Beverly Joyce column mug

Beverly Joyce

I got on Facebook what seems like forever ago. I was working in Traverse City, Michigan, and my family was still in Indiana. I think it was 2009.

I loved my job and the community, but I really missed my family. My kids, now both amazing adults, encouraged me to start a Facebook profile. I will be honest, at first there was a little pushback.

Why would I need a social media tool? Who would be on this site I would communicate with? After all, my kids were young and connected, but I couldn’t imagine I would have that same type of experience.

After some encouragement from the amazing twosome, I created my profile. My first background was the beautiful bay in Traverse City, my profile pic just a sunset. I wasn’t sure I wanted to share a photo of myself, but just like that I was set and was communicating with people near and far.

I had no idea how much I would enjoy Facebook. I could see my kids and their friends immediately as they went through their adventures. I saw friends and family and witnessed their activities like I was there. Weddings, graduations, vacations. I was connected and I loved it.

Maybe I’m forgetting some things, but the exchanges and posts were positive and fun. The posts were full of amazing friends and family, babies, puppies and kittens. The posts weren’t judgmental and angry.

I don’t remember family and friends attacking each other over ideas or opinions. I don’t remember people being so angry, hateful and judgmental.

As the publisher of a newspaper I receive a lot of emails and calls and so many different opinions about what we do. Thank you, readers, for continuing to hold us accountable.

The Herald Bulletin has a Facebook audience, as well. Many who comment on our stories are constructive and contribute great thoughts. We, of course, also have an audience on Facebook where, if we say skies are clear and beautiful, they will claim we altered the picture.

In my chosen profession that’s OK, I expect it. I have become used to it. No matter what your comments are, you continue to come back and engage as readers, so thank you for continuing to follow us.

For my personal Facebook, the one I save for my family and friends, how I wish I could go back to the time of photo timelines, pictures of your children, grandchildren and adventures.

Can we go back to highlights of babies, puppies and kittens? Could we remember how to care about, respect and have tolerance for each other?

If not, maybe we should go back to having face-to-face conversations, phone calls and sharing pictures and thoughts in person.

I understand there are so many things we are all passionate about right now, so if this is your vehicle to express those things, I understand.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could do that with mutual respect? If you don’t agree with someone, that’s OK. Swipe past or comment with positive points and not hate and disrespect.

If we could stop, count to 5 or 10 and remember the bonds before this moment. Are bonds created over years or maybe a lifetime worth destroying because your opinions on this one topic may be different? I can’t imagine they are.

For me, personally, I will continue to share the adventures of Bev and Ken, photos of the beautiful babies in my life, my children when they let me and, of course, my puppies.

I miss the positive, I miss the good. I miss puppies and kittens.

Beverly Joyce is publisher of The Herald Bulletin.

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