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Facebook friends

Posted Monday, March 21, 2011, at 3:40 PM

We all hear all of these warnings about social networks (like the warnings on your hair dryer that say not to submerse it in water - it is wise to use any tool properly, with common sense.) A social network can in a strange way be a cheap source of therapy...you may find that there are indeed others out there worse off than you.

I love, not like, love Facebook. I have rekindled old friendships, reconnected with relatives that I hadn't spoken to in many years and have even met a few new friends (warning: make sure that the people who request to be your friend are well known by others within your network of friends, as online connections can have their share of dangers or at least opportunities for unwanted intrusions).

But used properly, I can chat with my siblings about much of nothing (but who says that anything that we had discussed face to face was anything worth anything at all, either - just touching base with each other is worth it). I get harassed by my younger brother via Facebook, and that is ok, I get my punches back, just as if we were back in the days when we actually got together.

I had a tough time remembering birthdays and anniversaries, well not now, as long as those in my network are willing to share those very important life dates they will pop up right there on the corner of my screen to remind me to send them a greeting.

I get to go on vacations all over the world and not leave the comfort of my home, living vicariously through all of my friends who share their experiences and photo albums. When babies are born, it doesn't take days to get the pictures in the mail, seconds after the birth that blessing from God is right there in front of me on my computer or on my Blackberry. My Facebook friends share their thoughts on nature, family, and even goofy photos that perhaps really shouldn't be shared.

What better place to announce an event and invite others without spending a dime on postage... no slam against the federal postal service, but a penny saved is a penny earned! I have even started a club - "Belly Busting-the Healthy Group" to give support to those of my friends who are seeking support with struggles with weight loss and eating healthy. I have had a great response to that group and if it doesn't help others with their weight issues, no problem, it is helping me.

As most know, my downfall is over chatting, being on FB gives me a chance to talk and for those that want to listen without really listening to read at their own speed if they wish. There is more good than bad in the Facebook experience, and I appreciate my online friendships. Just know that if I don't know you or my friends can't vouch for you, I won't accept. Because I don't dry my hair in the bathtub.

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Outside Looking In
Trudy J. Schroeder
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Trudy is a former Advertising Representative for the Pilot Tribune, and also a contributing writer.
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