16 June 2010

Weaving Webs

Like most people, I have a Facebook account. I think I have posted there maybe 4 times since I joined 18 months ago. I know lots of people who absolutely love that space. Me? I just find it really weird. There is this mash of people I grew up with, people I taught with in NM and here, one person I work with, a couple of people from my birthfamily, former teachers, former students, and those I only know from blog/Twitter connections.

A blog provides a point for some common conversation. I might not know all of my readers and commenters, but we are gathered here for a particular purpose. It doesn't matter so much that our lives don't connect in other ways. Facebook is similar in that we have disparate pieces of my life connecting around something in common (me)---but different in that we don't really have anything to talk about.

Do I tell my high school band director how many "grandstudents" have passed through my classroom? That I, too, have friended former students (some of whom are teachers), like some odd sort of genealogy? Should I introduce my teaching buddy from Carlsbad, NM, to my teaching buddy here? Does my stepsister need to meet my office mate?

Facebook has allowed me the opportunity to reconnect with a lot of people from my past. What it didn't warn me about was the dystopian side effects. I remember those from my school days as they were---and that is definitely not who they are now. I'm not the same person, either. I don't know how to reconcile things. I also don't know if it would have been better to keep the memories intact or be faced with the present.

There is someone I went to school with who lives in this area. I know that doesn't sound like a big deal, but keep in mind that our tiny west Texas town only graduated 60 or fewer students a year. She has a business in Tacoma and recently hosted a wine tasting. I only knew about this through Facebook. I did go to the event and had a very nice time. With all of the webs and connections I have spun over the last 20+ years, there really was something comforting about being with somebody who wordlessly understood the past. Time will tell if there are words for the future.

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