I just love Facebook, despite the fact that it absolutely is a time eater! I bet I spend an extra hour a day on the web because of it. But because of it, I now am in touch with people I have lost touch with over the years.
For example, a former Cleveland Public Radio intern now works for the Democratic Party of Los Angeles County. A former newspaper co worker is in Australia. A news source has moved on to Durham with his MBA and is doing business models for non-profits while remaining active in the film production community. His mom also has multiple sclerosis. How's she doing, I ask.
I got Dia Tres Reyes greetings from Merlene Santiago in Cleveland. I get to see pix of my friend's college kids' drinking parties without telling their Mom the details. I play Mafia Wars with a former neighbor still at the Plain Dealer, the guy who looks like my brother. You know who you are!
But more disturbing is the news and affinity groups I belong to. Most have to do with planning to lose your job. Not just layoffs, but the loss of newspaper industry.
Last night came word that the New York Times is in severe danger, eyeing catastrophic financial losses by May. My brother topped that in an email to me about Alcoa's 19 percent workforce reduction world wide, which has already sent today's markets plummeting.
On a brighter note, Laura Yee - half of the pair that took the Cleveland Schools beat over from my partner Ron Rutti and me - and then was food editor, and then moved to Chicago with her husband the chef to edit restaurant journals, is already done redefining herself by having a marketing agency serving restaurants.
There is a lot of hand holding involved in using Facebook as a networking tool. That's why I love seeing my Isla friends of there, too. About a third of my friends on Facebook know me from Isla Mujeres. They tell of art shows at Casa Sirena and Isla PEACE, the community foundation, and of their other lives back home. I love Facebook, even though it eats my time!