I know that a lot of people have negative feelings toward Facebook. And I understand their reasons.

But I have experienced countless positive interactions with people as a direct result of Facebook. Interactions that have resulted in closer relationships, whether long distance or face-to-face.

I’m a big fan of some of the unique ways that people can connect through social media:

One that’s making the rounds right now is:

Pay it Forward 2011~
I promise to send something handmade to the first 5 people who leave a comment here. They must in turn post this on their wall and send something they make to the first 5 people who comment on their status. The rules are that it must be handmade by you and it must be sent to your 5 people sometime in 2011.

So of course I am absolutely all in!

In fact, I couldn’t resist saying yes to more than the first 5 requests, so I will be making and mailing 8 handmade items.

Perhaps one or two of my recipients–KP, Janna, Jen C., Annie, Matt, Sheila, Anne-Marie, and Katie –will get a pair of fleece hand warmers like those pictured above. I’ve just finished them while in Charlotte visiting my sister.

Or, perhaps he/she will receive a felt wallet, pouch or pin, a stitched bandana or an mp3 mix.

Regardless, I’ll be thinking about the gift recipient throughout the process of making and sending his or her gift.

And the commitment and follow through will connect us in a meaningful way.

All because of Facebook.

Yes, I suppose, these things could theoretically happen outside of Facebook.

But they likely wouldn’t.

So kudos to my Facebook community.

It’s not the only version of community I have.

But it’s much more than a virtual one.