Whatever you are interested in, need more information on or support with, there’s a Facebook group for that!
“Snyder – Class of 2035”
“Heirloom Chrysanthemum Growers”
“POBINDS / CSNK2B Parent Support Group”
“Mornings with Em Photography VIP Group”
These are just a few of many Facebook groups I am a part of.
The Birth of Facebook
I have been on Facebook for 20 years. I remember sitting in my dorm room as a freshman at Texas A&M University discussing this new online platform called Facebook. We were interested in it as it sounded similar to MySpace, but it was only for college students. We had heard Baylor had gotten it and were quite annoyed they beat us to it, but it was coming soon.
I remember when my mom got on it, and I realized I had to be careful about what I posted! Now, you would be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t have a Facebook profile. That is the beauty and the annoyance of it, that everyone is on it. And everyone shares, whether it is cute pictures of their kids (my favorite!) or their current political views (my least favorite!).
Breaking up with Facebook
When the pandemic was in full rage, and I was a healthcare worker charting unknown territory, Facebook was both a Godsend and my worst nightmare. I joined a group of over 200,000 healthcare workers from around the globe, and we all shared real time, helpful information about COVID as it was happening. This was beyond amazing! You knew exactly what was going on in other areas and what was working or not working. It is not an easy feat to take care of sick individuals who have contracted a new disease and you don’t have anything to reference for management. Instead it was, “Ok this is working in Italy” or “They are doing this in Brazil.” Brilliant.
But Facebook was also horrible during that time. Everyone and their moms had opinions about COVID and the pandemic and didn’t hesitate to share that online. Every day when I logged on to see how my friends and family were coping and get support from my groups, I was bombarded with negativity, hate, fear. It was too much.
So I took a break from Facebook for a while, and that definitely helped. But I missed my groups. I missed the friendliness and beauty of the groups of my fellow flower growers. I missed supporting and being supported by parents of other kids with my daughter’s medical condition. I missed knowing what was going on in my neighborhood and community. So six months later I got back on, but I set limits for myself, and that has worked out very well ever since.
My Love for Facebook Groups
Since then, I mainly use Facebook for the groups. I am now a member of 34 groups, and I even manage one for my neighborhood. Most of my groups consist of topics on gardening, small business, local sales and my neighborhood. But there are a few groups that have become absolutely irreplaceable for me.
One of these is the “POBINDS / CSNK2B Parent Support Group” I mentioned at the beginning. My youngest daughter, who is now 3, has a rare genetic condition that causes epilepsy and various developmental delays. There have only been around 100 cases ever. This group is made up of parents from all around the world. We have people that post in other languages and it is then translated into English. It is amazing! We all share stories, support one another, and discuss what has worked and not worked for our children. We have rallied together to form a nonprofit organization to raise money for research, as well as host events and organize discussions with medical professionals. I am ever so grateful for this group and my fellow POBINDS parents.
Another group that has been so helpful for me is the “Flower Farmers” group. Am I a flower farmer at this time? Nope, but I have aspirations to be in the near future. This group not only discussed anything and everything about growing flowers, but also any topics related to business, marketing, and beyond. I have learned so much from my fellow growers from around the world, and am constantly awed and inspired by their stories and pictures they share. This group is also one of the most positive ones I am in. Flower farmers really are some of the nicest and most supportive people you will meet.
I am glad I have found a healthy relationship with Facebook and can enjoy my groups these days. They have really been a Godsend these last few years, and I have learned so much. If you have been hesitant to join or rejoin Facebook, I encourage you to at least consider being a part of a Facebook group you are interested in. Whether it is “Sourdough Geeks” or “Cat Lovers Group Official” or “Traveling to Norway!”, there’s a Facebook group for that!