"F" is for Facebook (don't laugh)

Grateful April in the A-Z Blogging Challenge

Traveling back home from the funeral on Friday, I forced the car to detour to a Starbucks so I could use the Wi-Fi and post my blog for the letter “E,” which I had written during the earlier 3-hour drive. I’m not sure whether the Starbucks stop (and the idea that my blog was important enough to make the stop) created curiosity in my children or if their newfound interest in my writing is a direct relation to seeing their names in print, but when we got moving again toward Bakersfield, the questions commenced.

“So, do you know what ‘F’ is going to be?” asked one.

Another, looking sideways, answered for me. “Duh! Faith. What else would she write about?”

“I think she’s going to write about freedom,” said another.

Freedom, faith, fall, friends, family—they gave me some interesting options, but it did me no good to plan ahead. I’d just change my mind when I woke up anyway. So it is today that I’ve discovered the “F” for which I am grateful. And don’t laugh. Facebook.

Facebook: This funny little social media site that has taken over how much we know about each other’s lives. What did life look like prior to Facebook? How did we know, for example, when our friends were working out, saw what they were eating for dinner or where they were Right. At. That. Second?

It’s OK, I get it. We like inviting our friends into our lives, allowing them to get to know us better.

But what about the photos women take of themselves from the thighs down, lying out by the pool? I consider myself in decent shape, but that’s a bit revealing, isn’t it? I mean, it seems to invite criticism of the most hated part of our bodies. I’m not sure if we are supposed to envy your fabulous pool time or send your thighs a link to a gym membership.

What about the veiled insults smartly couched in a public status update meant for just one person? I’m sure many differences of opinion have been ironed out using such a superb tactic.

But again, I get it. I don’t think Facebook is for everyone, though. If you have an above-average amount of angst, relationship issues, are a man hater, or are an overzealous champion of EITHER side of the gay marriage or abortion debates, perhaps you aren’t getting the most out of your Facebook experience because you are so busy trying to announce your opinions to anyone unfortunate to be in your newsfeed that day.

Here’s why I’m grateful, though, to Facebook.

Prior to joining Facebook in 2008, I had lost contact with most of my classmates. And, as it turns out, they’re pretty cool adults. We share photos, triumphs… and losses. I learned that I have praying friends, friends who rescue animals, pay it forward, serve our country, and support me no matter what.

I can keep up with family, share my writing, and learn what is important to both new friends and old friends. My mom can see what her grandchildren are doing, and—yes—you can occasionally see what I made for dinner or that I’m having a glass of wine. You may even see a photo or two of Halloween stuff. Ahem.

You won’t, however, catch my freckled thighs lying out by the pool. Unless they are covered with stage blood and latex wounds. Now that would be cool.