All through the year, thanks to my facebook friends, I have
hoped as we voted in my first US presidential election
shared excitement of friend's cool dates
pondered the meaning of life, career and dreams
mused over spontaneous valley events
comforted the heartbreak of atleast one divorce
helped with couple job losses
shocked and pained with friends as Prop 8 passed
supported parenting nightmares with toddler power struggles
stayed up to chat with insomniacs and twitter addicts
shared the joy of new babies and many baby's first holidays
and fretted with growing-up parents as their kids grow up.
My life before my real friends were on facebook:
I have spent 14 yrs of my life mostly in Boston and thelast two years in beautiful Silicon Valley, enjoying America, making it my home and loving it. I have many friends, we have lived in our own worlds and meet at work, schools, temples, churches, gyms, play groups, hobby groups and recreation centers. There, we exchange a common american humor, curiosity towards other person's diversity and chat about what we share in common with sincerity which in my case is a lot of technology aka facebook, social media marketing, startup stories, mommy saga and yoga.
Once we moved to the valley, I was amazed at the diversity and the self segregated societies of the valley that preserve their cultures. Everything was new, our friends were all in Boston and the geek groups were the first to accept us. There's the Chines New Year in SF, Vietnamese Parade in San Jose, Durga Puja in Sunnyvale, Polynesian festival in Foster City, India Day in Fremont, Independence Day fireworks at Stanford, Garlic Festival in Gilroy and several geeky meetups including my own Bay Area Facebook Meetup each month. I've chanced occasional peeks into two separate corteries of 'serial entrepreneurs' and 'hungry wannabe-entrepreneurs', the two prominent groups that co-exist in the valley. I am not even listing the many sports hangouts, charity fundraisers and kids shows. (I cannot share all videos I like as they are in facebook limited by the privacy of friends who posted them)
Facebook has enriched my year by helping me cross the politically correct workplace boundary into the lives and hearts of friends.
In 2008, I have had more birthday wishes than all my past years, and wished everyone with wall posts and virtual gifts. I have visited more places on earth and shared special and scary moments with friends and made real friends of distant business acquaintances as they opened their feeds and their hearts and homes to us on facebook.
I've gotten a glimpse into the real lives of many of my friends who I knew professionally and bonded with family across miles. The best part is feeds come as everyone does whatever they do in their real lives - across boundaries of political correctness into their religions, culture, priorities near and dear to their hearts and ways of lives.
I've seen what holidays are important to each of my friends and what they really do to celebrate their holidays, thanks to facebook.
I've seen my friends Naveed, Raymond, Junaid, Shammara fast for Ramadan and wait for the moon for Eid. I celebrated Diwali by sharing a picture of a Diwali light arrangement we made at home and tagging 30 (facebook's maximum tag limit) Diwali celebrating hindu friends on facebook . I saw ghosts, fairies, Joe the Plumber among my friends. I have gotten a real Xmas cheer as I saw Luke share his Xmas tradition of making cookies at home with his wife. It put a smile on my face as this feed brought back childhood memories of the smell of an Indian sweet called Mysorepagu made by my Mom. Wed 25th was Christmas and the third day of Hanukkah, a gentle reminder thanks to Josh's feed.
For the past two weeks, I've joined the cheer and delays of of travels locals and far, shuddered at the ice storm pictures from my east coast friends, smiled at a cheeky video " All I want for Christmas is some jews" and at Jesse sharing the real christmas story video on facebook asking us to spread it around.
I have truly arrived in America, and though I am known to be obsessed with facebook, this time I think all credit goes to facebook to let my real social graph flow through facebook and getting me one step closer to my friends and to America.
Wish you all a wonderful new year 2009! Thank You all for enriching my life, looking forward to a new year as we continue to grow, share, learn, live and let live our connected lives.