I guess my favorite thing about Facebook is the way friends and family send birthday wishes when my special day rolls around. I know, they’re being reminded by the machine. And yeah, it’s pretty easy to type a few words on a person’s wall. But it’s also pretty easy not to. I have to admit that all those messages today made me feel appreciated by the people I care about, and it renewed my appreciation for them in return. I like that warm and fuzzy feeling. Facebook might be a poor substitute for real face-to-face contact, but it’s a lot better than nothing.
I have a friend whose mother died awhile back. I didn’t write anything on his wall because to me it felt facile, a trivial way to offer condolence for a terrible personal loss. But he told me later that all the messages he got via Facebook were a great comfort. I felt kind of ashamed. I was too high-minded to use Facebook, but the thing is, I never got around to sending a card either. From that I learned this: Where true friends are concerned, the words matter a lot more than the medium.
Anyway, another trip around the sun. I’m growing older and uglier, but sometimes I think I’m also growing marginally wiser. I have no proof of that. And I might not have jumped at the deal, had it been optional. But youth must fly, and with it vanity. If you get anything in return, you should probably not complain.