Wednesday, March 3, 2010

MySpace and Facebook, treasured communication tools

I just had a conversation with a friend on Facebook about the benefit of social media.

For me, MySpace and Facebook present an opportunity to "reach out and touch someone," just like the slogan in the 1980's for long distance phone giant AT&T. Ma Bell is still an important part of everyday life, but she has her competition today. Personally, I'd rather do my reaching out through cyberspace.

For my part, I enjoy how social networking sites like MySpace, Facebook, and Twitter, all of which I use, has allowed me to connect to others in a way that not long ago wasn't even possible.

My family is small. Like many families, we aren't very good at keeping in-touch. We have even slacked off on that annual Christmas card exchange, once a time-honored tradition. Also, my husband and I have recently moved to another state, so we left behind many good friends and family.

Communication is so important. MySpace and Facebook have allowed me to link with cousins I haven't seen in years. I've re-connected with friends from our former neighborhood. I've even found some friends from high school that I haven't even thought about in years. Just seeing their names and an updated picture of them, brings me back to those carefree days of my youth. Memories long buried have come flooding back. I've begun regular communication with my brother who I rarely see.

My children have accounts, so we can supplement our phone conversations, with our on-line chats. I can see pictures of my grandkids readily, thanks to the advancement of digital photography and the ease of sharing. It is like being a part of their lives in a way that might not have been possible any other way.

I know there are drawbacks, but for me, social media has been a communication tool and a very positive experience.