March 4, 2010

I heart Facebook

Dear Blog, there's no denying the invention of the Interwebs by Al Gore totally changed my life.  For one thing, if not for the Web I would never have met you, Blog!  In fact, I'd have to say all but one of the friends I've made in the past decade have been due to the Internet, and several of these are now my very best friends.

Web-based technology also totally changed my career.  I would not be a published, famous-if-you're-willing-to-exaggerate-the-facts author without it.  I'm talking about stuff like epublishing, print-on-demand, submissions by email, Amazon, and Paypal.  And the whole marketing channel that the Web is:  Yahoo Groups, blogs, enewsletters, and so on.

And now, in the last year, there's Facebook.  When I talk about Facebook, people look at me like I've fallen into the clutches of some cult.  Yes, I sing its praises pretty vehemently, and for good reason.  The great thing about Facebook is that it makes social interaction a whole lot more efficient.  That sounds kind of sterile and businesslike, but I don't mean it that way.  I just mean everyone shares with everyone all at once, in an easy-to-peruse format that enables you to pick and choose your deeper interactions while staying abreast of everything.  Oh fudge, let me just illustrate.  In the past couple days on Facebook, among dozens of other things, I:

  • got into a couple very intellectual, deep discussions on political philosophy that were very edifying and made me rather proud to be an American
  • made a cool new friend from said discussions (a friend of a friend, in Facebook terms)
  • talked a little hockey with a Canadian pal
  • learned about a cool local project in my community and how to support it
  • helped a friend with wedding plans
  • got some peeks into the life of the executive producer of my favorite TV show
  • kept in touch with my kids
  • reassured a person with a medical concern
  • learned how to make foccacia bread
  • kept abreast of the every-changing schedules of my shows
  • enjoyed mutual encouragement of workout plans with friends
  • followed (in photos and video) the life of a capybara
  • got to see a friend's new haircut (who lives like 800 miles away)
  • got to see a friend's new paintings (who lives like 600 miles the other way)
  • learned some new facts about the publishing business (very important to me)
  • shared this very awesome cat video that I share with you now, Blog:

All this and much more, in an absolutely reasonable and manageable amount of time that didn't conflict with my face-to-face relationships, work, duties, or sleep.

Oh, and it was all very fun.  And made me feel helped and helpful.  And kept me connected to an array of diverse, special, life-enriching human beings.

Blog, some people say the Web cuts you off from real life.  Maybe for some.  But I'll tell you what cuts you off from real life: living out in the country in Iowa before Al Gore's Internet was around.  When I was in my twenties and married to a pastor, we were sent to a rural parish seven miles outside of Fort Dodge, Iowa.  There were times I went a whole week without seeing another live human besides Max and the kids.  Take a gander at the aerial view of our house, via Google Maps which of course did not exist then:

The isolation is truly a metaphor for my existence.  Plus, this being Iowa rather than Wisconsin, there weren't even any trees to speak of.  Here's the view of our mailbox, also via Google Maps which of course did not exist then:

I would venture to guess that whoever is living in that parsonage now is connected to the Internet, making the landscape of rural Iowa no longer a metaphor for her existence. 

And hopefully, Blog, she's on Facebook.

Tomorrow the other shoe drops:  My humble opinion on Twitter.


  1. Love it! So true - FB has enriched our lives on so many levels. -RA

  2. I am an admitted FB junkie. I have found so many old friends from my youth that, otherwise, I may have never reconnected with. And a whole bunch of new ones too, from every corner of the union. Georgia, Wisconsin, Mass, Philly... it crazy and wonderful and I love it. And people who looked down their nose at us "cult" members, poo on you!

  3. Thanks you guys! I'm sure there are millions of us who feel the same.

  4. I love it. Makes me feel so much better about being a Facebook junkie! :-)