Two years ago my 15 year-old suggested that I get a FACEBOOK. I told her that was ‘the most ridiculous thing I ever heard of.’ I am eating my words. In the last two years I have found not only old friends, teachers and ex-students, but have entered a cyberspace world that adds richness to my real one. I can hear the music my kids are listening to, catch short videos of graduations & trips to Greece, and if I had no real life of my own, could simply watch the LIVE FEED scroll by and see what everyone else is doing in their little corner of the world.
However, it does come with a few shocks every now and then. For example, a gal with a name I did not know asked to be my ‘friend.’ Looked at her picture. Didn’t recognize that either. Looked at her INFO, found she lived in Arkansas. Didn’t know anyone there. Who was this middle-aged, woman with the glasses? I was stymied. So, I checked her INTERESTS. Nope. Nothing in common. It bothered me for days until I finally placed her by her maiden name. Then, another friend request came in. This gal was a knockout. Unbelievably beautiful and coiffed right off the cover of Vogue. Her smile alone could send Crest White Strips flying off the shelves. Didn’t recognize the name. Didn’t recognize her. Eventually I uncovered the mystery girl, who while my age, now looks young enough to be my daughter.
Now I have friends who won’t do FB because they’re afraid to put their picture on it. They want to be remembered how they were not how they are. But how we were IS how we are. Even psychologists tell us that we don’t change much after age six. So if you’re over 50, get yourself a Facebook and make some FRIENDS. If you can’t stand the sight of your own mug, take a picture of your dog and put it on your PROFILE. I promise the experience will be both humbling and uplifting. Increasing your social connections delays Alzheimer’s. If your own memory is going, someone out of the blue might just remind you that when you were 13 you used to “bend restaurant spoons.” If my granny were alive today, she would have one and I would post “XOXOXO” on her WALL right now. (Helen Hudson is the author of, “Kissing Tomatoes.” http://www.helen-hudson.com