them. And sometimes, it’s my buddy Kyle’s job to post that video first so I can share it.
And from there, I did what we all do. See someone liked our status and consider them “worthy” enough for us to check out their page. And don’t you, don’t you sit there and JUDGE me. Look at yourself here, I know you’ve done it. And if you HAVEN’T, a little-lightBULB just went off in your head and you’re kicking yourself for not admitting it sooner.
Anyway, I’d scroll down her page and like a thing here and there. She wrote me the one day just to tell me a little more about her nephew’s recital just because I liked a photo of it. Her old buddy JoE, just, checking in on her.
She died a little while back. And, you sit there, you wonder sometimes what you meant to that person. Those times she’d see a picture, post or a like, who did she think I was? Did she think I was good person? I dunno, just, makes you think about the friends you have. The company you’ve kept, the people who have met you over the years.
I bartend part-time at a little place out in Schaumburg (IL), and it’s amazing sometimes to see the people that come in there. People that you can have a connection with that you really don’t want to lose contact with.
Sometime last year we had a couple guys from Australia in town who spent a couple nights just hanging out. I only worked one of these nights, but through the magic of Facebook, myself and others at the bar, have been able to keep in touch. We’ll comment every now and then, but that’s the extent of it.
I see it as, people sit around and rip on these social networks and how shitty they are; when really, what an amazing opportunity they present. It’s a chance to keep in contact with people you’d normally never talk to again. From one night of these guys swinging in my bar, I’d like to think they’d have my back as a tour guide if I ever did get out that way.
The social networks are what you make of them. Hopefully you can see them like I do and take full advantage of the opportunities they present to truly change lives.
If you’ve got some more examples of using Facebook to connect with friends, please post in the comments. I’d love some more support for my argument!
Filed under: Tips for Life