Your Facebook “Other” Folder and the Other Joys of Facebook
As my friends and family will attest to, one of my very favorite pasttimes is to go on Facebook.
Although this is not a promo or commercial for the social network, you may take it that way because I am about to explain why I enjoy it so much.
First of all, I have been enormously busy with post-Flood life and had to give up something in my leisure time as I am still working on housing details, packing, sorting, trashing 30 years worth of stuff – a full time job if there ever was one, yet I do it in my spare time. Then there is Yoga, which I refuse to give up because I credit a good portion of my calm and sanity to it – not to mention necessary weight control since I snack more than ever to keep the energy up for everything that must be done.
I gave up Television watching rather than giving up Facebook. Haven’t watched a full show, with the exception of a few movies, since before the flood. It was hard, but necessary, and I find I don’t miss it. My little teeny bit of spare time is spent writing, reading, and of course FACEBOOK!
I get teased by many who think I am on FB 24/7. That is not the case, given the above schedule. I enjoy snippets here and there, but I don’t spend hours by the screen with it as some may assume. I am a rapid-fire seeker out of all the things I love about FB, and while enjoying that stuff, I tend to be a serial “liker” too to give props to my FB friends.
When recently extolling the virtues of FB with a non-user, she then joined and has thanked me over and over again for it after she saw the advantages herself. She has reconnected with friends from youth, friends from camp, former co-workers and cousins.
That my friends, is EXACTLY what I love about FB. It is the ultimate people connector. My friend Deba (his childhood nickname, don’t ask for an explanation) has told me that I am a natural people connector. That was a great compliment, and one I would have to agree with. I get joy in connecting people with long lost friends, relatives, and new friends. It is the coolest thing ever if you are a people person like me.
So the people connector that I am absolutely LOVES the people connector of FB. Here are just some examples (proof) and other reasons I love the site:
I live 1600 miles from where I grew up. Without FB, it would be tough to connect with people from my past still in that area. I cherish the fact that I have two friends who were among my earliest friends in elementary school, and I hear from them via FB. They were lost to me before that.
I found cousins I didn’t know I had. Fabulous discovery.
I keep in touch with all the wonderful kids who grew up around my kids. I get to see their lives, careers, and everything exciting about them by being FB friends with them. They are all scattered now and I only see a handful in person. This is the greatest thing for me as I loved them all while growing up and I love to keep in touch with them now, even if it is through social media. I relish the photos I see, so I can really follow their adult lives.
I have gotten so many new readers of my blogs. Some of my wonderful friends share my stuff and then I get new readers who like my writing and keep on reading. My numbers are growing all the time (metrics) and I give credit to FB for some of that. It is a great PR machine, and unfortunately in the writing world, PR is critical to getting your work read.
I get to share joy with people having something to celebrate, or even to wish people Happy Birthday. Spreading love and joy is a good thing, and FB is a great forum to do that, whether it is to congratulate on a graduation, a marriage, a baby, or even a birthday. Lots of people love the hundreds of greetings they get on their birthdays. Being a birthday diva, I appreciate the extra love on my own birthday, even if it is a quick Happy Birthday typed in less than a minute.
I received so many heartfelt offers, consolations, and messages with my multiple losses this past summer. It meant so much that people reached out to me to do that – again, the numbers are staggering, because it is way beyond my normal social group. Sharing the good, and the bad, helps in these times. It really does.
I keep up on all the great Someecards and jokes out there. Some bring a huge smile to my face, and I enjoy any kind of forum for extra humor in my life.
A few of my blogs have gone viral thanks to Facebook Sharing. I LOVE that people share my work and that there is a forum to easily share it with many eyes.
Last, there is the Private Messaging. Getting back to the title of this blog, I hear from many, many people who read me on the Huffington Post, or even back in the Houston Chronicle and look for me since I discontinued with them, or in my own blog, and instead of messaging me through those blogs, they find me on FB and private message me. If they are not a FB “friend” they go to my “Other” folder. I used to keep up with that folder religiously to respond to anyone who took the time to write me.
With the flood, time has not afforded me to do that. I found over 100 new messages in my “Other” folder, many of them about my “flood blogs” and many just connections of people. I felt bad not getting back to them as I always did in the past. I found happy birthday wishes that I did not acknowledge either, because I didn’t know they were there having not checked it since before my big birthday.
I also found approximately 40 come-ons from guys in there. That is standard operating procedure, and I am sure most women get these in their “Other” folder too. Those I ignore, but some give me a giggle. At age 60, when someone opens an message with “Hi Beautiful,” it doesn’t matter that it is a random possibly creepy guy, it still can tickle a bit.
So there you have it. Despite some drawbacks, Facebook is fantastic in my opinion. Thank you Mark Zuckerberg.