The “checking Facebook” ritual which takes place several times throughout the day is essentially very much the same as crossing a village square, exchanging greetings and pleasantries. It is a way to check how people are doing, what they are talking about and how they are feeling. Facebook makes it possible to receive an immediate update on important personal events and which news stories that people are currently discussing. Mikael Eriksson Bjorling
It seemed easier to connect and not get lost in the crowd when living in a small town. In the city it’s easy to get into your own little world and disconnect from others. Facebook has become a bit like a village for me with quite a few benefits and thought I’d share them.
10 Benefits of the Facebook Village
1. Connecting With Home: I travel for several months of the year and Facebook helps me keep in contact with home. Earlier this year I was in Antarctica and the Internet was so slow, sending an email took about an hour, however, Facebook only took a couple of minutes. All over the world, free Wi-Fi creates the opportunity to connect with home instead of expensive phone calls.
2.Sharing the Joys and Sorrows: The joy of weddings, engagements and other significant events can be shared through photos and status updates. The sorrow of loss can also be shared and comfort given.
3.Reuniting Friends and Family: Every family has some dysfunction and mine had family feuds when I was growing up. I’m not sure of the ins and outs, and wasn’t personally involved but lost contact with cousins I loved. I’m now in contact again because of tentative messages and sharing on Facebook. Meetings have been arranged and reunions have been sweet.
4.Connecting With The Past: Ex students and colleagues have contacted me on Facebook. I’ve caught up with ex students and colleagues all over the world through Faceboo. I was able to help one person with significant problems by connecting her to our community services after seeing her difficulties on Facebook.
I’ve also had messages from people who’ve read my books and been impacted by them.
5. Prayer: I used to attend a prayer group, then it became a prayer chain on line. Now, I get alerts through Facebook for prayer requests. Recently two significant prayer points came via Facebook. One for a boy seriously injured in an accident and another for a couple working with refugees.
6.Connecting With My Children: My children and their friends added me as friends. Facebook has helped me to connect with my kids’ friends in a different way. I see them at church or in my home, but sometimes you get to know them a little more through Facebook. I also get to see to see what they are doing in my home while I am away! Good thing they are all responsible.
I connect with my kids’ partners through Facebook too. They are part of the family in real life but also online.
7.Bringing Others Closer: Isolated people can connect with others. My mother in law is isolated as she is a full time carer. She connects with people through Facebook and has even found long lost school friends.
8.Building Community: I have seen community in many ways such as helping someone find a house to rent, buying and selling furniture, supporting small businesses and encouraging people who are down are just some of the benefits.
9. Being Inspired: I find quotes for my books, inspiration for writing and inspiring quotes to contemplate. Encouraging each other’s artistic and creative endeavours helps those of us working in isolation to keep fresh and inspired.
10. Becoming Involved: Quite often there is a call to action or service that we become aware of through Facebook. For example, the recent First Home project was successful in enabling a young couple to purchase a home to share with refugee families. Check it out: https://www.facebook.com/FirstHomeProject
Instead of just checking our Facebook page, we need to participate in real life too. The days of people cooking for families who are sick, of helping to mind children and to go and just sit with someone lonely should not be forsaken but enhanced.
Facebook can be used as a tool to: “let us consider how to stimulate one another and to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another”. (Hebrews 10:24 and 25)
By Elaine Fraser
By Elaine Fraser