Sunday, July 19, 2009

To Blog or To Facebook?...

...That is the question.

I found myself in So. California this past week, taking care of my dad who wound up in ICU last Sat. morning. He had a scare with his heart, and they decided to put a pacemaker in. Considering he is a tremendous exercise enthusiast, it was hard to imagine his heart giving him trouble. He bicycles an average of 20 miles/day. But he is 86 years old, and sadly our bodies do wear out. He is doing just great, up and around!

After cleaning his house, grocery shopping, and running errands for him, I found myself with time on my hands so logged in to my facebook page. It was something I created several months ago, primarily so I could see the photos in my daughters' albums. I didn't check it very often -- mainly when they told me they had uploaded some new pictures. This past week, I started logging in daily. I discovered I had several "friend requests". It was fun to reconnect with people I hadn't heard from since high school and from organizations I'd been involved with. Soon I discovered many of them had all sorts of online farms, African safari campgrounds, and hatching eggs.

The next thing I knew I was gathering eggs from friends' sites. Horses neigh and sheep bleat when I plant rows of strawberries on my farm in Farmville. A friend sent me an elephant for my safari camp. It was all very cute! There is pleasure in doing some things for the pure nonsense of them.

But one morning I learned that one of my hatched eggs had run away! My strawberries had withered because I didn't harvest them in time and I had to replant the field. On top of that, termites had invaded my friend's safari camp so I had to help her out. An hour had evaporated into thin air before I knew it! These facebook games could be addictive. I thought about my REAL yard, hedges needing trimmed, deck needing restained; the REAL children in Africa and other countries that I'm due to write to through child sponsorship organizations. Yes, the practical side of me began whispering in my ear -- hey, don't you have enough to do without plowing a virtual field? Well, at least with the African Safari game you earn REAL money to send mosquito nets to children in Africa. And do we always need to be doing something constructive? What about simple relaxation, engaging in something not on our "to do lists"?

Checking in on all my friends' facebook pages is like going to a party -- making the rounds, commenting on this and that. At the end of the day, I was ready to come back to my blog. Time alone, where I can just write all my thoughts about a topic. No expectations. Just a blank page and a keyboard. Ahhh. It's good to be home.

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