Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Facebook makes it personal

I've heard people say that Facebook is a waste of time.  It's impersonal, it replaces meaningful communication, and it makes us connect more superficially instead of having real conversations.

That may be true for some Facebook users - but not me.

Facebook makes events or topics I would have mostly ignored - become very personal.

When there was the school shooting in Newtown - I would have responded like every other tragic event in the world.  I would have been sad, asked why, prayed for the victims in general, and then tried to just move on.
But then I found out through Facebook that my friend's daughter was shot and killed in that Elementary.  Her dad and I knew each other back in 2001 as missionaries in Brazil.

When the Boston Marathon bombing occurred - I knew some friends that were runners, but no one there.  Then one of my friends posted the story of her friend - who was working the medical tent at the finish line.  Suddenly a friend of a friend had heard the explosions, and helped the injured.

These events were not drowned out by the din of the news today. 

With North Korea, and drone strikes, and the Texas stabbing, and all the atrocities and terrors that happen every day - it's easy to become immune.

I remember when the Columbine shooting happened.  It never really hit home until I was in a choir with high school kids from Littleton, CO an entire year later.  Now things hit home much faster.  I feel the humanity - I know someone.

I can't glaze past it, or try to shrug it off.

The same is true of successes.  I find friends who are running for their state legislature, starring in movies, graduating from professional schools, starting companies.  I read their struggles, their successes, and it all makes me more human, more connected.

Stories in the news are not longer just stories, they are "What's happening to my friends."

Facebook has made it all personal - and I am a better person because of it.

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