Facebook Emoticons

When I first ventured into the world of Facebook, I had no idea what to expect.  I had friends and family members joining simply so they could keep tabs on their children.  That sounded like a great time to me, so I thought I’d join and help them spy.

And then I discovered long ago friends, some that I haven’t talked to in more than 30 years.  Sweet and dear friends from high school that I’d lost touch with after graduating.  Some of them have gone on to, gulp, become grandparents.

That’s just wrong.  Reason #132 why I chose to have all of my children late in life.  So that when I become a grandmother, I’LL BE THE AGE THAT GRANDMAS OUGHT TO BE.  104!

Anyhoo.  I also friended many of the girls that I met when I first arrived in Los Angeles in 1989.  I joined a women’s Bible Study after moving, because I had two girlfriends who had preceded me in the move, and they were joining this women’s Bible Study, and frankly I wasn’t really all that bent to join a women’s Bible Study.  I just didn’t know what else TO DO WITH MY LONELY SELF.

Funny how God thumps us on the head when we’re not even looking for Him.

Every Saturday morning, I met with these women.  The group was led by a woman named Gail.  After a couple of stubborn years, I finally became a Christian.  In earnest.  In large part because of this group of women, and especially Gail.  Gail who was always patient, and never judging. Gail and her husband moved away from Los Angeles in the early 1990’s to begin a new ministry.  I completely lost touch with her.  But I count many of those women that I keep in touch with on FB, and shared those Saturday mornings with so long ago, as some of my nearest and dearest friends.

And I get to keep up with them now, so far away, because of Facebook.  Yesterday, I opened my e-mail to discover that one of my Bible Babes had recommended that I become friends with Gail.  GAIL IS ON FACEBOOK.  So of course I friended her.  Then I started sobbing joyfully as I typed a little note to her, telling her that I was so glad to have found her again.

I suppose the tears flowed because I’ve thought of her so many times over the last number of years, and wondered how she was doing.  And I wondered if she had any idea how she impacted my life on those Saturday mornings.  How, because of her, my life took such a sharp turn, and has never been the same.

God uses people to plant seeds.  And I think that we can have absolutely no idea how He uses us.  And I also firmly believe that Heaven is going to be one big surprise party.

After I recovered my emotions, I read on, and read a conversation that a high school friend was having.  I began laughing uncontrollably, because, well, something highly inappropriate, but really really funny was written, and, well, you all know my sense of humor.  And the lack of taste that goes with it.

I scrolled further down, and discovered, much to my horror, that a dear high school friend had lost her younger brother in a house fire the day before.  I know this family well.  Her oldest brother is a brother to me.  I keep in touch with 2 of the sisters and a sister-in-law on Facebook.   My friend, Greg, the oldest brother, and I have kept in touch for many many years.  When his entire family was vacationing nearby last summer, we went and spent the day with them.  I hadn’t seen him in a few years, and I hadn’t seen his parents or siblings since high school.

I began sobbing again. For a very different reason than just a few minutes before. My heart was breaking for my dear friends and their precious parents.  If not for Facebook, I would have been completely ignorant of the situation likely for many days.

I had only been seated in front of my computer for about 10 minutes.  But in those few minutes, I experienced the gamut of emotions.  I had to walk away, and get quiet with God.

I would have never thought that Facebook, with all the pithy commentary of friends, old and new, could ever affect me like it has.  But it has become a way for me to reach out to people in my life, to laugh with them, to cry with them, and more importantly to remember to hold them up in prayer.

Funny how God can work in places we least expect it.

So, do you use Facebook?

August 30, 2010

25 Responses to Facebook Emoticons

  • Yes I use Facebook. I love it and admittedly am somewhat addicted to it. It has let me get in touch with people who have also impacted my life over the years in so many ways. God does use whatever tool available including the internet and places like FB.

  • No, I don’t use Facebook. I have considered it, almost joined but am not ready to jump off that ledge yet. I don’t let my kids use it either. I feel about Facebook the way that you do your kids spending the night at a friend’s house. Just not going to go there.

