For the third year in a row, I'm participating in the Month of Thankfulness challenge on Facebook. For the month of November, you post a status every day on someone, something, some place for which you are thankful.
I absolutely love it.
First, because it helps me be truly mindful of all the things in my life for which I am grateful. In my experience, it takes about a week to cover children, spouses, family members we already spend a lot of conscious time appreciating. Then, you have to move beyond the obvious and start paying attention every day to the things that bring you joy.
Second, there are so few opportunities to tell the people in our lives how important they are to us, especially in a public way. It's a wonderful thing to proclaim how much you love your best friend or how our life is better because a certain person is in it.
I've enjoyed it so much this year it got me thinking how much I truly love the social media platform that made it all possible.
That's right I'm thankful for Facebook.
Look, I know it's not cool to like Facebook. I know it's got its problems, including privacy and advertising and the fact that we all probably check it too much. I also know that you don't NEED Facebook to practice gratitude.
And yet there is Facebook making it so easy and so gratifying. I find Facebook makes a lot of the best things in my life easier and more gratifying. I maintain relationships with people I know I wouldn't be connecting with otherwise. People who support me and make my life so much better with their comments and sharing. Far away family members are a part of my children's lives thanks to Facebook.
Facebook makes the good times better and the bad times a little easier to bare. When my dear friend Amelia was involved in a car accident last year, Facebook was my lifeline. I lived far away from her and her family but her mother's updates made me feel connected to the community of people all over the country who loved Amelia. When she passed away, instead of feeling alone in my grief, I was able to reach out to people who had loved her like I had. We told stories and shared photos and just generally held each other up and Facebook made it all so easy.
I still go to Amelia's Facebook wall and post there occasionally. I don't really know why but it makes me feel better somehow to share a book I know she'd love or look at other people's photos of her from high school.
Facebook makes that all possible.
So, this Thanksgiving season, I'm thankful for Facebook.
Do you love or loathe Facebook?