I recently realized I was lonely--most of my friends are in Texas or the UK, so I rarely see them. I joined a couple of "ladies" clubs, but found them unsatisfactory. One of them seems to be mainly about playing cards, while another is filled with querulous old gals who are constantly complaining about their health.
When I log on, I'm immediately sucked into a huge, poignant wave of humanity--of the joys and sorrows of people I hardly know. It can be emotionally overwhelming.
Some of my Facebook "friends" are people I've known in "real life," and it's fun to get in touch with them again this way. I've found even the people there whom I DON'T know to be friendly and welcoming. However, I'm AMAZED at the amount of distortion and innuendo that passes for "facts" on some of their posts, especially because, for our website, I research the facts so carefully.
It reminds me of something Bucky the cat said in my favorite comic strip, "Get Fuzzy"-- "I moved beyond 'facts' a long time ago. Facts are for people who can't create their own truth.
I'm comfortable with Facebook friends for now, but I've been "burned" by email buddies in the past--specifically by two people who turned out to be covert agents who were trying to subtly persuade me to take specific positions in the stories I write for our website.
While I can't have a cup of coffee with my Facebook buddies, everyone has been very nice so far, and unlike flesh-and-blood friends, if they ever do say something nasty, I can just click them off. It's as if they're all aware of what St. Augustine said: "Envy and malice have a sword, but it reaches its target only if it first passes through the body of the one who wields it."