Dear Mark Zuckerberg, I Love You

Life is Good, Short, & Sweet.

Savor the ordinary, for it is the extraordinary.  And keep in touch with your friends…

We sat in the center of a large, rather nice restaurant – Wilt and I, Walter and Betty, Wilma and Garth, and my in-laws.  Someone mentioned Facebook, and I commented that I enjoy it.  My father-in-law (and that man deserves – needs – a  blog post written about him here on Wine Before Five) shouted for all the world to hear, “Facebook???!!!  That’s just like SEXTING!!!”

Sigh…

Facebook activity for me began as a way to keep in touch with great-nephews and -nieces who I don’t see often.  Cousins were quickly added to the friends list.  Soon, old friends, acquaintances who became good friends, and then new acquaintances who are now new friends.  I look forward to my morning “visits” with certain people.  Let me tell you about my most significant Facebook experience, and then you will understand my love for Mark Zuckerberg (yes, he’s young enough to be my son, it’s not “that” kind of love, & the guy impresses the heck out of me) and my love affair with his creation.  Besides, Mark Zuckerberg likes dogs;  what’s not to love about him?

I take much flack from certain people, (those who don’t use Facebook mostly) who comment “I do not have the time to spend all day on Facebook!”  “Oh, Facebook!  I will never waste my time there!”  “Do you just sit around all day reading Facebook?!”  To these people, the term “Facebook user,” has all the negative connotations of  terms such as “slacker, drug addict,  alcoholic, idiot” and, I think perhaps “felon” and even “pervert.”  Seriously?  I wonder if the word “telephone” once carried this same negative feeling…  It interests me, this negative idea about Facebook.  Do people also say “You take photos?!  I would never take photosI don’t have time to sit around all day taking photos!”  Or perhaps “You write ‘thank you’ notes?  I would never…”   “You walk for exercise?!  I would never waste time…”

You get the idea.

Oh, dear uninformed people… what wonderful human interactions you are missing!  But that’s okay with me, because I truly believe in To Each His Own.  But it goes both ways.

*Do what you want.

*Don’t judge others.

*Don’t judge me.

*Better yet – don’t make assumptions, especially negative and insulting ones.

*And for crying out loud, stop and think before you speak.  I’ve decided not to be offended, but you won’t be that lucky with everyone you address this way.

Give some thought to this Facebook experience:

Late winter, 2010, I had been thinking especially often about an old friend who I hadn’t seen or heard from in quite a while.  Our Christmas card had been returned, stamped “Undeliverable.  No Forwarding Address.”  She was one of those rare and special friends who I could communicate with as often or as seldom as it worked, but we always picked up exactly as though we’d just spent the previous day together.  I wanted to hear her voice;  I wanted to hear her say “I could just hug your neck!”  I phoned the number I had for her;  the recording said “disconnected.”   “They’ve moved again,” I thought.  I was sure that any day I’d receive a card saying “Hi, here’s our new address!”  But I wanted to talk to her now.  “I’ve got to find her!”  It had happened before, with both of us, but we always found each other, and picked up where we left off.

Thinking I was quite resourceful, using & combining the old-fashioned methods of communication, I phoned the Post Office in the town of her most recent address.  Being a small town, the lovely woman who answered the phone not only patiently listened to my story of the returned card & disconnected phone,  but also said, “Gee, I don’t know, but let me ask the carrier on that route.  Hang on.”   And so she called out “Hogey!  What’s the story on this address?!”  Hogey shouted back that the house was empty.  He had no idea where the family had gone.  Living in a small town myself, I know that if the mail carrier on your street doesn’t know where to take your mail when you are no longer in your house, you are truly incognito.

I thought I’d be clever, and use technology.  I googled hers and her husband’s name.  An obituary.  I was heartbroken.  She’d lost him, and I hadn’t even known!  We were close, and I knew the stories of her extended family, but did not know maiden names or contact information.  What to do… Where had she gone?      I then googled the city they’d lived in last, found the name of the high school where I knew her oldest son had graduated.  I called;  they had no information for me other than that he was an alumnus.  Temporarily stumped, and really sad, I decided to sleep on it.  Things always seem better in the morning.

The following day, a light dawned.  Her children were the same ages as mine.  Facebook!

I did a search, found a name I was sure (I hoped)  was a match, and sent a long-shot message:  “Are you the son of my friend who I knew well in Richmond, Va?  Do you remember me?”  He’d been just 5 or so when we moved from Richmond;  would he remember?  Was it him?  Would he check his Facebook page soon?  Ever?  Would he respond?  I hoped so.  His younger brother had been only 18 months old when we left;  I was sure he would not be a possibility.

