Wednesday, June 5, 2013

I am a Yentah

My name is Susan and I am a yentah.

I find people and the things they do, and why they do them, extremely interesting.  I don't like to gossip - that's different and not nice. I just like to know what people are doing - I guess I'm a social type of person, very aware of what people around me are doing. 

Because I am a yentah, I spend an inordinate amount of time on Facebook.

See, those two go together.  Especially when one moves away from the place she has lived for over 50 years. 

It' s like this.  I love hearing about what people are doing.  My family, other people's families, celebrities, friends of celebrities, etc. etc.  Facebook is made for yentahs. 

I know, I know, it can be a colossal waste of time.  I mean, you can start FB'ing at 10 am and all of a sudden it's lunchtime and you're deep into your sister's husband's cousin's roommate's vacation pictures and where did the time go?

But, can I tell you something?  Shhh, it's just between us.  I love Facebook.  I'll tell you why.  Because it makes me feel connected, especially after we made aliyah.  I can keep in touch with everyone, see pictures of them and their families, comment, wish a mazel tov, refuah shelayma, get important updates - all in one place.

You have to use Facebook to appreciate it - I know people vilify it, but for me it brings me closer together with the people I love and also connects me with people I would never otherwise have had any connection with.

Here are a few examples of what I get to do with Facebook:

1. I get to find long lost family (this happened before aliyah) by remembering only part of their last name - these are family members who were sent away from Ellis Island in the 1920s because of immigration quotas and ended up in Argentina.  And I found them on Facebook, we "friended" each other, and now we send each other pictures of our grandkids.

2. I get to find school friends: we found each other and caught up on the many decades of each others' lives, and discovered that we had a lot in common - now we keep up with each other weekly.

3. I keep in touch with my extended family: I have a wonderful family with many cousins (first, second, third, etc.) - we communicate via Facebook, share family news, pictures, and gossip.

4. I get news!  Once you "friend" the news sites, you get instant news feeds. 

5.  I get to be part of interesting "threads" - sometimes people post controversial articles or posts and the discussions ensue - it's always interesting.

6. I get to laugh - with all the bad news around, it's great to click on a stupid video and watch something which makes you laugh.  It's refreshing and it feels good.

7. I get to help - people post names for refuah shelayma, they post requests for meals and help for people who are in need, and they just plain ask for help - and my response can be instantaneous, as can the responses of all of their friends.

8. I get advice - if I want to purchase something major, like a car,  or am looking for a new recipe, I can post my question and ask for help from my friends - this is called crowdsourcing - and people do this every day. What better way to get advice than to ask all of your friends by putting up one simple post?

I happen to work on my computer all day, so Facebook is my answer to stopping by someone's office and chatting for a few minutes, and I love it.

Also, as per above, I am a professional yentah.

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