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How Facebook helps us deal with worry about the people we care about


If you're like most people, you worry about your friends. It can be trivial worry, like what kind of dog food they give their dog, or it can be horrific and profound, like whether they're hurt, or still alive. It's human nature, when we care, we worry.

As someone who, many years ago, made a point of contacting people to assure them that I was still alive (after an accident), I know what it's like to worry, and how strange it is to have someone call you just to see if everything is all right (which can often mean "are you still alive?"). Of course rumors of my death were exaggerated, but it got me to thinking about how Facebook helps with worry.

If you've never really given this much thought, you're lucky. I've worried a lot about the people in my life. And so when I see that they have checked in at a restaurant, or taken a photo of their dog, it comforts me. I don't want to pick up the phone and say, "I haven't heard from you in a while! Are you in the hospital? Is everything OK?"

So go ahead and post something trivial on Facebook. Take a photo of the sunset, make a comment, click "Like". You may think that it's just trivial, but it can be the most important thing that your friend sees that day.