New Castle News

News Bloggers

December 8, 2012

Josh Drespling: Facebook proves it really is a small world after all

NEW CASTLE — As time passes, I’m amazed at how small this world of ours seems.

The far-reaching grasp of our technology can bring distant lands to our doorstep. The bitter cold of Siberian Russia or the struggles in the Middle East are only a few clicks away. Curiosity, the Mars rover, is sending back amazing pictures and data from the red planet daily. If that’s not amazing, note that Mars at its closest proximity to Earth is more than 33.9 million miles (54.6 million kilometers) away.  

With the wonders of communication and technology at the forefront of our minds, I bring you the case of Facebook. Many people disparage the social media platform for what they chalk up to invasions of privacy or exploitation of information. They somehow feel that those out-of-focus and under-exposed photos of their cat will be used in some way to elicit their personal info. Though this argument may hold a sliver of merit, I am here to champion for the cause of Facebook and similar services such as Bebo, Tumbler, and Google+.

Using the power of these networks and their software ingenuity, I have been able to connect with a multitude of old friends who I never thought I would ever interact with again. There are old high school chums and college classmates. I've stumbled across some forgotten crushes and even a couple of old girlfriends. It's nice to see them all doing well.

This practical application also has kept me in touch with many current friends who I just don’t have enough time to call or write to, let alone stop by their houses and visit. We keep each other abreast of our current activities and often crack jokes with each other.  

One of my best friends from high school now lives in Scotland and, with a few clicks, I can drop him a line and see what he, his wife, and teenage daughter are up to. Another former colleague picked up and moved to Australia, where he met and married a local woman. It has been nice to follow his journey and see him become so happy. A former co-worker decided he was moving to New Zealand. He now posts amazing photos of the countryside and his adventures from the other side of the world.

I also get to debate politics with a former New Castle resident who lives in Alaska, not to mention the number of friends I have shared photos with of both personal and public matters.

Just the other day I talked to a woman who used to attend the same church as me. She messaged me and asked how I knew one of my friends, Jeremy. I told her the real-world back story about how my friend from several states away and I managed to cross paths in real life. It turns out she has known him since her college years, when her best friend introduced them. Thus enforcing the small-world scenario.

She also went on to tell me how she met her husband via Facebook. He was a friend of one of her friends and they just started talking. They have been married several years now. Congratulations!

Aside from hunting down old and new friends alike, this technology has put me in touch with a great number of my heroes and rock stars. I have had lengthy conversations with many members of bands that I adored while growing up, although some of these conversations and interactions have left me feeling disappointed and believing the adage that you should never meet your idols. I have been able to converse on a human level with so many of these “famous” people and knock down that imaginary wall that separates those type of people from us common peasants.

Social media is, without a doubt, collapsing our great big world into one giant mass of information. Some people point to it as a sign of the end, or an even greater evil. Some even claim it removes the humanity from communication, but I feel that it has brought me closer with the people I have selected to let into my life. I have finite control of who is here and who is not.

Yeah, it has made the world smaller. But wise use of this resource has afforded me the luxury of sharing life and ideas with people whom I would never be able to talk to without this technology.


Text Only | Photo Reprints
News Bloggers
  • Question-mark-scratch-head.jpg Tim Kolodziej: We’re swimming in information — and uncertainty

    “Who can you believe anymore?” I wish I had a nickel for every time someone has asked me that question. Let’s face it, there are no longer two sides to every story. In some cases, there are hundreds, if not thousands.

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • Potato.jpg The Couch Potato: "The Bachelorette" semi-live blog

    Here we go folks: “The Bachelorette” finale is under way and of course we’re being inundated with sweeping helicopter shots of beaches and exotic locations while Chris Harrison is telling us how dramatic this upcoming episode will be. Classic opening for “The Bachelorette,” as always.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Huston.jpg Greg Huston: Readers (a few anyway) respond on Alvarez

    Last week I asked readers to share their thoughts on what the Pirates should do with the struggling Pedro Alvarez and we’ll get to that in a minute. For some background, Alvarez has two years left on his deal and makes a modest salary of 4.25 million this season (modest in terms of baseball salaries as paying me 4.25 million dollars for anything would be gladly accepted). His salary will likely increase the next two seasons through arbitration. 

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Church.jpg Gary Church: As you may have noticed, I'm not Lisa
    Surprise, surprise, surprise! The big cheese called me, and asked if I would mind if my blogs appeared on Monday, instead of on Tuesday. I had no problem with that.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Drespling.jpg Josh Drespling: Time flies when you're growing up

    Where does the time go? Just a moment ago, it was Monday, and now here we sit at the opposite end of another week. Seems like a matter of seconds and this month has slipped off into oblivion. I swear I only blinked and spring had been stripped from our hands. I don't dare close my eyes for another moment’s rest or my whole life may disappear.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Church.jpg Gary Church: Grab your sisters and your mothers, it's an ice cream 'convent'-ion
    To keep my nice figure, I like to go to Forbush's at least once a week. This is also my entertainment for the night.  We sit there for an hour or so, watching people. Last week, a group arrived that I had never seen before.

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • johnnyswim.jpg Tim Kolodziej: What is your definition of The Dream?

    Johnnyswim. I know, I know. Me neither. I had no idea what that word meant until a couple of months ago, when a friend of mine on Twitter was absolutely gushing about a great concert he had just seen.

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • Potato.jpg The Couch Potato: Does "House of Cards" crumble or stand?

    The old Couch Potato has been methodically working my way through the hit Netflix series, “House of Cards,” over the past few weeks and let me just say, it’s pretty good. 

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Church.jpg Gary Church: It was an uphill climb, but this driver was a real trooper

    It's always a tragedy when I have to cover a drowning for The News. I hope I never have to go to Kennedy Mills again for this purpose. It is located at the bottom of a twisty, turning hill on Frew Mill Road.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Happy_Ending.jpg Lisa Madras: I struggle with goodbyes, so I’ll just say ‘thank you’

    After 12 amazing years at the New Castle News, it is finally time for me to say goodbye.  I walked through the doors of this building believing that I had found the place I would live out the rest of my days, content in the chaos of deadlines and bylines, inky fingers and editorials.

    July 21, 2014 2 Photos

House Ads

Would you want to know what your pet is thinking about you?

Yes! I'd love to know what my pet is thinking.
Nah, it's probably not that interesting.
I don't know. I'm afraid of what I might find out.
     View Results