A friend and I were talking over the phone recently about this subject. It's one that's of particular interest to me since Facebook has been an integral part of my life since early 2009 and, to be quite honest, since it was the only real form of social outlet I had when I was "confined to living quarters" in my own home in Elkhart, KS. from late May 2009 until March 2010, prior to moving to Southern California. This is the part most people don't know about me. When I say "confined to living quarters" and "the only real form of social outlet I had", imagine those two statements in the most literal sense.
We were talking about some of the "posts" I put up and she said something that puts this entire forum into a much clearer perspective, at least for me. She said, "Gus, you realize the things you put out there reach a lot of people and sometimes the message you intend it to be isn't what's perceived or heard, especially some of your musical choices. It's kinda like Swiss cheese she said, there's so many holes you can navigate through, each one of them that leads to a different conclusion." I thought WOW, does that ever make sense! But, you know what? Like I told her, I'm going for it in every way, and not just Facebook, I'm going at life hard. For me, there's simply no other way to live!
After all, we all know that there are probably HUNDREDS of ways to describe Facebook, with all kinds of websites offering their own advice on how to use it, what to say, what not to say, the list is endless. And that doesn't even include the dozens of YouTube clips that parody Facebook. I could reference any of a number of those sources to describe it, but the way she put it makes "common sense" to me.
But I digress so back to the topic at hand. FACEBOOK. What is it to you? How do you use it? What purpose does it serve in your life? For many, I know that its a means of staying "in touch" with family and friends, if only just to see pictures of their loved ones and their families and to hear what's going on in their day to day lives. Others aren't nearly as active, they're "out there" but don't share much at all. They just simply sit back and observe. And then there's others like myself who see it as a powerful means of communication.
For example, I have a "friend" here in SoCal who does nothing but put up short video clips of funny stuff, things like dogs on surfboards and so on. Other times he puts up some really inspiring animal stories in video format that seem to "touch" people. But I've never seen him once put up a "status update" or have I rarely seen him make even a comment! He just puts up the clip and BAM, that's it! And that's fine, that's his gig, his way of communicating "what's on his mind."
Then there's those that use it to simply banter back and forth as a way to amuse themselves, putting up short bursts of humorous posts in whatever fashion and see where it goes. Here again, that's "their thing" and their way of having fun. I view it this way, "live and let live."
I could name other examples but what I'd really like to cover is how Facebook can be used as a way to REALLY reach out and touch people, to help them if possible, to provide some spark of inspiration from events or circumstances in their own life to others. For instance, one of my sisters is employed with a entity called The Kansas Sampler Foundation, whose sole purpose is to promote rural America and to try to provide positive ways for our rural towns to survive. She and others associated with this organization use Facebook as a platform to "spread their message" and its amazing what the results have been. POSITIVE results. To me, that's where I think some people are "missing the boat", as it were. Facebook can, and should be in my humble opinion, used for so much more than telling me how your daughter's dentist appointment went today, what you had for lunch, etc. Hell, I can find that out by simply calling you!
That's why I created "notes" within my Facebook profile nearly a year ago, notes created from my own journey from literally near death. At first, I had no idea what I was doing or where I was going with them. Once I started sharing those thoughts, I quickly discovered that people were really dialing in to what was going on inside of me. They were inspired and told me so. Obviously, SOMETHING was needed there. As time went on, with the help of someone who just "happened" into my life a long time ago, another candle within me that had been flickering for a very long time was suddenly sparked into a roaring fire. With her musical gifts, she showed me a world I had never known.
And this fire continues to grow even at this moment. One of the reasons I started "Ramblings" shortly after moving here this past March. I woke up one morning in early April and the idea just "hit me." Hey, why not start my own website? Honestly, to that point, I hadn't given it any planning at all. It "just happened."
My whole point with this story is this. However you view Facebook and how you choose to utilize it in your own life, always remember this. This is a free country and this forum is yours to use as you please, within the confines of what is considered socially acceptable behavior. My advice to you? Particularly those of you who are hesitant because you're shy, unsure, or uneasy? Show NO FEAR! It says right there on YOUR home page, "What's on your mind?" SAY IT! And, most of all, don't let other people's opinions, especially your close friends or relatives, influence your actions. If you want to come down with a bad case of MPS like me, "multiple posting syndrome", then by all means, DO IT!
Show me WHO YOU ARE. Show me your FEELINGS, your SOUL. That, my friends, is what Facebook should be about. Not all the day-to-day goings-on any of us can get by picking up the phone, so we can "reach out and touch" someone, and say "How are you? What's the weather like? How's the family?"
Don't misunderstand me, there's nothing wrong with that approach if that's what you choose to do. Here again, live and let live. But, you can "reach out and touch" a heck of a lot more people in a very inspiring and positive way if you would only try. Go with your heart and don't hold back! Trust me, you'll be happy you did!