Funny thing happened on Facebook

Posted on: January 10, 2009

I’ve always been a little slow catching on to the latest technology.  When I was a child in the ’70s, my neighbor’s Atari system was a bit overwhelming so I settled for my manual pinball game. In high school learning computer programming was like pulling teeth. In college while everybody else was in the computer lab, I was plunking away at my typewriter. It was electric.

Lutheran Interparish School, Williamsburg, Iowa, third-grade class in 1979. Guess which one is me?

Lutheran Interparish School, Williamsburg, Iowa, third-grade class in 1979. Guess which one is me? (Hint: I am standing)

Now in my late 30s and extremely proud of my Pac-Man game which plugs into the TV, you can imagine how hard it was for me to accept social media. For the last couple of years I had heard the buzz about MySpace, Facebook and those other silly sites. They were for kids and fortunately I was past the age to care.

But after peer and career pressure, I finally created a Facebook account in August. At first I felt awkward filling in my status update. “Angie is sitting at her computer.”  But then friends who I hadn’t heard from in years starting popping up. My memory incited, I searched for people I hadn’t thought of in years. And found them. Bridesmaids who I hadn’t seen since my wedding 12 years ago; college roommates who are all grown up with families and real jobs; people I met during my newspaper journeys throughout Iowa and Kansas; classmates who date back to the parochial grade school on the hill. 

We’re all a little older, a little wiser and yes, even a little jaded. Over the years there’s been health problems, financial difficulties, insecurities and heartbreak. I thought those things only happened to me. It turns out nobody has had a perfect life since school. Who knew? But there’s also been marriages, births and personal triumphs. I love seeing pictures of my friends and their families; and I like to share them too.

During the tough times over the years, there has been a sense of loneliness and isolation. I was sure my friends were living the perfect life and I was just the black sheep who couldn’t adjust to the real world. Seeing former and new friends on Facebook is comforting and gives me a sense of community. Oh, I do intend to get together with many of the buddies I am now in contact with – a computer will never replace the joy of face-to-face interaction.  

Facebook and Twitter have been my modes of social media and connecting with friends and colleagues. If that’s not for you, go ahead and seek out an old friend. Give her a call. Write a letter. Just get back in touch. It really is good for the soul.

4 Responses to "Funny thing happened on Facebook"

So fun to read about your journey on Facebook. I rencently did this too,starting off being friends with just the people I know here in the CR area. That was safe. They don’t know how it was back home. I never thought I would take up with my high school classmates again. But here we are catching up, praying for eachother, and finding out in the end that we are all equals. Wish I would have known this back then!

Yes, Angela, it is comforting to know the people you knew as a child and teenager are still there for you in adulthood.

In many ways, I feel like I’m the same person I was at the age of 5 or 15 or 25. I get the feeling that a lot of my “old” friends haven’t changed much either after getting back in touch with them on FB. It’s a reminder why I became friends with them in the first place. I wish I would have kept in better touch with my friends through the years, but it’s nice to do so now through FB. Great article Angie!

Yes, Pat, it is too bad we all lose touch at the times we needed each other the most. Great to be back in touch with you!

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