Friday, August 17, 2012

Social Networking and Family Ties

Ok, I'll admit, I'm going to brag a little here. My 85 year young grandma has a facebook. She has had one for about 6 years. She lives in a nursing home and deals with a Parkinson's like disease... and yet she has a computer in her room and recently "liked" the rock band her favorite nursing-home-staffer plays in on the side, and has now "friended" half of the band. That's one hip grandma. :)

I used to think facebook was a waste of time... that social networking was just that: social. Just a way for people to hob-nob and waste time chatting online. Don't get me wrong, it can be all that, but it can be more!

Via facebook I am able to share geneological information with long lost cousins and find pictures of my great-great grandparents I didn't even know existed. Try tagging everyone who is a decendent of this person in the black and white sod house photo. Cool. No log in for needed. On facebook our homeschool group can plan events and instantly know who is or isn't available and adjust accordningly BEFORE the newsletter hits the presses. Another great part, aside from events and photo sharing, is the customizable format. I only hear from or share with those I choose. My life is not open to the WHOLE WORLD as it would be on myspace or twitter.... or even this blog.

But here is where I think facebook and this digital age has changed our lives. I think the whole thing had slowly integrated into my life until I had a realization yesterday morning:

I was sitting in the hospital with my grandma, who was recovering from an illness, and we were typing an update for our private family group on fb, so they would know she would be discharged that afternoon. The lady who was sharing grandma's hospital room was equally as old and her smarthpone was going off every 30 seconds with well wishes from friends, and she was using voice texting to keep her son overseas updated on her care... and it hit me.

Grandma's tears of joy at reading all the love on her facebook wall didn't cost us a thing. No flowers needed to fill that tiny hospital room; we have LOVE, instantly communicated with words and pictures, concern and prayers being lifted at a moment's notice. We live in an age where it is impossible to not know, to not care.  Whether it's for a cancer battle or an uprising in Egypt. And we can be up todate with it all, in the time it takes to make one phone call. (unless you get sucked in to a game app, which would be your fault that you didn't block it... )

So many call this technology a loss of privacy, or a waste of time. I say only if you let it. But I could see a couple of old ladies perked up by knowing that so many loved and cared and shared... and I know it matters. Just as any tool that comes our way can eat your life if you let it, or it can free you up to be more effective: in how you plan, care, share, and enjoy life.

Now, my computer time is up, and I'm going outside... :) And later I'm going to visit my grandma, in person.

1 comment:

  1. Love this post! That is exactly how I feel about it!! :)


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