I consider myself pretty much a face-to-face communicator. I don't really love talking on the phone — though I hate that my little sister refuses to answer hers (Hallie, I hope you're reading this.) Texting will do in a pinch, but it doesn't take the place of real communication ... You know the spiel.
But, I'll come right out and say it: I love Facebook. And I do mean love — with a capital L.
It may just be that my birthday was last month. Unless you hate birthdays, it's pretty hard not to like Facebook on your “special day.”
Before Facebook, my best and oldest friend in the entire world didn't remember my birthday unless I was lucky.
Suffice it to say, I'm not the luckiest person as a rule. But this year: The birthday wishes kept flooding in! Even from Princess Stephanie, the aforementioned friend most likely to forget. It was better than a flaming chocolate cake — and calorie-free to boot.
Birthdays aside, thanks to Facebook, I'm now in touch with people I never thought I'd hear from again (and, frankly, with some I didn't care to). Formerly close friends — and friends not so close — who had disappeared from my life now share pictures, funny thoughts and, of course, many, many crude remarks.
On any given day, I know my cyber-friends' political leanings, religious or non-religious views, musical passions, curse word preferences — even, weirdly, if some of them are wearing underwear. It's a strange world out there ...
But perhaps my favorite thing about America's favorite “social networking site” is a Facebook love story.
For the sake of privacy (that's a big thing on FB), I'll call the two people Jack and Jill. Jack and Jill are both longtime friends of mine. Jill graduated from Cody High School with me — Jack, the year before.
While I remain friends with each of them to this day, our separate friendships blossomed at different times in life.
Jill and I met in fifth grade. She was at my 10th birthday party when we put balloons in our tops and paraded around the neighborhood in hysterics. We were two of the “smart girls” in junior high and high school and thus had our share of classes together. We spent some time together in college, but Jill was much more serious about school than I was at the time.
Jack, on the other hand, came into my life when I started venturing into ... let's just call it the more wild side of things. He was smart, funny, an amazing writer and musician, and we became good friends and party buddies.
So now, years later, I'm friends with both of them on Facebook. Pretty soon, I notice they've also friended (yes, that is a word) each other. Over the course of several months, their comments to each other become more and more frequent.
Jack, the consummate bad boy, started making an occasional soft, kind remark (not too often, mind you, and they were usually directed right at Jill). Jill, on the other hand, started dropping the “F-bomb” regularly. You see where this is going ...
At one point, I thought to my matchmaker self, “Maybe I should suggest that they get together...” But I convinced myself to mind my own business — not an easy task. But their back-and-forth continued — complete with little winking, smiley faces. ; )
And I couldn't resist: I sent the message to Jill. “Hey, it seems like you and Jack have a lot in common. You talk a lot about the same stuff. Maybe I'm crazy, but I think you should get together.”
Suffice it to say, they were miles ahead of me. Six months, numerous cross-country flights, and some “let's introduce our kids to each other” visits later, they're madly in love.
Two people whose paths likely would never have crossed again, who have suffered through personal crises and failed marriages, have found each other. All because of Facebook — what's not to like about that?
(And, yes, my little sis is my Facebook friend, too. Sometimes, she even responds to my posts.)