Thursday, January 8, 2009

Facebook - The Good & the Bad

You know it's really bad when your belly's so big your laptop doesn't fit ON YOUR LAP anymore. I digress...

Facebook ...

I've been a member for a year or so now and would like to summarize my experiences because they are so varied!

When I first joined, it was a blogger thing. I just wanted another social network device and Facebook seemed like where it was at. No biggie - but soon I realized that people were contacting me - people I knew from long ago. But at first they were just people who contacted me regularly on various social networking engines over the years like classmates.com, hotmail, IM etc.

But then I started getting contacts from other people, some whom I thought had literally dropped off the planet! Some of them I wish had dropped off the planet, others I was astonished that they remembered me, some - just mere acquaintances neither good nor bad, and them some others who I was so genuinely pleased to hear from that I felt like a kid again whenever I read their notes!

And so pretty much everyone falls into one of the above categories. But it's the ones that in the first and last category that have affected me the most. Most of these contacts are from my dreaded high school years and I've discussed those awful years before. Like many people, I had some serious identity and self-esteem issues. Couple those with poignant memories of certain people and it's a deadly combination.

Occasionally I will get in contact with someone who I have a difficult memory of, and the emotional roller coaster I go through for a time is bizarre! Is it better that I never got in contact at all? This has happened several times now! So, this is perhaps the downside of Facebook - having to face demons or memories you'd rather have buried and never deal with again.

On the other hand, I've also found Facebook to be a cleansing, purging experience. A way of reconciling and healing the past over issues you regret. Such an incident happened just today with a friend who I had a falling out with when I was 16 or 17 - over a guy of all things (Scooter was his name - funny). The whole thing is vivid color in my memory - the whole thing and I cringe each time I think of it. But today she said she hardly remembered it and forgave me and wanted to be friends again. There it was - 19 years of guilt and regret gone in an instant over the internet. Don't think I totally dwelled and was stuck on it because I'm an adult and was able to move past it, but I always wondered what would have happened if I hadn't been such a jerk that one time. And it was my fault. Who knows and who cares because now it's over.

That's cool stuff.

7 backward glances:

Robyn said...

Ok, a few things...but first...OMGoodness....does that little counter over there say 1 1/2 months???? 43 days? I remember when that nifty little widget wasn't even on your sidebar...and now she's almost here? That's amazing...good luck in the coming weeks!

Now...Amen to all things Facebook---the good the bad and the ugly! About Scooter?? I don't even know where you lived growing up, but honestly, how many "Scooters" could there be! I grew up with one too. We used to go swimming at the Skyline High pool. Just checkin' to see if it were by chance the same one!

Have a great one!

Esther said...

I've had a similar experience on Facebook. I just joined. Someone from my high school added me as their friend. Someone, whom I didn't really like in high school because I thought they were stuck-up. But they contacted me and actually write me which is pretty cool. It makes me feel like there is good in everyone. Does that sound cheesy or what!? I just really felt this animosity and now it's awesome! Please add me to your facebook! I can't find you on there

kelly said...

I had a similar experience through blogging and I must say that although it didn't cripple me in my life, it sure did feel good to resolve the issue and a weight was lifted from my shoulders.

Also, it's kinda cool to see what people are "doing".

The Napier's said...

Im on there, look me up.

Kimmie said...

I agree 100%!

Rachel said...

mmmmm, I haven't tried Facebook. but my sister wants me to. I put it off fot two months since the invite. What am I scared of? People finding me :)

Amy said...

Thanks for all your comments! Nice to know that even after my long sabbatical I'm still being read! Robyn - I went to HS in Colorado so although there probably aren't that many Scooters - he probably isn't the same one, lol.

p.s. everyone - on Facebook, my email is askvarna@gmail.com and I include my maiden name with my last name. If you don't know those names, and would still like to add me, then email me at the above and I'll let you know.