But, a couple of months ago a former colleague and friend we respect sent us an e-mail which said "You have to get on Facebook." I took this as a royal command, while he probably only meant that it was a prerequisite to viewing his page. I have no regrets. It's been a fun ride so far and I have barely dipped one foot in the water. I have some lovely plants, have played more Scrabble (in the form of Scrabulous) in the past week than in the past year, and a few things have supposedly been thrown at me, although I haven't felt any ill effects. I have found it to be a remarkable tool for keeping in contact with people, and for reconnecting with people once thought lost forever. There's a friendliness and lack of pretension there, or at least I haven't seen anything otherwise. Who knew I had 75 friends?
The most recent practical use of the website has been to establish a group page where people can go to keep up with the medical progress of a colleague who was diagnosed with a brain tumor the last full week of school. He's now in the States and will have surgery at the Sloan Kettering Clinic in New York City next week. The group page has only been up 5 days and there are already 93 members at this writing. I expect that number will top 100 easily and soon.
It's not a cure for cancer, but it is a remedy for what often ails us, feeling helpless, like there is nothing we can do, and not knowing what is happening to someone we care about. Being able to visit the page and leave good wishes, share a fond memory, upload a photo and read the wishes left by others has brought a lot of people together as a community and created a little corner of personal empowerment on the Internet.
You can visit Coach Reilly's Locker Room, but you have to join Facebook to see it. You can take that however you like.