Monday, June 21, 2010

I saw your name on Facebook...

“I had no idea what Facebook was. And now that I do—I think it’s a huge waste of time.” Betty White said that when she hosted Saturday Night Live last month.

After Ms. White’s wildly popular Snickers commercial aired during the Super Bowl earlier this year, there was a massive Facebook campaign to get the octogenarian actress on the long-running NBC live sketch comedy series, Saturday Night Live. She started her television career back in the era when most all television was live, so surely she was a natural to host SNL.

The campaign worked and the uber talented Betty White wowed the studio audience and the TV viewers. So maybe Facebook isn’t such a huge waste of time after all, eh?

Well, I think it does have its positives, but mostly…Betty White is right.

The social networking sight has not become a giant time suck for me yet because I have never, ever played Farmville, Mafia Wars, The Sims, Plants vs. Zombies, Pacman, Doodle Jump, or any of the other addictive and wacky games or applications.

It has been a joy, however, to reconnect with a few long lost friends, co-workers, and classmates. In fact, five times as many people showed up for our 30th high school class reunion just a few months ago as came to our 25th gathering (only 4 classmates showed up at that one). I give Facebook all the credit for helping us reconnect.

The other day I got a note in my FB inbox.

“I have seen your name come up on fb several times… I began to wonder if you could possibly be the Elizabeth Santori that I had in my 2nd grade class at Tarpey when I first started teaching. If so, you were such a great kid and always made my day!”

It was a note from my second grade teacher, Mrs. Higgins! I remember her very well, and it was a wonderful surprise to know that she remembered me. Her note made me smile.

So, although Facebook can sometimes be a huge waste of time, I want to thank Mrs. Higgins for taking an extra moment to drop me a line.

I’ve sent several notes to friends, and even a few strangers, whose lives have intersected with mine through mutual acquaintances. I’ve let people know I was praying for them in the midst of a struggle, and I’ve reminded seldom-seen folks that they matter to me.

I’ve been “unfriended’ by a few, and I’ve gotta say…that hurts. Cyber rejection hurts almost as much as a face-to-face slap down, but connecting with someone from my long ago past makes my heart sing.

Thanks Mrs. Higgins for your kind words. You made my day. You reminded me that Facebook isn’t just a huge waste of time but can, in fact, bring joy.

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