Twelve hours later, I received a phone call – from Okinawa.  Found.  He remembered.  He cared.  He didn’t want to simply write it, and he cared enough to call.  We talked for close to an hour, and when I hung up, I cried for at least that long.  Sad news, but he and his brother had been found.  My dear sweet friend was in a nursing home, and would not know me if I visited.  I sent flowers, anyway, yellow – her favorite color.   I wanted to believe that somewhere in the deepest part of her heart, she would  know, or at the very least, they would bring her a few moments of joy.  There was some comfort:  both her boys remembered us, and now we stay in touch constantly – through Facebook, what else?

Not long after that call from Okinawa, my blog was born with The View From My Window, launched on Nancy’s birthday, with an accompanying Facebook page in honor of the connection made.  I had no idea at that point that the new Facebook pages for my pen name, Emma Ann Weatherly and the blog itself, Wine Before Five,  would bring with it a multitude of new friends, new interests, and so much joy.

And so, no, dear father-in-law, it’s not “sexting.”  It is a wonderful, comfortable tool,  relatively new but merely (merely?) a product of technology that allows us to keep in touch with the people we love, find the people we’ve lost, create new friendships, learn new things, express ourselves.  Yes, I do love Facebook.  And Mark Zuckerberg.

And there will be no sexting about it.

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About winebeforefive

"If I had my life to live over... But mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute... look at it and really see it ... live it...and never give it back." -- Erma Bombeck “If ever there is tomorrow when we're not together.. there is something you must always remember. you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. but the most important thing is, even if we're apart.. i'll always be with you.” -- from Winnie the Pooh “I am beginning to learn that it is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all.” -- Laura Ingalls Wilder “Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened.” -- Dr. Seuss
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16 Responses to Dear Mark Zuckerberg, I Love You

  1. Angie Walker says:

    What a great post and friendship story. I too have made many new wonderful friends through facebook. I am in love with your writing technique and will be back to visit often.

  2. Alex Jones says:

    I love the stalkers; the trolls; the loss of privacy; the ability to have all my friends, enemies, CIA, mafia and Lady GaGa know every inch of my life. I love wasting all my life on people who I don’t even know and could not even care if I died under a bus, just for their likes. I am with you all the way.

  3. Oh, so true! I had a friend who said (and loudly) “Oh, so-and-so’s daughter had revealing pictures of her sent to a porn site because of Facebook!” I must say that there are no revealing pictures of me taken now or 30 years ago when it wouldn’t have broken the camera. I love that it keeps me in touch with ALL of the neices and nephews, and I get to see lots of baby pictures! Plus, it lets me meet modern-day “pen-pals” and kindred spirits just like you. Great post…..as usual.
    Chris
    “The Minnesota Farm Woman”

    • Chris, Lol – I think our photos are wonderful ones for “sexting,” don’t you? 🙂 Thanks for the kind & supportive words. That post was actually the result of a silent, internal rant – so therapeutic! It’s good to know others have had similar experiences – both the wonderful as well as the not-so. Love being in touch! Emma Ann

  4. Without facebook, you and I would still not know each other. Love this post. Love you.

    • Sue, And I think there may be a follow-up of Zuckerberg Appreciation. You, a completely new friend, another – a childhood friend long lost & now found, and one other, a character from the neighborhood of my childhood who I never knew existed before Facebook. It’s an amazing experience! Emma Ann

  5. PaulaH says:

    I love this blog post! Excellent thoughts and touching story. Thank you for sharing. I am so following your blog 🙂

  6. Lynn says:

    I don’t do Facebook but I do love the blogs. This post was beautifully written. The comments are as much fun as your original rant. The quotes are lovely. I’d hug your neck and Mark’s too for brightening my day.

  7. Emma Ann, I remember the post you wrote about your friend Nancy. Your intention, I believe, was to demonstrate what a dear friend you had in Nancy. What came through was certainly your closeness to Nancy and how much she meant to you. But, what rang clearly in my ears (eyes??) was how lucky Nancy was to have a friend like you.

    I grieve along with you, Emma Ann, over the loss of your sweet friend.

    Your thoughts about FB are shared by me. It never ceases to amaze me the connections that I’ve made or re-established due to FB. It’s a powerful tool if used correctly.

    Thank you for giving the chance to read your heartfelt comments.

    • Jackie, You are so right – “a powerful tool if used correctly.” I love the connections I’ve made – and you’re at the top of the list! I’ve got another post percolating in my brain about the new-found friends who I never would have meet without social media. And I hope we get to meet in person one day as well. 🙂 Emma Ann

  8. Carolyn Wilkovich says:

    Yhanks for sharing…I needed to read that. Your story was simply beautiful and inspiring.

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