Having left family and friends behind in the States to relocate to London, I must confess that Facebookhas become a valued lifeline keeping me linked to my previous life. If you don’t already have an account, I highly recommend that you create one when you move. I honestly don’t know if I would have signed onto it otherwise, other than for the novelty of re-establishing contact with elementary or high school friends, which probably would’ve entertained me no longer than a month. Yet I have to say that, when you move far away, you miss the mundane day-to-day details shared with people, so while some may find Status Updates a bore (it IS pretty annoying when people uncleverly share how sick they are or what they had for breakfast…not like I don’t subject you to the same every time I insist on expounding to you where I’ve eaten dinner in my blog posts!), my fundamental need to feel connected with people renders me utterly gleeful to know if a friend’s kid is having a party this week, if work has been rough, or if they’re on vacation. They, too, are especially interested in the travel photos that I continually post on Facebook since moving to London, now that other countries are so much more easily accessible and even an hour-away day-trip from the city unearths a feast of history and beauty. Just when I fear it’s a rather egocentric thing to do, lo and behold the slew of excited commentary by my Facebook Friends that immediately follows, and I make sure to return in kind to show the interest is mutual (it’s just good etiquette). Life is busy—we don’t always think to email everyone or feel we have enough to say to warrant doing so, and we may not always have time for a phone call, which is further complicated by time zone differences—so these tiny, cyber means of reaching out can make all the difference. And while it may seem far-fetched to say it, because of Facebook, I almost feel even closer with some friends who were once mere minutes away now that there is an ocean in between, so I don’t care if I’m sounding like a teenager OMG-ing and LOL-ing all over the place in praise of a social-networking tool. To each his/her own, right?
If you ARE into the social-networking scene, stay connected with London Relocation too! We maintain profiles on Facebookand Twitter, so post something to our Wall or send us a Tweet! If professional networks are more your thing, join our professional network on LinkedIn as well.