I can’t remember exactly when I joined the Facebook craze. I’m sure it was well over a year ago. I created two accounts. One “Mormon Soprano” Facebook, and one for my personal/family use. I didn’t actively start using my personal account until about 6 months ago. It seems the trick to getting the most out of FB, and/or being a successful “Facebook-er” is to check in often – preferably, at least once per day. I have noticed an inordinate amount of people choose to leave their pages open throughout the day for as long as they are online, presumably to allow a more active role in conversations, commenting and personal chatting. There are also some people who rarely check their pages at all, and those who seem to have found a user balance somewhere in-between.
Lately, there’s been quite a hullabaloo since the announcement about the changes Facebook has made, and some very valid fears of security breaches, when considering The Good The Bad and The Ugly of Facebook. There’s been worries expressed the changes are an anti-privacy plot, and there’s even a vibrant Facebook / CIA conspiracy theory.
Facebook has certainly gained a startling amount of global power as the top social networking site, and when there is great power, there is potential for great abuse. I agree that it is very important to safeguard our privacy and make our personal information “personal” … as far as this is actually possible, when weighed against the dichotomy of “online transparency”.
However, I wish to set aside these worries, clamor and discontent for a moment. When I look at the bigger picture of Facebook, “I stand all amazed“. This post is not intended to be an “advertisement for Facebook”. There are many ways to stay connected these days, and life certainly does not end if you don’t have (or want) FB. This post presents a personal observation.
In the past year, I have seen nothing short of a miracle in the good that has come to me personally from my Facebook account. The scriptures remind us that “all things which are good, come from God” Moroni 7:12, Alma 5:40.
Here is how I am finding the Greater Good on Facebook:
1. Finding FOREVER FRIENDS
Facebook has allowed me to reconnect with people who were a very important part of my life – my BFFs - whom I had lost all contact with, and nearly all hope of ever finding again. Here’s just a sample that has occurred over the past month:
- Finding my best friend from High School. I discovered she has been happily married for 25 years, has 8 beautiful children (yes…8!!) and is a professional tri-athlete (putting all of my photos to shame). We also found that we can still talk for hours on end and laugh like little girls!
- Finding my first best friend from Elementary School days. We have had the most delightful conversations – sharing memories that had nearly faded. We’ve shared our joys, our sorrows, our stories, our families, and we can certainly still talk for hours on end and laugh like little girls! We’re planning a reunion during her family vacation next summer.
- I found my former boyfriend, which allowed each of us to mend the fence, and have closure. We share joy in our memories, our friendship, and our matured perspective on life.
2. Finding ANGELS
Facebook has allowed me to find new friends in unexpected ways that have been a tremendous inspiration, and have changed my life for the better.
One of those new friends is Major Tobin C. Griffeth of the US Air Force . I found him on Facebook. As a fellow Latter-day Saint, we had something instantly in common. I was impressed with his love of family and country and his service in Afghanistan. Then I discovered that Maj. Griffeth was an exceptional Airman, nominated alongside Capt. Katie Illingworth as one of this year’s “most inspiring people” on BeliefNet.com. While bravely serving in Afghanistan, he has still found the time and energy to spearhead the Service Project Operation Red River Care , which has helped change countless lives, build bridges of trust, and confirms that angels do still exist.
3. Finding LOVE
Facebook has allowed me to cultivate friendships, both old, current and new. The bonds of brotherhood and sisterhood with our friends and family here on earth are truly one of God’s greatest gifts. The older I get, the more precious these friendships are becoming. I’m finally old enough to grasp how short life is, and how fleeting our opportunity to share it with the ones we love really is.
Being wanted and needed is a crucial part of what defines us, and gives us purpose. Therefore, being able to gather our friends into a central place, where we can all keep in touch - as often, and as quickly as we like – is an amazing gift.
4. Finding GOD
I wouldn’t put it past devout followers to create a ‘fan page’ for Him. I’ve read that churches routinely use social networking, and it is reported that many people are Finding God on Facebook and Praying on Twitter. However, I am confident our Father in Heaven is capable of taking care of all His social networking needs through a much higher, and yes – even better - system!
That said, while God may not have his own “Facebook” page, I do believe He uses Facebook. “Where there is good, there is God”. I have found the good. I have felt His power and His Spirit present. And for that, I give thanks for Facebook.