Why I Love Facebook

January 26th, 2014

I know a lot of people don’t like Facebook.  Some of my friends and family think it’s shallow and dumb and I’ve heard any number of complaints about how superficial digital relationships are taking the place of more meaningful personal interactions.

And I hear you.  I do.

But for me, Facebook allows me to connect with people – yes, sometimes superficially – that might  otherwise  be absent in my life.  Friends who live across the country and whose counsel I seek on parenting issues.  Busy cousins who take time to post a quick hello or comment on a picture of the kids.  That sort of thing.

And sometimes, Facebook can actually prompt you to undertake personal human contact.

Earlier this week, a “friend” of mine posted a despondent status about a rough patch she was hitting.  I put “friend” in quotes to signify that she’s a Facebook friend, but honestly we don’t know each other that well.  I don’t have her phone number.  She’s never been in my house, though I was in hers briefly when a project for the kids’ school brought us together.  She’s an acquaintance.

An acquaintance who needed some help.

The piece of her post that hit me hardest was a comment that her husband had been out of town for three weeks and wouldn’t be back for one more.  A month.  She was holding down the fort as a mother of three for a month sans hubby.  It strikes terror into my heart just thinking about it.

So I sent her a private message and told her I’d be bringing her dinner the next day.  Which I did.

Dinner for Maggie

I enjoy the chance for thematic cooking so I went with an Indian motif.  Lentil potato dahl, naan bread, and chai tea concentrate.  I also added clementine oranges, banana pudding parfaits, and a potted primrose that appeared randomly in the “specials” aisle at Aldi for 99 cents.  And a package of single-serving martini flavoring mixes…

When she responded online to my offer of food, she wrote: “I’ve cried so many times today but you get credit for the first happy tears!”  And when I dropped off the grub she reiterated her thanks, adding that she struggles with asking for help and was thus extra grateful when someone spontaneously offers it.

My point in all this is twofold.  One, a relationship you maintain primarily online does not have to be meaningless, nor does it need to remain confined to the computer.

And two, food is a great expression of love.  We all know to bring food to a new mom or to someone who is grieving the loss of a loved one.  But I am here to tell you that showing up on someone’s doorstep with dinner – no matter what is happening in their life at the moment – is absolutely guaranteed to make them feel cherished.

2 responses to “Why I Love Facebook”

  1. Emily says:

    So very awesome of you. I love it. I can tell you that having my husband gone for a week is hard, even as a mother of one. Bravo! And certainly true of Facebook! I am on a mom’s group for the St. Louis area and have met a couple of the moms and their kids on play dates. Way to break the boundaries.

  2. Jenny says:

    Brava, Kate! It’s all true about the narcism of FB but so is your truth; both are true. Oh, and don’t get me started on how much time I waste on FB …. yet I DO love some of the wonderful photos that my friends post.

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