Never underestimate the power of social networking when cousins are on the line.
I watched Princess Bride last night and have a few lines in my head. OK, so that’s not exactly how the quote goes. Still, it is at the heart of what we want with family history…. cousins.
1. Share your photos.
It’s amazing the joy that photos bring. We all know it, but sometimes we forget what it means to others. I’ve been sharing photos with my cousins on Facebook, and it’s made me want to look harder at those that may have gotten lost at the bottom of a box or in the back of an album. Social media makes it so simple to share some of these photos. (Legalese… make sure you understand the terms of service and are ok with these before you upload your photos.)
2. Ask about their stories.
I have family stories on the brain at the moment. Between writing about it for some of my homeschooling-related posts and columns to prepping for an upcoming family wedding, I keep thinking of the stories that I want to hear as well as the stories that I want to share. Social media is great for making those connections when it’s been years since you’ve last spoken. Maybe it’s the faceless/voiceless format, but it causes people to open up and say hello far more easily than some may with a phone call. The stories that can be shared through messages and chatting, especially with younger generations, can be amazing.
3. Distance doesn’t matter.
If it weren’t for social media, I wouldn’t get to have near daily updates from cousins about their children or weekly updates about family that is “offline.” It doesn’t matter that I am more than 600 miles from some of them. I still got to see their children on their first day of school. As impersonal as some social media feels, it also shortens the distance. Silly little notes with my baby cousin make me feel like I’m 12 again. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
Personally, I prefer Facebook for family and other social networking sites for friends and business connections. What’s your favorite? Do you use social media to connect to cousins?
© 2012, Stephanie Pitcher Fishman. All rights reserved.