… otherwise known as Facebook, which I regularly bash, criticize and demonize. I’m also on a plethora of other platforms because the spread of information is important and exciting to me. Facebook, however, is where most of my friends are, and where, for now, I still prefer to get updates about my favorite businesses (rather than in a relentless torrent of emails).

Penina's Facebook Profile 2014

There are friends I may never see in person again, but with whom I can commiserate over icky bug bites, serious illness, tragic loss, fender benders and garden disasters.

I also get to laugh with them over cat videos, and over a few things that are only funny to us.

With these people I’m still telling myself I’ll visit (though it’s been 15 years), I get to celebrate awards, dreamed-of vacations, career changes, job promotions, and making it out of the last tornado alive.

“Did you feel it?” all of us in California asked, when we woke to (or completely slept through) an earthquake. “Are y’all ok?” asked all my friends in the Southeast.

I get to see my friend’s children grow up and their critters being adorable.

I get to see what’s important to them, in ways they may never have admitted in person.

I get to read the latest poems by poet friends I haven’t hugged in over a decade.

I get to watch a friend learn about beekeeping, complete with wounded pets and hive catastrophes.

I have an artist friend who posts her latest and most ambitious project to date as she breaks drill bits and waits impatiently for varnish to dry.

We pass petitions, poorly researched urban legends, sentimental quotes, and criticisms (if we want to) that tell us how empty and hollow all this is.

This is not the only way to connect. It’s a sunny day, and I should go outside.

I will.


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