Friday, January 15, 2010

Life played out on Facebook

The latest death in the family is being played out on Facebook among the next generation. It reminds me of that line in the movie, "The Blind Side" where friends are asking Luanne what her father would think of her adopting a black son. She admits he'd be spinning in his grave.

Bob's parents died before Facebook. So, in order to explain how people chat on the computer back and forth, you'd have to explain or show them facebook. I love it because it is not as intrusive as a phone call, yet an outlet for today's moms. Being the mom of small children, trapped at home for weeks on end, especially when one or more are sick means you are pretty isolated. Even from church. And we thank you not to bring your germs to church. But, facebook gives these parents an outlet.

Facebook is putting the post office out of business. And this is good, in my opinion, having had very negative experiences at the post office for years. It is not "free" because most of us pay through our phone or cable bill for internet service.

Facebook makes sharing photos so easy. It is even easy to crop the pictures. Preserve history.

Bob's nephew, Scott has a girlfriend on facebook we have gotten to know---and since they live across town, and are busy with work and school, we might not get to know them otherwise, and Becky challenged a week of retro pictures. So I have been posting all the cute little kid pictures we can find. And Lauren wanted that picture of them as eight year olds taken on vacation. And I wondered if Clarissa wanted to show Clara her namesake close to her age. She did. What a wonderful service. What a wonderful gift. Tool. Help.

And to see the memory pictures and stories on facebook, and how the sharing helps those who never knew Bob's aunt and uncle to get a small, yet precious glimpse. Amazing technology. One grandson even posted an eleven minute movie. Wow. What a blessing.

So while the generations long gone may wince and look askance at our open ways and grieving played out in such a public forum, why fight it? Why scold? I am just glad we are talking. I am glad different ones are reaching out to comfort. Help. Remember.

For a time, the deceased were fantastic letter writers. Everything they thought and felt was poured out in those letters, telegrams, and cards. It was slow, but it was all they had, and it fulfilled a need to communicate and love each other with words. I think facebook is fulfilling those same needs. And while my great grandparents might be spinning in their graves to see such open displays as words plastered on a roadside billboard, we will someday marvel at how our own great grandchildren chose to communicate with each other. Life is messy, and fun, and technology makes the waiting for a letter from a son or brother at war a thing of the past. I have even found that posting things on my husbands facebook is easier than an email, as I know he goes there to play his farm challenge game.

What will they think of next?

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