Sunday, February 9, 2014

The Two Faces of Facebook

by Leann

First of all, I like Facebook. I get to see pics of my grandkids doing all sorts of wonderful things. I keep up with extended family. I share joy and heartbreak with many people. For a basically introverted writer who spends a lot of time in the company of two cats and a dog for the better part of the day, it's a good thing.

But there is a nasty side to human nature and at times the anonymity of saying something mean through the keys on a computer can be troubling. It
happened to my friend just the other day. Something innocently shared turned into a major political argument with harsh commentary. Things were said that would probably never be said had these people been in the same room together. She was hurt and offended. These things happen. Words on a screen without accompanying facial expressions and voice inflections are easily misinterpreted. Discussions can get out of hand quickly and if I see that happening on my page I quickly hide the discussion and try to forget about it--which is what she did. We all have opinions and opinions are not truth. But not everyone would agree.

Then there is the amazing, kind, generous, wonderful side of Facebook. That is what I experience 99% of the time. A cat that a friend and I rescued--a purebred Persian who had been abandoned, was flea-infested and scared--ended up in a forever home with my daughter and son-in-law. He is a precious boy and they love him dearly. But he is getting up in years. This past week he collapsed and my son-in-law, who fortunately now works from home, was there when it happened. He rushed Simone (girl name, boy cat--and that's a long story) to the vet. It was a serious heart and vascular problem for the fur baby.

I posted a call for positive thoughts and prayers for Simone--as I have

done for my own sick kitty Marlowe in the past--and the response was so wonderful, kind and almost overwhelming. These are my true friends, these Facebook people, most of whom I have never met. I know that the outpouring of positive energy helped because Simone returned home on Friday. He still has to be watched, is on several medications but it was touch and go for a while. The universe was kind thanks in part to the people who have befriended me, a little known mid-list writer. I am amazed!

I am also grateful, and for me, these are the people I would love to meet in person. The ones who reach out with kindness and caring immediately--as all of you who read this blog have done so many times. You are the ones who are there to give me a boost when I need it most. So, thank you for your humanity and thank you Facebook for facilitating the meeting of like-minded folks. Cyber hugs to all of you!