  • I do use FB. Despite the aggrevation it can bring (hello, virus that brought our computer to its knees!) and the time sucker that it can be (not that it has anything to do with my own lack of discipline, you know!) – it has been wonderful to reconnect with people (and others, not so much!) and I have had several experineces much like yours.

    My teens use it, too, but with the requirement that they “friend” my husband and I, along with other family members (aka “security” in disguise) and I that their password is known to me – and I use it periodically to “check up” on them.

  • I just recently joined Facebook, but under a different name, and I’m only friends with my (adult) children, so I can see their photos and any news they post. The idea of the rest of it makes me very uncomfortable, but I’m glad that it’s a blessing in your life.

  • I’m a junkie…a Facebook junkie anyway. I love it. My husband was in the military for the first few years of our marriage and we were at 3 different bases in just a short period of time. It has allowed me to catch up with people I would have never been able to do that before. High School friends, church friends, my kids friends (I have teens)…I’m pretty sure most people I know are on Facebook.

    I’m hoping there is a 12 step program developed…but really, not! =)

    Very sorry about your friend.

    Blessings,
    Kim

  • I, too, am on Facebook. Initially, it was at my daughter’s request so she could share photos of the grandbabies with all the grandparents & aunts/uncles. But it didn’t take long to reconnect with long-lost friends … some from all the way back to high school (can it be that I graduated 41 years ago????????). True that FB can become a time waster of epic proportions (obviously, it’s NOT because of any lack of discipline or self control on my part LOL), but for me, the blessings outweigh the problems. YMMV

  • Great post with facebook, enjoyed the read.

  • Facebook Junkie here, it has reunited me with a lot of people, plus some of my fellow mom’s and I actually use it as a challenge to get our stuff done during the day. LOL Literally I have a friend who is supermom and she will say to me “Ok I hae 3 loads of laundry down, where are you at with yours? and I will tell her. lol

    I will not allow my daughter to get one though especially at the ripe old age of 11. She is not thrilled because a lot of her friends have one, but I am not impressed, instead I let her friends join mine. 🙂

  • Another junkie here! I joined because my children wanted to and so I needed to keep an eye on them. But have reconnected with most of my family, since I moved from up North about 20 years ago. That has been fun.

    But I also got hooked on Mafia Wars so…well, that is the MAIN reason I keep going back. LOL (If anyone here plays, be sure to friend me… ROFL)

  • Facebook makes the world a smaller place… I too have found old friends and heard of things I never would have been able to pray about… without it… You are such a wonderful writer. Such a gift you have…

  • I have used fb to get in touch with friends that I haven’t seen for years, but I have been frustrated with it at times. Recently I was thinking seriously about deleting my page. I got on the computer to do just that when I saw a post from a dear friend who now lives in Somalia. There was a family emergency and she was trying to get a hold of her husband who was on business in Europe. Of course I didn’t delete it b/c I am nosy and wanted to know what had happened. I found out later that day that her mother had suddenly passed away. I used to hang out at their house when we were teens and her parents are only a few years older than mine. I was heart broken for them. Our girlfriends were able to make arrangements to be at the memorial service and see the family because we knew so quickly. It is a wonderful tool to be able to keep in touch with friends that are now all over the world. Because of this, I’ve decided not to delete my page, in spite of the sometimes extremely unintelligent things that people think is ok to post.

  • I’m one Facebook, but my initial reason for joining up is unique. I’m a “scrapbook-aholic,” and was finding as my boys got older I had less opportunities to be with them and get pictures. I first started “lifting” pictures of them by going on their Facebook accounts because at the time giving me the password to their accounts was one of my stipulations for them having one.

    When I started communicating with MY friends on THEIR Facebook they decided it was time for me to have my own account. I have also enjoyed connecting with old friends as well as keeping up with what’s going on with all my friends.

