I am also able to reconnect with old friends (and their adorable babies) who I also cherish but rarely get to see in person.
I will always take a virtual connection over no connection at all.
In addition to staying closer to friends and family, Facebook afforded me an opportunity last year to send a long overdue apology.
While in Middle School in Philadelphia, I participated in a spate of bullying that I have been hotly ashamed of ever since. There was a girl in our class who my friends and I taunted until she cried.
We relocated to Rhode Island shortly after my plaid uniform-skirted reign of terror and the opportunity to make amends with said girl never presented itself.
I have felt deep remorse ever since.
Then, last year, I saw our victim’s name on Facebook through mutual friends.
I screwed up my courage and wrote to her telling her how terrible I had always felt about how we had treated her and that I wanted to whole-heartedly apologize for our actions.
I was not invested in what her response would be when I wrote. If I had been, I probably would have lost my nerve. I just knew that I needed to apologize.
Sometimes things just need to be said. How they are received is secondary.
I felt it was imperative for me to go on record and take responsibility for being a bodacious “mean girl” in 1980.
So I was prepared not to hear back — fully understanding if she would want nothing to do with me.
In less than a day, I got a response… a lovely and graceful response telling me that she accepted my apology. This completely humbled me.
She also let me know that her experience at our old school was not a positive one, but that hearing from me could go toward healing this part of her past.
This humbled me even more.
Honestly, I still have not absolved myself for my aberrant episode of cruelty in my youth, but I was honored that this lovely woman and I connected in such a meaningful way.
We shared something I did not expect: a sacred exchange.
Because the act of forgiveness is always sacred.
Even if it’s on Facebook.