Sunday, March 16, 2008

Making Home on Facebook: Now I Understand the Addiction

So I am ardently updating the artworks displayed on my Facebook profile. It has been getting to me for a while why the art wouldn't update? Finally, I figure out the confusing language of the application. I love the art, and now I know how to display my collection on the profile such that each time, a random picture is loaded from my collection.

I'm doing this simply for the delight of the visitors to my profile - my friends.

And then it suddenly becomes clear to me: the question that I have been wondering about: Why do I enjoy being on Facebook so much?

I realize it's because my Facebook profile is the home that I would like to make!

I use Facebook liberally for business and to make and keep contacts. To exchange ideas and follow the zeitgeist. To learn about events, buy stuff, sell ideas.

But I also use my profile for a purpose that is unique to my being: to make it a place where people come, and find beauty - pleasant surprise - inspiration - calm. Distracting applications which usually invite rude visual content are therefore OUT! From what I see of what people share on Super Wall, and Fun Wall - I'd never add those to my profile. There is a way to control what ideas, thoughts, and words others contribute to our social profiles - and that is it:

1. Create an example of conduct oneself
2. Not create such a space which brings out compulsive behavior in people that we don't look forward to. I.e. No Super Wall means I am not going to have horrific, mismatched videos and posters left on my profile.
3. Encourage and approve in others what is best in and for them. Appreciate their beauty, and they will bring it forth ever more
4. Choose your friends according to who you are, and how you really feel about them

Now the last one is a really out-of-social-network, "real life" practice. I am blessed, Alhamdolillah, with knowing beautiful and talented people - and with the ability to bring out the best in others... actually I hardly know anyone who's not talented and beautiful in their own way. My work is to simply perceive that way, and to acknowledge it. That's the way to make it grow.

So I suddenly realized that Facebook gives me a virtual home. Which I decorate, keep clean. A place where I welcome people to laugh with them, listen to their stories, share my personal woes and joys, sleep, look out of the windows... it gives me a neighborhood... I like visiting my friends' profiles and seeing - as much as they choose to reveal - what's going on in their lives... the kind of persons they are (when I don't know them personally in the Real World).

My Facebook profile is the blueprint of the home I like to make: simple, no-fuss - with bookshelves and art. And a great inspiring place for souls to connect in a sanctuary.


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