FACEBOOK, and Friends

I have been thinking a lot about friends, past and present.  I consider myself extremely fortunate to have many friends around the country that I look forward to visiting on my Road2Reinvention.  According to Facebook, I have 294 friends.  I know, I know, I should take the Facebook ban challenge and delete FB.  BUT, I like FB.  It allows me to keep up with “friends”, real friends and FB friends (you know who you are), family, former colleagues, and people I don’t really know but they wanted to be my friend.  So, NO I won’t be deleting FB.

Niece Rachel and husband Adam are off Facebook, which I understand, but wish I could enjoy their new Wisconsin life vicariously.  Or is that really stalking?

Yes, FB is very annoying.  For instance, FB just told me John L and I have been friends for 10 year.  No, we were friends long before FB.

My favorite FB story is about my college housemate Lauren.  Since sharing a house in Eugene, Oregon in 1979 we have stayed in touch.  After college Lauren married her high school sweetheart Marc and they moved to Takoma, WA and had two boys.  After my graduation I returned to Anchorage, Alaska.  Lauren and I stayed in touch and would see each other occasionally. 

Fast forward…

Years later, and I don’t remember the exact year, Lauren came to Washington, D.C. for a conference.  The great thing about D.C. is so many friends would come for work, and we could catch-up.  I picked her up at National Airport and on our way back to my Capitol Hill home we started to catch-up, how are the boys doing, etc.  Then the conversation turned to Marc.  “How is Marc?” I asked?  Lauren relied, “you don’t know”.  Great!  I thought she finally left the bum, or he left her.  Nope, he was dead.  Needless to say, I never liked Marc.  He was self-centered and cheated on her repeatedly with young woman at his local theater.  Marc was a legend in his own mind – he was a total shit.  But my dear friend Lauren loved him. 

So how did I miss Marc dying?  Lauren and I have been FB friends for years, so I was surprised I had missed all her postings of his illness and death.  It’s those crazy algorithms that show you stuff you don’t care to see, and how you can miss the death of a friend’s husband.

Of course, I don’t rely on FB for my political education, but I do post as many anti-Trump articles from legitimate news outlets – The Washington Post, New York Times, The Atlantic, the New Yorker, etc.  YES, of course Facebook should ban ALL political advertising.  If Twitter can do it, why not!  I detest Twitter.

Mostly I use FB to keep in touch with far flung friends, Lisa and Dean in TX, Hilary, Robyn, Bruce, Lydia, and other Alaskan pals, former colleagues still working and carrying on the good the fight for economic justice, marriages, kids, birthdays and travels.  Nephew David serving in the US Airforce, his wife and cute kid stationed in Italy.  Former colleagues Jill living in Thailand and working with refugees on the border, and Lindsey in good health raising her darling talented singing daughter in WI.  Both Lindsey and Jill are cancer survirors and it is always a joy to see their healthy smiling faces. 

I don’t look at the ads or buy anything linked to FB.  I make it a point they aren’t making money off me.  Of course, they have my data.  Whatever that means?  I doubt seriously they will be able to convince me to vote for Donald Trump.  I suspect my data demonstrats I am not in their targeted audience of gullible, stupid, unintelligent voters.

So, I won’t be unfriending Facebook in 2020.   

Recently I have been reflecting on many friends I am no longer close to or in contact with.  Some of them are on FB friends, so I can glance at their page.  Does that make me a stalker?   There are a handful of long-lost friends, I know longer see or communicate with, which breaks my heart.  Mostly Alaskan pals who saw me through very tough times, and I thought I could never live without.  As years and miles come between us, I wonder why we aren’t still friends?  Is it miles or somehow my fault?  

Canadian Cathy in Palm Springs winter 2019.

Phyllis Tucson winter 2019

In my travels I have made some great new friends.  My new best friend is Diane from Maine, we met at the local golf course, and are playing together twice a week.  It’s nice to have a pal who wants to play golf.  I only wish I would meet a nice guy on the first tee.  So far I have met some great woman friends Kate (MD), Cathy (Canada), Phyllis (AZ) and now Diane.

But, I think of my lost friend’s I am no longer in contact with, even on Facebook.  I still Love You.  I hope you think of me fondly, once in awhile.  Maybe one day I will end up in your driveway.  Who knows?




4 thoughts on “FACEBOOK, and Friends

  1. Facebook is wonderful for staying in touch with people and for sharing things that you find important. Looking at friends’ pages is not stalking. It’s caring. Of course FB is also used for evil – ask Putin. But you can choose to engage or not and if people are smart, they will research stories that seem untrue, or they can ignore them. It is also a way to discover the real values of your friends. Indeed, I have rejected some of my “friends” and their Trumpian values. Life is too short to argue with people who think it is OK to separate children from their parents and incarcerated them. May Trump rot in hell for this alone.

    I love your blog! Keep it up, Alison.

  2. I do think of you fondly Alison and I do love your blogs. I’m happy to see you are living the good life and enjoying your retirement. I have though about signing off FB myself but I would miss your blogs.

  3. It is not stalking if you do not have nefarious intent.

    People change and sometimes friendships reach their natural end. This does not mean that either you or the other person have done anything wrong. It just means that you have moved on. Perhaps there is something wrong with me, but by the time I have come to the decision that a relationship is no longer positive or brings me joy, I can walk away and never look back. I remember the good times, but there is no loss to grieve as that person no longer exists.

    I am not leaving Facebook, but I certainly do not get my information there unless it is about friends.

    I enjoy your blog. Your life is interesting and you have been fortunate enough to follow your bliss. Keep doing what you are doing. I’ll see you this coming summer. I love you, my friend.

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