THE BLOG

I Am a Facebook Fan and Proud of It!

10/04/2014 12:58 BST | Updated 09/06/2014 10:59 BST

My personal relationship with Mr. Zuckerberg's baby started off tentatively but today, I am a total convert. Facebook works for me. It is a communication method that suits my lifestyle, the right tool for the job. I am a nomad, born in one country, grew up in another and now I living in a third. I am nonresident in that third country for 7 months of the year while travelling. The result is my friends, family, and associates are widely distributed. Facebook is my go to tool for daily, efficient connection with a larger number of people.

In 2009 I was on the board of an LA based group for women 50+. I suggested we register a Facebook page to stay connected and to share our needs and accomplishments. The members were horrified," "our children will tell us to get out of their party" they claimed.

Within six months, I was receiving daily Friends requests from the same women who rejected the earlier idea.

Things change, according to a 2013 Pew Report, 60% of people age 50-64 are on Facebook, and 43% of people 65 and over

Each morning over my coffee I check my email and the morning news and then I drop in on my Facebook clan. I have standards when I post or share-my mission is to inform or uplift others. I restrict my personal posts to the level of interest I would like to receive. I don't tell people that I am going to the bank or that I just had raspberries for breakfast. I catch up on what my Friends have posted over the past 24 hours, milestone events, travel news and grandchildren pics. Generally I don't Share these unless they fit my mission, to inform or uplift others. I do enjoy hitting share for art, literature, business news and philanthropic ventures. I learn something from my 30 minute Facebook exercise every day and hopefully most days I contribute an interesting tidbit for others.

My affection, for this virtual coffee shop was poignantly brought to my attention when two dear friends were killed in a tragic traffic accident. I learned of their death on Facebook, checking in late one evening and seeing some disturbing comments which led me to investigate further and the sad truth was revealed. I grieved with the Friends of my friends, most of whom I had never met. The friends I lost were old acquaintances that I had been close to a number of years ago. They moved to Mexico and took up a life full of generous creativity and I had not seen them for some time but everyday they came to my breakfast table through Facebook. I supported their passions and applauded just as they supported me. Within 24 hours of their passing I felt the absence of their contribution to my daily life.

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Maybe I am lucky, I have interesting Friends. I am careful about who I Friend, my natural introverted tendencies extending even out into the virtual world. I am not looking to win a popularity contest but to create an online coffee shop where people I enjoy and respect can meet for virtual morning java across the time zones.

Credit : Chris Bava

Is Facebook for everyone, maybe not? Face or don't Face, up to you, but if you choose not to please don't judge those of us who do. I am tired of the "real world" elitists.

"Oh no, I don't use Facebook, I am too busy for that"...that is why I use it, because I am busy.

"I have real friends"...so do I but many of them live on the other side of the planet and I don't see them every day and I don't have time to write to them all individually.

"I don' want everyone knowing my business"...so don't post it and /or learn how to use the tool correctly.

In high school, I was judged for the company I keep now it seems I may be judged for how I keep it.

If I did not use Facebook I would not know that:

• Irina's art is still a showcase for her spirit and energy

• Tom is out there and listening

• Maria has the most amazing eye for art photography

• Hailey made pancakes today with her Daddy

• Katherine's grandchildren are way cuter than we imagined when we were 20

• Sarah is brave and adventurous

Life will take my friends as I age, but without Facebook geography and time would rob me of so many more. So much richness from friendship and sharing, it would be a shame to miss it before I have too.

So love it or leave it, but if the tool fits the job...use it well.

Check out my professional FB page- https://www.facebook.com/authorjakiscarcello