Facebook’s pros and cons

My sister and her husband came to visit on the weekend.

My sister and her husband came to visit on the weekend.

It was great. We sat around the kitchen table digesting family gossip along with our coffee, feeling all comfortable and good and happy with one another for no other reason than because that’s what we are.

Family!

I was just happy to have them there, in my kitchen with the huge bouquet of lilies on my table, and a hastily made, but soon to be delicious, Saskatoon pie in my oven.

Summer is so good, I muse to myself. It’s so easy to be happy when the sun is shining and the flowers are spilling out gorgeous blooms in reckless abandon and people you love are close by.

The talk invariably turned to our kids. Huge topic. I love talking about my kids and my grandkids and it seemed a very appropriate topic as I bustled around my kitchen like a little tightly wound up little Miss Suzy Homemaker.

Weirdly enough so does my sister. And her husband.

Apparently their son got a birdie on Hole No. 6 at the golf course, their daughter is on holidays and their daughter-in-law made her own dress for her son’s wedding.

“I know,” I said.

“You know?” they said in unison, looking at me questioningly. “How do you know?”

“Facebook,” I said smugly.

Now my sister and her husband are fine, upstanding citizens who have long lived by some good old-fashioned rules. Use a landline telephone if you need to share information, and if it is really important information, stop in and have a coffee and tell them the old fashioned way. Face to face!

Facebook does fit into their lifestyle, nor do cell phones, texting and other abbreviated methods of communication.

My sister and her husband are not the only people who feel that way.

Moms and dads everywhere are grumbling that Facebook knows more about their kids than they do.

They are, understandably, annoyed.

Of course the way to get around that is to become a Facebook junkie, too.

As for me, I’m a fence sitter, of sorts, which is safe though there is always the danger of slivers.

Facebook can be a timewaster, a springboard for gossip and a vessel full of a lot of useless information.

On the other hand, it is a social media vehicle that has taken off like wildfire.

There are very few media outlets, if any, that don’t use it.

I know there is lots of good information on Facebook. I am a firm believer that it is a quick and easy way to capsulate important news and, with the click of a mouse, send it out to a huge readership.

But there are days when it serves me in a different way.

Those are the days when I am prone to procrastination, dullness and, dare I say it, boredom.

Those are the days when my higher self hasn’t kicked in yet, and I’m looking for a little useless information, and, even will stoop so low as to find some gossip. And, of course, there is always the off chance one of my own kids has posted something.

Hence, click. There it is. Facebook.

The latest thing on Facebook seems to be a kind of chain where someone nominates someone else to post three things they are grateful for.

I like that idea a lot, and it is something I would participate in, for sure.

I truly believe gratefulness and happiness are contagious and need to be spread around as much as possible.

My grateful thing!

Two weeks of holidays. Really, I’m wildly, almost deliriously excited.

And, of course, grateful!

Treena Mielke is editor of the Rimbey Review, and a columnist for Black Press.

 

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