Social media – Facebook, Twitter, et al – come in for their share of criticism. They’re blamed for facilitating bullying, narcissism, and a host of other pathologies. Here’s a word or two on their behalf, at least on behalf of Facebook.
I suspect that Facebook has lost some of its cache with the young and with-it because old timers such as myself have adopted it for the sort of things us old timers like to do, such as keeping watch on our teenage kids.
For example, the no. 2 heir to the vast Dempsey fortune did not appear home at the appointed hour recently, and continued not to appear, so that the parental units became increasingly concerned. While Dad stewed, Mom brilliantly deployed Facebook. “Anyone seen our kid?” she posted. Within five minutes, we had reports on his whereabouts (engaged in completely legitimate, but heretofore unknown, school activities), and even received a text message from the lad himself.
As one of our Facebook friends commented, “That’s why we live in Commerce.” We concur, it does have to do with small-town living, but give Facebook its due, also.
One our latest Blacklands Café guests, Pud Kearns of Greenville, is one of Greenville’s stalwarts and a high-school classmate of mine. Pud is one of many old friends I’ve re-connected with on Facebook (one of whom I don’t remember seeing since the third grade), and we talked about how helpful it is in that way. One of the most successful Facebook pages I know, “I Was Raised in Greenville, Texas,” has more than 2,800 members all over the country, and all over the world. It’s a great source of amusement, information and fellowship.
So, here is an ode to the “new media” from someone who is not sure that color TV is better than good ol’ black-and-white. As the great Blackie Sherrod used to say, “Clip and save.”