Opinion: Gratitude on Facebook

Emily Prestwood, Ranger Reporter
Emily Prestwood, Ranger Reporter

By Emily Prestwood
Ranger Reporter

According to Bloomberg Businessweek, more than a billion people use Facebook. Those users have acted as a catalyst, forcing Facebook to evolve into a device that displays a person’s latest awkward moment, relationship status and vacation photos.

If your Facebook friends consist of local college and high school students, then you probably have noticed a new online trend.

The latest Facebook fab entails a user reflecting on something he or she is thankful for. The user expresses his or her gratitude through a daily status update. This trend began at the beginning of November in honor of Thanksgiving.

When I scroll through my news feed cluttered with thoughts of thankfulness, I am reminded of the caring heart of Amarillo. At the same time, I am concerned.

The art of thankfulness is not an annual event. It is a way of life.

A truly thankful person does not need cool, crisp air and pumpkins to act as a reminder to give thanks. True thanksgiving derives from the heart and overflows into consistent actions that express gratitude.

While Facebook is a creative way to declare one’s gratitude, it should not be the only way one expresses thankfulness. Posting on Facebook what you are thankful for is awesome, but it also is convenient. Showing deep gratitude is not convenient.

When people go out of their way to say thanks, depth is given to their appreciation. Their thankfulness, in turn, penetrates the receiver on a deeper level and is more likely to be remembered.

Expressing thanks does not have to come through the mainstream action of literally saying “thanks.” Thanksgiving can be expressed through devotion or thoughtfulness. Writing a thank-you card or taking the initiative to get something done can show that a person deeply cares about the selfless actions of another.

For example, if a college girl living at home posts on Facebook that she is thankful for the roof over her head, her mother may see it and think, “That is nice.” However, if the girl unexpectedly cooks a meal on a night her mother comes home late, the mother may remember her daughter’s thoughtful actions the next time her daughter cannot afford the car insurance bill.

Feel free to garnish your Facebook profile with gratefulness. At the same time, try to take it a step further and show commitment, kindness and love toward what you are grateful for. Finally, challenge yourself to flaunt your gratitude year-round.

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