But...I live thousands of miles from my family and friends and what I often miss most are the small conversations and details of daily living. Facebook gives me that. I just read Freedom by Jonathan Franzen because my bookselling friend Laurie mentioned it so often in status updates when she read an arc of it this summer. And Laurie and I, although we worked together in the states quite amicably, have forged a friendship based upon what I think is a year of playing Facebook's version of online scrabble. Another woman with whom I have had an acquaintanceship for a couple of decades has become someone I have an affinity for based upon a shared passion for obscure corners of Asia. My sons and I can have the off-hand comments that usually only occur when you share a physical space. That is worth a lot of collateral silliness from Facebook--the farms and mafias and pokes--as far as I'm concerned.
Today I was able to see a photo of Seattle performance art that some friends are taking part in, seeing it at the minute it was occurring, thanks to Laurie, and have albums upon albums of family photos to look at whenever I like, without having to lug them around the world in a suitcase. I can hear music that people I love are listening to and can have weird, disjointed little conversations in almost real time on Facebook chat.
It's an imperfect form of communication but overall, I *LIKE* it. It is, I've decided, a personalized version of People magazine, full of people whom I really care about. Facebook, you're a keeper.