Aunt Vera, Cousin Shawn and Brother Tom are all on some social networking site, even grandma has started playing Farmville and Family Fued. Isn't it about time that we get grandpa online, and into the game of social networking. I did an informal survey and was surprised to see how many social networking individuals agree on the pro's and con's of sites like Facebook.

In my study, most people responded with the same pro answers. Utilizing a social network system allows them to share material, such as pictures and information more efficiently than 'snail' mail and even easier than email. The pro's for some included finding long lost friends and old flames, while others mentioned they enjoyed being able to instantly update their 'friends' on events in their lives. These events include everything from births, remodel projects, travel plans, weather updates, illnesses and the list goes on. Other pro's include social networking, imagine that, getting restaurant coupons and reading reviews to finding jobs and winning great prizes.

The cons to social networking strike a similar cord with the greater mass of my survey respondents as well. Most feel that with the ease of posting greeting's, pictures and life updates it takes away from the day to day interactions with those we presumably know and love. Almost creating an impersonal world that is too busy to actually pick up a phone or even schedule one on one time in the real world.

In the end I have surmised that social networking is likely the one and only or one of very few things in life that is an exception to the rule in that the bad is not nearly bad enough to not grab the proverbial mouse and get involved. The good, bad and ugly will always be a part of the equation, but with families moving across the country and abroad, what a great outlet to share the day to day dealings of our days in words and in pictures. We could pretend that we will call more often or that we will make a movie date with our best friend that lives five miles away and we haven't seen in two months, but in all reality we all have lives. We all have to work,  go to the grocery store, take the kids to the dentist, pick up the dry cleaning, cook dinner and clean the cat box. As sad as reality can be sometimes these are the cold hard facts of life and I am grateful that social networking has allowed me to reconnect with a dear friend from junior high, save money on a car wash, have the bacon wrapped shrimp because of a restaurant review, see the first pictures of an old friends new baby within minutes of his birth and win cool gadgets and concert tickets.