How many times do I look at those celebrity "Where are they now?' articles online? Or in supermarket tabloids? Probably more often than I would like to admit. I often wonder what it is about human beings that drives our curiosity to such lengths that a whole profession has been generated in trying to satiate our need to feel "in the know".
To me that is part of the appeal of Facebook. After a day at work, I can come home, kick my feet up and "stalk" my friends virtually. Sometimes I comment or "Like" a post or picture, other times I just scroll down my Newsfeed catching up on what is going on with everyone else.
Here are a few of the things that happened to my friends this week:
1. Friend competed in a contest to name a helicopter and his suggestion won. He receives a free trip over Zion Canyon in newly named helicopter.
2. Friend's son married his long-time girlfriend by proxy since they are currently serving in the military in two separate countries.
3. My son's friend from elementary school just had a baby girl.
4. Friend was able to meet his favorite author who is also his inspiration for starting his own writing career.
5. One friend posted pictures of skiing in Alaska, while another shared photos of a work meeting at Lake Tahoe. (No skiing involved there due to no snow.)
I gathered information about what people had for dinner, (KFC, Chinese, chicken nuggets, mac and cheese), who attended the political caucuses and what they did there, saw cute photos of friend's pets and children, found some great ideas for foods to make, participated in the This is Madness tournament and found a few inspiring quotes that brightened my day.
I also learned that a friend from school lost his brother in a car accident, while my cousin's daughter was injured in a different accident, but is now home recovering. Through Facebook I learned of a homicide near my home that has shook the foundation of our community. And in these tragedies I found hope as I saw individuals reach out to offer support and encouragement to one another. My cousin appropriately described Facebook as "Insta Support". My own experience has taught me that not only are individuals willing to share words in an online post, if given the opportunity they will put action behind those words.
A new phenomenon I am witnessing in my online escapism is a a thing called Throwback Thursday or TBT. Friends will post pictures from who knows when, just something that holds a special memory for them. I love seeing photos of more recent acquaintances from the time before I knew them and I love seeing the photos of long-time friends and reminiscing of days gone by.
Before I know it, I will be interfacing with some of those long-time friends out of the virtual world in real time as we celebrate at our 30 year high school reunion. I keep thinking that this must be a typo. No way can it have already been 30 years!! But the date on the calendar and the lines on my face seem to tell a different story. I am looking forward to celebrating with those who are there and remembering those who have left us too soon. The fact that so many of us remain so connected illustrates the deep bond we continue to have. My husband has said that he has no plans on attending his own reunion, but he would not miss mine for anything.