It can sometimes suck, but Facebook can be a vital way of connecting with real, live friends, just when you need to. I felt a bit blue this morning but chose to bring the Black Dog to heel while he still had puppy teeth, and posted this on my timeline:
Within minutes the cavalry had arrived:
Pausing while typing the word cavalry…..was the intention of the post asking for help or even attention?
No, is the answer after I mull it over, it’s not help I’m seeking but kinship, the feeling of being part of a supportive tribe. Tribes create security by covering your back, watching out for enemies and protecting you, all useful traits to have around in times of vulnerability. It laughs at the funnies of life too and cries with the tragedies.
For note, I also post public updates like the one above not because I’m a rabid attention seeker, but so others who might feel the same way are encouraged to speak out. Telling the world you feel like a loser this morning is not easy to do, but it does achieve a positive outcome in many cases. Some will judge of course, which can be counterproductive and that’s a different topic for another blog.
With increased globalisation and dispersion in the developed world, the presence of tribe is diminishing, and we humans are becoming more socially isolated. Perhaps among the most fundamental causes of Facebook’s success is the very fact that it allows us to connect again, albeit in the digital domain rather than popping over for a cuppa. While digital love can’t replace the panacea for all ills, the hug, sometimes a hug isn’t practical because we’re at work or on the bus.
So if you’re in need of a hug right now, and Facebook is not an option, here’s a baby giraffe instead.