A friend of mine deleted his Facebook account. “This time it’s final,” he says. “The data scandal with Cambridge Analytica was only part of it. I’m tired of the political bickering, the melodrama about every world event, the self-righteousness, the shameless self-promotion, the idiotic memes. Social media has become an addictive obsession with little lasting value. Jeez, get a life and stop scrolling on your phone!”
O.K. I see all of that. Yet, for me, the benefits far outweigh the annoyances. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have broadened my horizons immensely. I have reconnected with old friends, stayed in touch with far flung relatives, gained practical advice by crowd-sourcing with colleagues, received inspiration from others in recovery.
Perhaps most delightfully, I have made new friends in unexpected ways. Desi Mo is a perfect example. We first met through a Facebook page called Casa: An Experiment in Doing Church Online, a progressive spiritual site for which I did some writing.
Immediately, Desi’s joy for living leaped off the screen! Her photographs of sunrises, sunsets, and sweeping beaches stir my spirit. Her yoga poses, a discipline she teaches to others, give me a sense of tranquility. Her dispatches while vacationing on Paradise Island carry me far from hot and humid Texas to an idyllic stretch of sand in the Bahamas. Her soulful devotion to her family makes me want to connect more deeply with my own loved ones.
In the midst of Facebook firestorms, Desi’s social media presence exudes an inner peace and harmony. When I read her words like “Accept life’s impermanence and grab all the blissful moments as they meander by,” or “frame your day with love,” I know these aren’t superficial memes. They are direct expressions of her joie de vivre. My wife and I are planning a trip to Toronto next year, and Desi and her husband have invited us to visit their home just north of that great city. We will!
For this post, I asked Desi to also share some comments about our online friendship.
“Krin has brought Texas to my front door, along with intimate moments shared with his family. His photos depict warmth and empathy. I admire his ministry, and the stories about his family have so much care and compassion. We share an interest for traveling and photography; his blogs and postings come alive and are intertwined with textures and raw emotions. Of course, he possesses a talent with words and I admire that he shares it. This was made possible through social media, which feels like magic to me. With a little click, I am transported into a different place and time that I can enjoy for a brief moment. And sometimes I carry the emotions with me for the rest of the day…especially when it is a smile shared from Kristoffer, Krin’s special needs son. The beauty of technology! A treasure in our time.”
So, does Facebook work? It does for Desi, for me, and for countless other people. I speak for both of us when I say that we want to use our Facebook pages to spread more love, peace, and unifying friendship. Carpe diem, friends!