Share how the social network Facebook has affected your relationships with other people.
Except for two distasteful experiences, I've had a good time being a part of Facebook and I think it's helped not only renew and strengthen a number of relationships in my life, but Facebook has been a way for me to make friends I wouldn't have otherwise shared ideas and wise cracks with.
A few examples come to mind immediately.
In 2009, a bunch of us Kellogg High School grads began to work on having a get together in Oregon to celebrate turning fifty-five years old. It was through Facebook that people who hadn't seen or talked to each others for years got reacquainted and it was through Facebook that we worked out the decision that Lincoln City would be a better site for our party than Portland. The weekend of food, walks, talks, laughs, music, and plain of fun, fun, fun was one of the best times I've ever had and Facebook made it really easy to organize and make happen.
Similarly, the different people in Baugh/West clan started joining Facebook and we started getting to know each other a little better and the idea sprang up that we ought to have a cousin reunion, the Last Cousin Standing Hootenanny. Just like the party I described above, the Last Cousin Standing Hootenanny was one of the best times I've ever had. My sisters and cousins and their families and I, along with the family matriarchs (MIWW and LWBZ), had a great time talking, eating, drinking, telling stories, learning stuff we never knew about each other, and just feelin' the love of an epic family gathering. The Last Cousin Standing Hootenanny prepared the way for the big parties this past spring when we celebrated Judy and Jack's 50 wedding anniversary and Lila (aka LWBZ)'s 90th birthday. I credit our involvement on Facebook with setting things in motion for such full participation at both events.
Later, in 2010, thanks to Facebook and a private group we created, I had a deeply satisfying reunion with three of my Whitworth College students (and Bill's wife). We got to know each other through the Facebook group and made arrangements for a reunion through Facebook. Bill and Diane and I got together again in June this summer for a weekend in Ashland. Bridgit had to cancel because of work demands. It's all to say that we stay current with one another through Facebook and I'll bet we plan another get together and will continue to become better and better friends.
Lastly, thanks to my friendship with local hero the Troxstar, I have made a bunch of Facebook friends who either are from Middlesboro, MA or are married to MHS grads or are FOM (Friends of Middleboroers). Just this past Monday, one of those Middleboro High School grads, Jon, visited Eugene and the Troxstar and he invited me to join them for dinner and a Pats game. I'd had coffee with Jon and the Troxstar once before and the same thing was true both times: having talked on Facebook about music, football, the Red Sox, the Celtics,and church, we moved easily from Facebook to face to face conversation. I trust that if I were to get together with others of this group of people, a similar thing would happen.
I used to have a similar experience through my blog. I made virtual friendships with people around the country (even the world) through my blog posts and had some wonderful, but short lived correspondence with fellow bloggers. That has fallen off. I've notice people are more active on Facebook than they are checking blogs and I often double post my stuff in both places. I miss some of my old blog acquaintances, but I understand that things change.
I remain faithful to this blog. Most of my posts are Three Beautiful Things, but I keep it alive and I've enjoyed the people I've corresponded with because of my blog every bit as much as via Facebook.
The new developments on the World Wide Web have been fun and have nourished my life with the spirits of good people and company of many friends and family.
I never saw it coming!