Thursday, November 19, 2015

The good, the bad and the ugly

Facebook, that is.

I’m mostly a lurker these days—partly by design, partly because I’m pressed for time and have precious little energy for things outside of work and Kent. I’ll have to catch you up sometime with all the stuff I’m doing at work but for now, it’s enough to say the hours are long and I’m tired on all fronts when I get home.

I see the ugly—the vitriol posted either about world events like the bombings in Paris or the Syrian refugee crisis (what a bland way to describe that). I see the bad or maybe more charitably the stupid or inane—all the clichés posted over pictures of sunsets or mountains or of course cats.

But I’ve seen good too. I’ve moved so much and lost contact with so many people and Facebook has been a way to reconnect if ever so briefly and superficially. It’s like getting to find out the rest of the story, what happened after I closed the book.

One example is my friend, C. I met her the first month after my family had moved to Cape Girardeau when I was 14. Cape is a small town and fairly insular and making friends wasn’t easy. Most had been friends, no joke, for life. But C, who went to the local Catholic high school, lived near me and loved theater as I did. I met her in rehearsals for a play, all details long forgotten except for meeting her and also my first boyfriend, Mark. None of us drove yet, we were all too young, so C and I rode our bikes to rehearsal every day, up and down the hills of Cape.

She ended up breaking her arm in some freak accident at home, and had to drop out of the play—but we remained friends until after I’d graduated from high school. Then I went off to basic training and lost contact not only with her but with most of my friends from that time. I saw her again probably five years later, and life hadn’t been all that kind to her. She’d had a number of failed relationships and wasn’t very happy. Once my parents moved away from Cape, I never went back and had no idea where she’d ended up.

We reconnected on Facebook a couple of years ago, and I could piece together a sort of history for her. She’d clearly married at some point, and had four sons but wasn’t married any more. She had a bad health scare not long after we reconnected, and nearly died. I don’t know all the details but at some point she met a man and they became friends. Things evolved and they are getting married soon.

It’s been nice to see how things are turning out for her now. Sure, there’s no guarantee with this relationship but when are there ever guarantees? And this entire story sums up why the good of Facebook outweighs the bad and the ugly. 

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