Ask Mom Mom: To Facebook or Not

Dear Mom Mom,

I am the last person in the universe not on Facebook. Even my 82 year old grandmother is on there! I just don’t know that I want to devote all of this time and energy developing an online presence. Is this okay?

Amish Annie

Dear Annie,

Of course it’s okay, but the question we really should ask is, “Is this the best choice for you?” I think Facebook is a great tool and you can use it as much or as little as you want, so don’t be afraid of the sensationalized negative publicity you may have heard.

The number one reason I would suggest having a Facebook account is that it enables people from your past to find you and reconnect with you. It’s like a modern-day phone book listing. I fully realize that this is also the number one reason that people DO NOT want to be on Facebook. Believe me, I understand, as there are plenty of people I would be happy to never hear from again — and the great thing is I don’t have to! No one says you have to let every person back into your life who knocks on your online door. You do have control, and sometimes it’s best that the dead remain buried.

However, resurrecting some ghosts from my past has been nothing short of miraculous and life changing for me. College friends and roommates, friends from London, children I babysat, old neighbors, co-workers from my first “real” job…all of these people and more have come back into my life, and I’m so much richer for it. This is not to say it’s all been one big party, but for the most part, it has been wonderful. The fact that I can get a glimpse of people who were once so important to me — people who just ten years ago I would not have known were dead or alive — how amazing is that?

I will be posting my rules of Facebook Do’s and Don’ts at some point in the future. My advice would be to set up an account and see who finds you. If you want to reestablish contact with people, do so. And if not, don’t. Unless you’re in the witness protection program, I would give it a try.

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