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I am usually pretty tech savvy, but I had to be coerced to join Facebook.

I told people about 5 years ago that “I don’t have kids, I don’t have grandkids and I’m not trying to hook up—why do I want to be on Facebook?”

But, I was on a committee using it to communicate with members, so I joined and ended up with friends from that organization. And I never checked it. It took me a while to even “get” how it worked. Every time I logged in, I had so many posts from one friend with her picture showing up, I thought I was logging on to her page! Like I said, it took me a while to “get” it.

Later, a cousin was blogging about his cancer treatments via Facebook (he’s in remission and things look good btw) so I ended up friends with some family members. Then I accidently (not kidding here) accepted a friend request from an old classmate. A few weeks later, I got more friend requests from old classmates—hence the term viral, I guess. I will admit, I thought about dropping off of Facebook and ignoring their requests.  It took me a couple of weeks to think it over before I decided that I would “Friend”  these people—I don’t live near my old hometown and haven’t kept up with many people there, but—I also have nothing against most of them. So I did.

And that started the avalanche— I have “Friends” on Facebook I’ve not seen face to face in 20 years, people I see several times a month and relatives, both my age and younger.  I have them in distinct groups for my rare posts (not everyone gets everything—if I’m posting correctly) and I begrudgingly check Facebook every couple of days—ok, probably more like every day now.

And while I’m not in love with it, I am starting to see some value to it.

For one thing, I’m becoming better acquainted with some of the younger members of my family, which has been nice. And I’m also able to keep track of my friends and acquaintances locally, who I don’t see as often since work has become ever busier.

I went to a going away party tonight for a friend. There were a lot of people there, many I have not seen in a long time, between their schedules and mine.  However, I knew what most of them were up to, thanks to Facebook. For, buried amidst the forwarded cat pictures, the marketing dross and the “hit like if you love your son, your granddaughter or your gun” posts and the countless pictures of cute babies, there is enough real information that I was remarkably up to date with is happening in my friends’ lives.

I know whose mother is moving in with her, whose brother is very sick, and who is looking for a new job. In fact, I learned that my friend was moving out of state via Facebook when she announced her house was up for sale and that she was closing on a condo!

So, while I read Facebook more than I post (Cue my mom saying  “Everyone says that.” ) I acknowledge people’s situations and posts and make this bit of social media a tool that really does help me keep me in the loop. Thus I will begrudgingly admit I’m glad I joined Facebook.

But I need to get better at the ins and outs of using it, because earlier this week, I once again accidently accepted a friend request when I was trying to hit “not now.”

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