    But the most awesome product of Facebook is that it helps me be a part of my kids’ lives at a time that some kids pull away from their parents (they’re 16 and 18). My boys post scripture and encouraging messages on their Facebook and I’m so proud of the influence they have on their peers.

  • I love Facebook. It’s allowed me to reconnect with people. It’s fun to feel like I know what’s going on. Most of my family is on it, so it’s easy to keep tabs on each other now that we’ve moved away. While it can be a complete time waster, it’s been really fun to play Frontierville with my sister since we can’t go to coffee or go shopping anymore. Sometimes we play a game of Scrabble.

    While there’s a lot I may get sick of or ignore, I love being able to support friends I wouldn’t be in contact with otherwise. When someone posts a prayer request (last week a friend’s dad had a heart attack, a few months ago a friend my age discovered a cancerous tumor), I am so grateful that I know about it and can pray for them.

  • My husband was one several months before me and kept telling all these things some of our friends and family were doing that I had no clue about. I didn’t want to be left out so I succombed to the peer pressure.
    Funny thing to me is the old friends from high school…some I remember very well, but when I send a friend request to them they replied with a “tell me a little more…I don’t remember you” response. And then, I’ve gotten friend requests from others that are mutual friends with all my classmates and their profiles say they graduated from my school the same year, but I don’t have a clue who they are.

  • I have used it in the past and might use it again in the future. Right now I’m on a facebook sabbatical.

  • I too am on a fb sabbatical. It was time to step away for a bit. Thankfully I can still see pics on my hubby’s account. Ha!

  • FB, Twitter, 4Square, and blogging! Yes, love them all, they keep me in touch with adult son who lives on the west coast (I’m on the east and the time change is a killer when you think about calling!) I love all the new gadgets and I am careful what I post about so I don’t tell anyone else reading that I’m away from home for the next 2 weeks or anything really stupid like that. Love to catch up with friends and family close and far away.

  • My sister-in-law just changed her religious views on FB yesterday. She is now officially agnostic. It made me so sad. She’s been walking away from God for a long time now, but it took a networking site update to officially close the door on the Lord that loves her. Totally broke my heart. Want to pray for her? Her name is Hannah.

  • Oh yeah, I’m on facebook. I use it for keeping up with friends near and far away. My husband uses it to keep tabs on me, and to play Family Feud. Good times.

  • I use facebook for about 2 years now maybe? I can’t remember really. At least a year and a half now.

    Facebook is constantly changing the privacy and security settings so as long as you keep a check on those (at least once a week) I don’t mind it.

    I let me son use FB but I log into his account EVERY DAY! I also give him permission to add anyone BEFORE he does so. I don’t let him just “friend” anyone. I personally know each person on his friends list. And by “KNOW” i mean… they are FAMILY or very close friends who I actually go to their homes and visit with.

  • I LOVE Facebook! I’ve found so many high school and college friends, and it’s wonderful to know what they’re doing these days. I always a thrill to look up there and see that someone wants to be a new friend.

    I’m so sorry for your friend’s loss. Though unknown to me, I’ll keep the family in my prayers.

  • Facebook has helped me connect with old high school friends, keep tabs on my 20 year old son and keep connected with some of my newer online friends. It has become one of my first pages I pull up when I get on the computer every day.I LOVE feeling connected with everyone even if it is only through cyberspace!

  • I’m on facebook…hubs and I both joined reluctantly when his college fraternity was organizing a reunion via fb. We have reconnected with many friends and are loving it now.

  • Yep, I’m on facebook too, but I enjoy blogging more. Sadly, I’ve lost some of my blog friends to facebook. They find it easier to stay in touch with family and friends. I like them both, but stick with blogging more. You can find my facebook info on my blog sidebar if you want to be friends.

    Hugs,
    Kat

  • Yes, a lot of the people from our church are on it – and it really helps us to stay close during the week – between Sundays! 🙂 I’ve had many experiences like yours just by using Facebook!