We use facebook for our business and it has been an invaluable tool for marketing.  People can be fickle…some say they will order for an event or they promise to visit you but in reality facebook promises are easy to make and easy to break.  I learned this the hard way living overseas in 2010-2011 in Abu Dhabi.  The Abu Dhabi Education Council Teachers had a page to connect with one another, so it served as good information as the teaching reform program was in its 2nd year.  I would trudge through all the stories of teachers returning or some staying according to the luck of the draw meaning location, school, arriving alone or with family.  Each situation was different and not every person I befriended on facebook turned out to be a good friend.  I have been reminded of this because of the recent incident which took place in Abu Dhabi:  the stabbing of an American teacher.

I had a difficult time sleeping last night.  I was reminded of being alone that year, sorting out feelings, challenging classes, rides to work …40 minutes in the desert…..living situations….taking the bus system…..choosing to  live in a smaller hotel/apt. outside of a very busy area.  I see myself arriving at the hotel after a challenging day….sometimes the biggest challenge was getting to the school….and sitting in the hotel lobby just to see familiar American faces.  It was a lonely time.  It seemed just when I made a friend, they decided to leave or they rarely left their living situation except to go to the mall for groceries or getting nails done.  So facebook was not the real thing.  Some of those people disappointed me and the friends I thought I would make and keep didn’t turn out to be true.  The most helpful relationship forged was a chance meeting in a clothing store…an American woman who had lived in the Emirates for 20 years.  We were of similar ages and she was very helpful to me.

Such is true with businesses.  Facebook is a lovely tool but I am reminded of that old tv commercial…the daughter who brags about her 10, 000 friends on facebook mentioning how sorry she feels for her parents who have yet to experience life.  Then the camera shoots to an image of them biking across the United States.  Who is living life ? Those on the bike or those corresponding with their 10, 000 friends.  Nothing replaces the real thing.  Remember that during the holidays.  I wish all teachers still in Abu Dhabi the best!! IIt is wondeful that we never bought our likes, we have integrity and shortage of pocket change so all 495 likes on facebook are truely ours but we need you to visit, also so we can stay in business.  Thank you. God be with you because hopefully, if he is for you, who can be against you? This too shall pass.

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