In my opinion, Facebook has changed drastically over the years. Now I will say that I was not a willing participant initially. I made up every excuse possible to not create an account. Finally, due to pressures at work, I created an account.
Over the years, it has turned away from being a place to stay up to date with friends and family, businesses, mentors and role models to one where Facebook determines what I want to see, when I want to see it and who I am able to see. Pages I used to follow, no longer show up on my wall, posts from friends and family are few and far between, but those ads I tell ya, are everywhere!
Then came along Facebook groups and you would have thought that Facebook itself, granted individual power to anyone who wanted it. Groups were being created by individuals for control and competition. People were thrown into groups without their consent or even knowledge most of the time. I am in literally hundreds of groups of which I may have asked to join about a dozen. Groups that were originally meant to help groups of people communicate about particular topics, became flooded with venom, anger and blame. Spending just a few minutes at a time reading through facebook group notifications is enough to zap away hope and positivity from most of us, especially in my community.
I live in a beautiful community known as San Tan Valley. It is new, fresh, beautiful and growing. We have amazing dark skies, a beautiful regional park, sprawling farm fields, quite a few awesome independent businesses and lots and lots of single family homes. Driving through our community and speaking with people on the street, you would fall in love with our community in minutes. Spending any time on facebook, reading about our community you would think our community is crime ridden and filled with nothing but drama, negativity and fear. Makes my stomach sick and my skin crawl when I skim through what is thrown around.
If I could just stay off of Facebook, I would but running the most visited news and community website in the area however, SanTanValley.com, I have to stay in-tune with what is being said everywhere and that means I have to read a lot of the negativity and attacks. (I'd much rather just build a really big bubble of nothing but happiness, which is why I started the San Tan Valley Reasons to Smile Facebook group, filled with nothing but happy posts.)
On December 7th however, I got a little taste of Facebook actually doing some good. I was scrolling through one of the many groups I am in, and stumbled across a post from a woman, from out of the area, looking for someone who spoke Hebrew. It definitely caught my eye. I don't recall the word Hebrew ever being a part of an ISO post let alone someone who spoke it. While I'm not fluent in the language, I can get by and thought I'd reach out to see if I could help. Within a few minutes I received a private message.
So why did this person need to find someone who could speak Hebrew? I assumed it was to translate a message or something, but that was not the case. This woman was expecting a baby girl and needed help finding a name. She wanted the name to represent certain traits and wanted to be able to pronounce the name correctly, find the right words to reflect the correct meaning and then be able to spell it in English so that others could pronounce it as well. WOW! Is all I could say. I was actually going to help someone come up with a name for a soon to be beautiful little girl. The last name I picked out was 16 years ago for my son. I was a little rusty to say the least, but I was so excited. Listening to this mother describe what she wanted the name to mean was beautiful and powerful. After reviewing many of the names she had questions with, I threw out a name, Halal, that had a similar definition to what she wanted. Surprisingly it was the same name her and her husband had been discussing just moments before.
We continued to chat over the next couple of weeks and reviewed so many names: Odeleya, Ksena, Bettina, Shekinah, Sheva, Betje, Adonia. She was so grateful and appreciative for my help, which was an amazing feeling in and of itself. I still couldn't believe that I was helping a complete stranger pick out a Hebrew name for her soon to be little girl - all because of a Facebook post in a Facebook group. I wasn't sure what the final name was going to be, but was just honored to have even been part of the process. I figured once she had what she needed to pick her name, that we would go our own separate ways. I wished her an easy delivery and said good-night.
Much to my surprise however, today, Dec 20th, at about 7:40am, I received a private message that read:
Born at 12:30am!!!!!!
Thank you! I will send you pics later!
Thank you again!!!!!!!
Holy cow! Halal? WOW! We did it! Welcome Halal Ksena and Mazel Tov to your family! Your mommy is one special lady who felt so much love and devotion for you before you were even born I could feel it and I've never even met your mommy! You are one special baby girl who is loved more than you could ever imagine!
As for Facebook .... had it not been for your medium, I would have never been able to help with something so amazing, so for that, I say thank you.
I guess Facebook actually can do something good.