I don’t care if it’s just for old farts

Apparently, despite all the bad publicity it gets, Facebook is having trouble being the “hot” thing with the younger generation. I suspect that part of the problem is that on Facebook, you can write long paragraphs and sentences. That is, I’m guessing, difficult for the Twitter generation. Anything over 280 characters in a post just confuses them.

But it doesn’t confuse us old farts. We actually grew up in a time when you wrote letters that went on for more than two pages. We grew up in a time when long distance phone calls were expensive so writing letters was the communication mode of choice. We feel constipated and constrained by the limited number of characters in a Tweet – well, unless you are the POS currently sullying the White House. Then even 280 characters of anything that is remotely comprehensible is difficult.

But the point I’m trying to make is not that the Orange Turd is a basically stupid and illiterate piece of trash. He makes that point for himself everyday. No, the point I’m trying to make is that as one of the old farts, I absolutely like Facebook. And here’s why…

Facebook allows me to stay in contact with a whole community of people who might have otherwise drifted from my life. These are people from my work past, from my personal past, from my childhood, from my extended family. Thanks to Facebook, I often know what’s going on in the family before my sister does – and she lives in the same time zone as they do.

Facebook has given me a way to stay in touch with some of the younger generation so I can watch their beautiful children grow. It’s helped me reconnect with people from my childhood who have always remained dear to me. It’s given me a chance to stay in touch with the people who shared my 30 years in Utqiagvik but who have now scattered to all four corners of the globe.

I would never have been able to have such a rich online life without Facebook giving me a way to make all these connections in one easy place.

So yes, I hear the screams and yells about breaches of privacy and all the info Facebook can steal from you. But then, why would you put that much personal stuff on this platform? I basically exchange stories with friends and family about how everyone is doing and oh and ah over every picture of every child or grandchild posted. Is there really anyone interested in that beyond the immediate relatives and friends of said child?a

Politically, I put myself out there on Facebook but that doesn’t mean you have to. Want to keep that private? Than for god’s sake, don’t put it on Facebook.

Anyway, that’s my take on this. For the one college friend this has allowed me to connect with… for the childhood friends this has allowed me to continue to share my life with… for the relatives who refuse to go away unless I hit the right button under the picture of their admittedly beautiful children… for the many people I shared my adulthood and work life with… it’s nice to have a place where all these threads come together and form a community of some of the only people I even want to stay connected to.