What's not to like?
Published: September 28, 2011
If you want to make your teenager roll his eyes, get a Facebook page. If you really want them to roll back in his head, get a Twitter account. I have done all of the above and received the requisite responses from my offspring – one in particular. You know who you are.
When I joined Facebook a couple of years ago, like many moms, it was mainly to keep up with my children and their growing cyber independence. Also like those other moms, I quickly discovered a whole FB world out there populated with high school buddies, college classmates, military friends from past assignments and family members we don’t get to see often enough.
Even my mom joined. And I did not roll my eyes.
Another bonus of the social networking sphere is the potential for connecting with readers on the Spouse Calls Facebook group, which I started about a year ago.
As well as posting regular links to current Spouse Calls columns, I sometimes ask Facebook group members for input, such as Sept. 11 memories, which garnered poignant stories for a recent column.
Often members post comments about their daily experiences in military life. Their words and punctuation choices are expressive, simple and profound all at once.
Debra: “Two more days until my husband's retirement ceremony. So much to do and so little time, but it's just another PCS – a real permanent change.”
Holly: “My husband leaves Afghanistan this month!!! PRAISE GOD!!!! We have beat this deployment!”
Mark: “Thank you for permitting this old retired airman access to your page. I enjoy keeping up with Stars and Stripes, and I have a very special place in my heart for military spouses. Most of our civilian populace has no idea of the vital role they play in the military, nor that they serve right alongside.”
Sometimes there are questions, like this one from Jolie: “Should I move home or stay overseas while my husband is deployed?”
In response, several experienced spouses and active duty members in the Facebook group offered their best advice and encouragement.
“The two of you are joined at the heart and life by a common purpose, standing for freedom around the world,” wrote my friend, Nancy and her husband, Scott, in an appropriately collaborative response to Jolie.
“That purpose MUST drive your decisions. Unless you share in the purpose of his deployment, you will end up resenting the time apart, and the loneliness and heartache … will serve no grander cause. It may even cause bitterness.”
Sometimes readers on the Spouse Calls Facebook page will throw out a topic for conversation. Our latest ongoing discussion is a very lively one about Family Readiness Groups, the good the bad and the ugly. Look for this topic in an upcoming Spouse Calls. If you have an opinion, log in and chime in.
Another popular topic: Moving experiences, of which we all have many.
During our recent pack-out from Germany, I posted a list of “Things you only say when you are moving” for the Facebook group. The sound bites from my family’s real life went something like this:
Son to me: “Hand me my science book. It's under the red shoes under the toaster.” (All of the above were in the linen closet so the movers would not pack them yet.)
Me to son: “Your toothbrush is right here on top of the coffee pot outside of the laundry room.”
Me to husband: “The pillows are in the bathroom.”
(Twenty minutes later) Son to me: “Did you say my toothbrush is on the coffee pot or under the toaster?”
I admit that one of my favorite Facebook comments is from my mother, who wrote about how she loves my column and is proud of me. Eleven people liked it. Who’s going to argue with her? Mom’s PR, like her cooking, is the best. One good reason I did not roll my eyes when she joined Facebook.