The great question of Facebook seems to be "Is it worth the time and effort?" Connecting with high school chums is a pleasant enough activity although the actual payoff in renewed friendships is spotty at best. And, it's all too true that as people discover its marketing potential, many posts seem to be ill-disguised sales pitches. However, this past week, I've received two messages from Facebook that lift it from a simple, pleasant indulgence to a true gift. The first was from a woman whose friendship I lost almost 25 years ago. After a brief reconnection, we decided to have lunch in two weeks since I will be in her part of the world anyway. With so many years and half a continent between us, I have few expectations of a true renewal of our friendship but it will be fun to meet and exchange stories.
The second message came completely out of the blue from a name I barely recognized as a colleague from a former employment. I was still in my accounting career (which seems like multiple life-times ago) and Bruce was the warehouse person. Day-to-day work issues brought us together frequently and I began to notice his work ethic and intelligence shining beyond "just a warehouse guy." We talked often and I encouraged him to go back to school. Nothing grand, but today, after briefly introducing himself, I received this note: "I am married 30 years and 4 kids. I have a fantastic computer career that I owe to a wonderful person who pulled me out of the warehouse and inspired me."
It reminds me again of the great web of connection we live in and how little we know how much we affect each other. There must be thousands of stories like these that happen on Facebook every day. If we ever manage to change our world to a more peaceful, loving place, it just might be Facebook and it's sisters that facilitate that change.
About the image: Recently I re-watched the movie "Bagdad Cafe" and fell in love with it's haunting soundtrack featuring "Calling You" by Jevetta Steele. As I was driving across country, a friend told me that the real Bagdad Cafe was on Route 66 very close to where I was traveling. So I made a short detour and had breakfast there. It was everything it should have been ... colorful, friendly, good food and a guest book (number #27) filled with comments from around the world. I highly recommend the movie, the song, and the cafe.