Tuesday, November 4, 2008

What I'm Learning on Facebook

No, I'm not going to talk about the election on Election Day. Other than to say, go vote. (I voted yesterday -- cool, huh?)

I'm going to talk about Facebook. A few friends from my Godspell cast talked me into joining Facebook before I left NJ so we could keep in touch. I thought it didn't sound at all like my proverbial "cup of tea", but I'm actually enjoying it. Old friends from high school have found me there. Friends from other places we've lived. My buddy list is an eclectic group.

And that's one of the things I like about it. I have friends on Facebook who are passionately liberal, politically, and others who are passionately conservative. I have some who are strong, faithful, conservative Christians, and others who are just as strong and faithful liberal Christians . . and others who are just somewhere in the middle Christians. And others who have no faith at all. I have friends on there old enough to have mothered me, and friends who are young enough that I could have mothered them. I have friends who post things with swear words that I have to shield my daughters from seeing (yeah, you know who you are!) and friends who I would venture to say have never spoken a swear word in their lives. I have intellectual friends, artsy friends, sports-fanatic friends . . it's quite a tribe, my buddy list.

And anything I write on there is going to be seen by all of them. That's good for me. It keeps me centered. It keeps me real. It keeps me from leaning to one side or another of my personality to appeal to one person--or group of persons--in particular.

I have to do that in my blog, too, but I would venture to say, more people read my status daily on Facebook than ever glance at my blog.

The "status" business on Facebook is one of the coolest parts for me. Every once in a while, you can just write in a little phrase to tell the world what your "status" is at the moment. Sounds dull, if you've never seen it, but people can get very creative with these. They range from the informative ("Emily is bummed she's missing the parade due to a scratched cornea.") to the mundane ("Janice is home now.") to the creative ("Owen is in love with Jon Stewart, but don't tell his wife, because I think she is too, and I don't want any family squabbles over this.") to the bizarre ("Michael is not your rolling wheels, he is the highway.") to the thought-inspiring ("Robin has decided to listen to her heart. Enough with my head already. It's not as smart as it thinks it is.").

And this all brings me to . . my friend Ashley's status on Sunday: "Ashley is 'Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way. Walk in it."'" (Yes, that cluster of quotation marks there is correct punctuation in this situation. I am the Grammar Queen, after all.)

That's scripture, for those of you who don't recognize it. I recognized it, but had to ask Ashley for the reference again (Isaiah 30:21). I wanted the reference so I could plaster it on my walls -- at least on the walls of my brain. Because I feel lately like I'm looking to the right, and the left, and up, and down, and behind my back, and around the corner . . and I have no idea where to go.

What church should we join? What book should we study in Reading this month? How do I stop the girls from fighting all the time? What should I make for dinner? Should I buy the organic, expensive milk or the cheap, hormonal milk (thanks, Robin)? Should the girls go to "real" school next year, and if so, which one? Who should I call to babysit for us? Which room should I get organized first?

I changed my latitude and longitude, and suddenly, I have no sense of direction anymore. I don't know where to go.

But apparently, if Isaiah heard the Lord right, He's trying to tell me. Maybe if I stop with the frantic questioning in my head, I'll hear that voice behind me . . "This is the way . . "

And here's hoping our next President--whoever he is--is listening for that voice, too.


Anonymous said...

Gwen - you do way too much thinking ;)

BTW - stick with the non-hormonal milk. We get ours from Braums and it is no more expensive than the store brands. Ah... no Braums where you live? I guess you will just have to visit us in Wichita :)

Lani said...

What an inspiring quote from Ashley! Kind of gets right at ya! I think I needed that today.

I read your blog often, but don't always have the chance to comment - so know that I'm always thinking of ya and miss ya terribly.

DerricksAHor said...

I love reading your blog. The whole "tribe" talk as been a recent consideration of mine. I think we're moving into the days of 1984 without even getting angry about it.

My friend called Domino's last week, "104 Rosenthal South, Waltham, MA?" they asked her. "Uhh...yeah...large pizza please."

Of COURSE they know where you are. Yikes. Is this what our children will think is normal...and even scarier...unworthy of question?

But your point about your tribe making you more real rings true for me, too. I find myself tailoring my speech to be more inclusive, which I think is a step in a great direction. With globalization and overpopulation comes a prevalence of multi-person conversations (blogs, vlogs, statuses, posted articles, wall posts, etc.)

Let's just not fall into the little bit about
"War is Peace
Freedom is slavery
Ignorance is strength"

I'm sorry to hear your young Republicans took the news hard. I was a young Republican at their ages, but the celebration of the victory of George Bush doesn't feel anything like the 8 years of failed economic, social, and foreign policy I was to endure soon after. I'm so glad you have such sophisticated and gentle explanations for your kids to grow in wisdom.

Here's to tribes keeping us honest.