Many of my lifelong friends and associates have verbalized, “I’m afraid of Facebook. I’ll be giving out too much information.” Another quote bandied about is, “There are high school friends I don’t want to find me,” or “I’ve gained weight (or wrinkles, or am bald)! or “I’m afraid of being stalked.”
Apart from choosing to live life with a positive attitude and a willingness to learn the privacy rules of Facebook, neither of which will be addressed in this article, check out the story that follows with an open mind. It might just alter your perspective on joining the 5,000,000-strong, worldwide party of Facebook friends.
Here’s a brief, bird’s eye description of the cast of characters:
She: Has been single for twenty years, smiles often (with plenty of laugh lines, aka wrinkles), and suffers an occasional chin hair that stubbornly presents itself. Horrors! She has multiple sclerosis, often walks with either a cane or walker, and needs to eat pretty frequently. She is playful , optimistic and enjoys living life to the fullest. She graduated from a small high school in the Midwest in 1966. It’s up to you to do the math on that one:)
He: Has been single for four years, is balding, a little overweight, and from past experiences, gun shy with women. He wishes the hair on his head would trade places with the growth on his thick, gray beard. He occasionally gripes about the attendant aches and pains of “age”. His quick-witted sense of humor is unparalleled. He graduated from the same small high school in the Midwest in 1965.
They both joined Facebook two years ago.
Facebook “suggested” them as friends, for having graduated from the same high school. The facts are not clear as to who friended whom first.
Voila! Here’s their story —
On or about April 1, 2010, she posted a comment in her newsfeed: “A true friend doesn’t care if you’re broke, what you weigh, if your house is a mess, about your past, or if your family is filled with crazies. They love you for who you are. A true friend can go long periods of time without speaking to you and never question the friendship …”
He remembered her as the daughter of his first boss.
He responded with: “You must have received some interesting feedback on your post re Love and the ache we humans have for an honest commitment of concern, thoughtfulness, passion, and love. Does it really exist? … Thanks for creating the thought and the questions.”
While reading his message, she thought: “Hmmm. I remember this fun-loving, handsome dude. Amazing that he still remembers me. She drafted, then re-drafted a direct message (“DM”) to him with a slight grin on her face …
Their conversations escalated on Facebook DM, email and eventually Skype.
Last fall, after a much-anticipated greeting, she met him at the airport for a heartwarming face-to-face reunion. It was one of those “Do you remember your first kiss” moments!
The film is still rolling with many editors in the wings. But the initial credit goes to Facebook for affording the opportunity for him and her, from a distance of 854.5 miles, to reach across the airwaves and connect.
Please pass this on to your Facebook-resistant friends. Assure them that the benefits of reaching out to family and friends via this Internet tool far outweigh the negative scenarios. Who knows? If they’re single, they might even find their soul mate?!