Lately my Facebook feed has been full of friends hemhawing over deactivating their Facebook accounts. There are countless links to blog posts on “Why I Gave Up Facebook” or “What I Learned in 30 Days Without Facebook.” While I admit there are days that Facebook, like any form of socialization, can sometimes become a bit tiresome, I have reached the ultimate decision that to deactivate my account would be a decision based entirely in selfishness.
Facebook changes as we age and (hopefully) mature. Young people are full of college plans, then party pictures, and finally graduation pictures. Then come the midnight rants about the woes of graduate school. Afterwards we move on to the difficulties in entering the working middle class, and eventually we end up at the babies and new house pictures and brags. Some of us sprinkle our pet and hobbies in amongst those various steps. Never lacking for self-esteem, I’ve always assumed that my friends want to hear how my life is going (as I wish to stay update about theirs), so I frequently update Facebook with reports on my marital, career, and parental happenings. Usually the same group of friends and coworkers like my images and comment on the cuteness of Ian or wow at the show pictures of Reggie jumping over small jumps. Until recently, I thought this was for my enjoyment. I get the chance to brag a little, receive some cyber pats on my back, and hear from friends who live hours away. Facebook has been a fun place for me, until this week.
This week marked the passing of a wonderful and dear friend. I would like to share her with you one day, but I can’t type a message about her yet. Technology and tears don’t mesh very well, so on another selfish note, I’ll look forward to reminiscing about her when it doesn’t hurt quite so much to type with blurred vision and sniffles. This wonderful friend had a strong Facebook presence, and set a beautiful example for how one should conduct herself on a public forum. I hope to follow her lead for social media etiquette. Her family received friends this Tuesday evening in her home town. Connie battled ovarian cancer for four years, and spent a great deal of that time on Facebook sharing in the joys and sorrows of all of her close friends. Less than 30 seconds after a gigantic hug from her husband, he pulled Brinn and I to the side and made a statement with such impact that my social media outlook will forever be altered.
Jack announced, “Just 3 days before Connie died she was talking about how much she loved you guys and loved seeing your Facebook updates about Ian.”