I have a friend on Facebook who has recently lost her brother. Many of our shared “friends” had posted on her wall with messages of support for her.
I am aware,as are so many people, of the drawbacks and problems associated with Facebook. It can be a forum for hate, for bullying, for stupidity, showing us the worst aspects of what we are as human beings.
But it is times such as someone’s loss where the community of friends can really come together and offer support. There are those who say that friends on Facebook are not real friends. That is true, if one judges friendship as a personal connection with someone that you know “in the flesh” (so to speak).
But virtual friends can and do connect with each other. We support each other, educate each other as well as irritate each other or give each other a chance to discuss, debate, argue.
It is times like the loss of a close relative when we welcome the thoughts of others. Yesterday, I saw a flow of emotion from people that may never have met the individual in the flesh, but who genuinely wanted to support her, to provide her with a feeling that she was not alone in her grief.
It is when Facebook really comes into its own. It is for reasons like these, along with the information and powerful links that I get from wonderful people that I admire and may never have met (or may never meet) in actual face-to-face, that I shall continue to use Facebook and it is at times like these where Facebook becomes a social community of real value.