Facebook may be the most reviled company that enjoys nearly 100% market share.
There’s no shortage of noise in the blogosphere about the myriad of ways our constant connectedness is ruining our lives:
• more stressed,
• more vain,
• more superficial,
• more sedentary,
• more lonely,
• more jealous, and
• less able to live in the moment,
...so the arguments go.
And these concerns are not without merit.
I live in St. Louis – about 30 miles from Ferguson, Missouri, recently the center of national attention following the killing of Michael Brown by a police officer.
I see firsthand how social media has become the platform for community involvement and support, as well as political voice.
Another friend suggested that our monthly Girls Night Out be held at a Ferguson venue to support the local businesses.
Social media arguably enlarges our definition of community.
No longer is my involvement limited to the people I see every day. I feel more part of my city, my country, and my world.
• Last week I joined a running group started by a woman in my network.
• One of my friends started a group for our friends to help us track and stay accountable for our fitness goals - the punishment for failure is posting an embarrassing video of yourself singing to your whole network.
• I frequently see my friends posting on Map My Run or posting their successes completing athletic events, which in turn inspires me.
• I'm part of a recipe share group for mothers that recently posted some healthy winners like quinoa skillet burritos and green smoothies.
As discussed earlier, I'm more aware of all of the communities in which I exist and feel more sense of ownership in giving back to them.
How many of you thought about ALS more in the last month than in your entire life - and backed those thoughts with actions?
Facebook has been a forum for both emotional and tactical support in my life.
I am part of:
• a breastfeeding support group,
• a money-saving-tips group, and
• a mother support group.
Even the cheesy inspirational quotes that get circulated are sometimes exactly what I needed to hear that day.
Like anything else, the key is moderation.