By Tom Ehrich
Now that my personal Facebook page has been updated to the new “Timeline” format, I visit the page to check on functionality and discover a stranger.
Well, not exactly a stranger, but not the full person I know. Yes, the photos are real, and the words on display are words I wrote. But where are the adventures, the failures, the doubts, the odd little discoveries, the audacious dreams?
Facebook calls it a “timeline.” But it feels more like the flotsam that appears on my bedroom dresser. A bit of this, a bit of that, a few stray ticket stubs, a paper I intend to read some day, a photo – but not a life, not anything that justifies the word “timeline.”
I’m okay with that. I don’t look to social media to define myself. But it makes me aware of how shallow our understandings of each other can be. Facebook is about as deep as a coffee hour chat on Sunday, or a greeting at work. Friendly, worth doing, and yet not enough.
We need more. A lot more. The more computer work I do and the more time I spend online, the more I appreciate the people in my life. Online feeds my mind, music feeds my soul, and people feed my heart.
As for my Morning Walk Media page, I feel differently. Despite the Supreme Court’s nonsensical ruling in Citizens United, a company isn’t a person. It’s people doing work, making a difference by applying skill to challenge. I like the way the company page shows my blog and Monday meditation. It’s like a letter of introduction.