Facebook Shrinks the World

http://ncowie.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/facebook.jpg?w=600One way Facebook shrinks the world is through birthday wishes.  Our universe of Facebook friends is an agglomeration of all of the phases and facets of our existence, and when we hear from so many from so many parts of our lives (like I did yesterday when I turned - gasp! - 42), it floods our minds with thoughts of how rich we are in friendship and love.  Who doesn't like the wonderful surprise of being in a party in your honor and having random friends and family members pop in unannounced to be with you?  Now imagine dozens and dozens, from high school and college and work and church, from East Coast and West Coast and overseas, folks I see every day and folks I haven't seen in decades.  That was my yesterday.

What's particularly special is that, especially with folks I don't get to see often, occasions like birthdays are an opportunity not only to send well wishes but to express how rich it is to follow each other through social media, and in doing so to join in a little bit in each other's lives.  Though we are distant socially and geographically, yet we are able to do life together.  Weddings, vacations, kids' birthdays, funerals, politics, social commentary.  These snippets forge a true connection and are a real way to feel connected to others. 

All of which to say it was very nice to be feted on my birthday by so many of my Facebook friends.  It was an overwhelming reminder of how many good people there are in my life, who are rooting for me, delight in my happy moments, and stand with me in my sad moments.  I am thankful to God for His provision of people, as well as of the mechanisms by which I can have a touch with them.  It is easy to feel the world is vast and cold, and nice to feel when the world seems small and cozy.
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