Messages to other shores

What makes Facebook intriguing, I think, is that element of mystery involved in posting your “status”. Every message you take the time to post is like a message in a bottle, sent out to what is now truly an ocean of people. You have the hope that the message will reach some not-so-distant shore, be read and understood, touch someone–and that someone will respond. That piece of paper (or the digital code) is a bit of yourself. You throw it out to the waves with a hope, on a lark. And nothing is more pleasant than the surprise of response, sometimes not just one, but dozens. Your shore is then not so far from others’. You’re not on a desert island, but in a shared space, with other voices and other hopes, other messages to be shared. The ocean is virtually cluttered (pun intended) with floating bottles. More than ever, we’re connected. So that is the intrigue of Facebook, and its virtue, not to be taken lightly. There is a receptive audience, there is another shore, and there is someone who will reach into the water and see what you have to say, so it’s worthwhile to consider what you have to write, how you want to reach out, so that the message elicits not just a response, but thought and action. A lover who sends a message in a bottle hopes for the lost love to somehow receive the appealing words and be touched, maybe even cross the waters to find him. At the very least, the words will have breached a gap.