3/2/14 – What Facebook means to me

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“I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.” – Dr. Brene Brown

I’ve been wanting to write about Social Media for some time now but wasn’t exactly sure how to start it. Well whilst watching The Oscars tonight it became fairly obvious. As I sit here alone at home, not feeling so well, watching an award show (I guess THE award show) social media (specifically Facebook for the purpose of this blog) reminds me that I will never have to truly be alone again as long as I have access to the internet. As it turns out, I’m not watching The Oscars by myself, nope, I’m watching it with thousands of people…my friends and, through their comments and conversations, their friends.

When Facebook first began I was a senior in college. We used it, it was “AWESOME” but it wasn’t viral yet, it didn’t command presence across the world yet as it does today. I say all the time how grateful I am that Facebook, Instagram, Twitter (which I still don’t really get how to use) and all other social media sites/apps weren’t around when I was in grade school throughout high school. I can’t imagine how much more difficult it makes the already sometimes treacherous process of growing up.

That all being said, I’ve had the honor of watching the social media world grow as an adult. I think it has gone though many stages. I think when it started it was like a young child: carefree and excited. It didn’t know it’s place or purpose in the world yet and was all over the map. People were a little hesitant and so I think it sort of plateaued. Over the next 5 to 6 years it entered its awkward teenage years: people used it without thinking (like teenagers tend to speak and react), it was used as a negative venting ground where people threw their dirty laundry. I think this is when a lot of people turned their backs on Facebook for awhile and people quickly learned, as we all do as we grow out of our teens, that no one wants a Debbie Downer and a constant whiner.

This is when I saw Facebook make a change. Over the past 3 years or so I have noticed the positive shift happening across Facebook. It has become such a beautiful place for like minded folks to connect, to reconnect with old friends or acquaintances that you may not have ever truly known or “seen” in their authentic light. It has become a place to go when you feel alone, only to be reminded that you really aren’t. It has become the place we go to get the news, and, for the most part, the HAPPY news! Isn’t it funny how the mass media outlets are losing their connection with the people because they misunderstand how people truly do and want to connect. We want to share HAPPY news with one another, we want to accept one another and we want to love one another.

For me, I know that it’s a place to go to help me grieve with people who have suffered similar experiences, it’s a place I can go to be reminded that I’m loved and that my family, although only small by blood, is HUGE in love and support! It has become a place where my blog was born and continues to grow. I always had a dream to share my love for writing, thinking, awareness and connection and Facebook has helped to make that possible. It has connected me with people I’ve always “known” but am now honored to share deeper connections with.

So, as many of you already know, it’s no surprise how much I love Facebook. To many it may seem silly or petty or a waste of time, and, by all means, more power to you. Don’t mind me while I continue to visit my virtual community on a daily basis for my fix of good news and connection. Where I can  keep up with so many people I love around this world and be a part of their families, vacations and accomplishments through pictures and conversation. I have chosen to use it to my advantage, it has become a part of me and I’m incredibly grateful for how it has changed my life and my view of this world. This world IS changing for the better, and I think that we can see that in seeing how the wild child that Facebook was when it was born has grown into a strong, beautiful and (at least most of the time in MY network) accepting young woman. Okay, fine, maybe it’s a man. Although I think she would make such a beautiful, maturing woman 😉

Thank you, social media, for helping the world start to live as one. It’s a long process but I truly know that it is happening. John Lennon would be so proud! The words of one of my gurus, Dr. Brene Brown, above and below truly define what I  think Facebook and other social media outlets mean to so many. This technologically based world has become such a beautiful place for so many to find connection, to feel seen, to feel heard and to feel valued! To me, that is absolutely beautiful!

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