you think about updating your status with an insight before writing about it in your journal or talking about it with anyone else.
I signed up with Facebook in 2006 after some students at Alabama A&M invited me and told me I needed to be on Facebook. Some students preferred MySpace, so I may have had a MySpace account first. No matter — I rarely used either.
And, until about a week ago, I still didn’t *get* Facebook. Really not. Did not get the appeal. Didn’t get how folks logged on several times a day. Didn’t get the FB games with farm animals and fairies. Just did not get FB. A utilitarian FB user, I considered myself above the hoi polloi because I logged on only after I’d gotten a Gmail message alerting me to a new post in one of the groups I belonged to. I used FB for information — not personal aggrandizement.
Then, after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings, I *shared* a poster with a quote by John Oliver about shoe-bombs, airport security, and gun laws. And I watched the poster get re-posted by several people. And I thought, “Wow. That’s almost a meme, eh?” Then I shared a photo of young Angela Davis and Toni Morrison walking side-by-side and wearing huge afros. Several people commented. Nieces, former colleagues, old friends I haven’t seen in many years. And I was finally hooked. I finally got FB. What did I get? The serendipity and idiosyncrasy of information and sharing it. Echoes. The comfort of like minds. Appreciation.
Now, I log on to FB, and I often spend five to ten minutes scrolling through all the updates. I enjoy FB community — which is a curious sort of community. I won’t call it elusive or illusionary, although I want to. I feel a connection to people with whom I have not spoken in many years — sometimes decades. I know personal preferences and incidents in the lives of people whom I know only cursorily in face-to-face interactions. And I bump up against people I’ve never met but discover through other FB friends — and I appreciate their writing or their events or their politics.
I finally touched down on Planet Facebook.