“Oooh, I would never do Facebook – it’s dangerous!”
Walking across the street is dangerous, life itself is dangerous. OLD is about not trying new things. My purpose in these musings is to help folks from being OLD. (OLD is the opposite of the wise sage we intend to be as we explore the new territory of life facing those of us who have crossed into the territory of the new 70 and beyond) Today’s lesson: Think Facebook.
“Facebook is too complicated” Learning new things can be complicated, but learning new things keeps you from being OLD.
“I’m worried about privacy”. There are privacy settings you will learn how to use. You may want to consider being a little more open, though. The millennials and younger are far less concerned about privacy. Certainly use discretion but you can be a little less shy.
So why am I touting the benefits of Facebook?
Every study I have seen concludes that social interaction is essential to living a longer life. Facebook keeps you in touch with your world and opens you up to getting to know people better. No, you do not just sit on your couch with your laptop and make friends. You go out into the world and meet people and then stay connected with them on Facebook.
Every time I come home from a social event I find additional Facebook friend requests. Once, at a party I recognized a name on a woman’s nametag. I approached her with “According to Facebook, we should be friends”. We connected and she is now a friend on Facebook but also someone I can connect with socially.
Yesterday accepted a friend request from someone I don’t know. A definite No no? Not really. I saw we had about 20 friends in common and from the list I could tell which of my circles she inhabits. I will be following her posts and when we are at the same meeting next week I will be able to approach her and we will have commonality.
Remember those great folks you met on vacation? You promised to keep in touch but other than the occasional Christmas letter you’ve lost contact. I am still friends with people in met in the Grand Canyon, aboard a Panama Canal cruise and even on a China trip.
DEEPEN YOUR CONNECTIONS
I have several friends I don’t see often. We keep talking about getting together to catch up, but we don’t do it as much as we would like. We keep up with each other on Facebook and when we do see each other we don’t have to spend a lot of time catching up. She knows about my trip to the Grand Canyon and I read about her visit with relatives in Texas. We were able to get right in to deeper conversation. Our Facebook friendship really does strengthen the real friendship.
FILL YOUR CALENDAR
Each day I have a list of events from which I can pick and choose. Most are of only casual interest and I file it away as nice to know even though I will not be participating. On the other hand, I become aware of an interest shared by several of my friends and I choose to attend. I have also posted events myself and I am tickled at the responses I get. I have become so accustomed to sending out invitations by scheduling events that I have found it challenging to include my non-Facebook friends. Mailed out invitations? How quaint. Your even invitations can be private and go only to those you select.
I also have started several groups that communicate via a “secret” group. No one but those who have been invited to the group can see the posts. We send each other reminders, updates and encouragement knowing that only the group members will see the message. I also belong to a couple of on-line book clubs. I’m not giving them a thumbs up yet but I may consider a smaller group of people I already know.
KEEP UP WITH FAMILY
My favorite part of Facebook is becoming a part of my family’s life. I see my grandson eating spaghetti or playing at the water park. I learn about what my daughter and her husband are interested in and learn of their activities. I can ask about these activities and opinions when I see them without having to grill them about what’s been happening in their life. I also have become friends with some of their friends. Younger friends really help you not be OLD.
CREATE NEW CIRCLES
I belong to a number of private groups on Facebook. Many I have created myself. Those groups include a group of wannabe writers (Hi, Writers’ Salon), my spiritual community, lawyers groups, and several accountability and support groups. Most of these people I know in person but some are virtual friends. One group I call “Girlfriends’ Potluck” and every now and then I do a shout out and schedule a potluck.
MY CHALLENGE TO YOU
Chances are if you are reading this, you are on Facebook. Would you like more help on creating groups, privacy settings or other issues? I am happy to help. I am even planning workshops for small groups in various communities. Let me know if you are interested.